About Mary Gysin Leonard

Probably one of the most notorious pioneer women attorneys, Mary Leonard was the first women lawyer in both Oregon and Washington. She was a Swiss immigrant who moved to the Northwest territory after the Civil War. her two-year mariage ended in a bitter divorce. Her ex-husband, who refused to honor a court order for providing support, was found dead from a gunshot wound. Leonard was charged but acquitted of murder. She then inherited David Leonard's estate, became financially solvent, and decided to study law. She passed the Washington bar in 1884, then subsequently moved to Portland, Oregon, where she practiced about a year, then retired due to bad health.

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