Nannette McDowell Bullock, Henry Clay’s great-granddaughter, originally moved to Ashland with her family in 1882. She returned with her husband and son in 1903 to take care of her mother, Anne Clay McDowell.
In 1926, Nannette created the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation. The foundation was created to own and operate the mansion and surrounding land as a park and monument to her great-grandfather Henry Clay and sister Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, a suffragist and reformer. The mansion at Ashland opened as a museum in 1950. Ashland’s story and history exist today because of Nannette.
In 1913 Nannette ran for school superintendent. She did not do this because she wanted the job, but because women were being denied the right to vote for superintendent as provided by state law. Once that right was secured in a lawsuit, Nannette dropped out of the race.
Nannette’s generation of women had much greater freedom and independence than her great-grandmother Lucretia Hart Clay’s generation. Nannette used these opportunities to accomplish important things for her family and community.