Filed Under Economy

Louise McCarren Herring

The Mother of Ohio Credit Unions

Louise McCarren Herring was a pioneering woman of her time. Over the course of her career, she helped to open over 500 credit unions in Ohio, and in 1976 the Ohio Legislation named her the “Mother of the Credit Unions of America.”

Louise McCarren Herring was born September 20th, 1909, in Warren County, Ohio, to Joseph and Julia McCarren. She grew up on a farm in Washington Township where she attended school, and she began attending the University of Cincinnati in 1928. Herring was an active student, participating in the student orchestra as a violinist, the Out-of-Town Girl’s Club, the since disbanded engineering sorority Pi Chi Epsilon, and the Co-Ep Club, which accepted female students in the College of Engineering and Commerce and the School of Applied Arts.

In 1932, Louise Herring graduated from UC with a degree from the College of Engineering and Commerce and took a job as the director of women personnel at the Kroger Company. After hearing stories of her fellow associates’ financial hardships, Herring set out to provide a cooperative financial institution where depositors would also direct the way their money was used by the institution. Herring believed in equal and fair access to quality financial service, stating, “It’s not about the money, not about accumulating capital. It’s about helping people’s lives be better.” This idea was the origin of credit unions in America.

In August 1934, Louise Herring attended the National Organizational meeting for American Credit Unions at Estes Park, Colorado where the National Credit Union Association was founded. Here in Cincinnati, she founded credit unions for employees of Kroger, Rollmans, the Cincinnati Police, and the Cincinnati Teacher's Association. Over the course of her career, she helped open over 500 credit unions in Ohio, and, in 1976, the Ohio Legislation unanimously passed a resolution naming Herring the “Mother of the Credit Unions of America.” In 1986, she was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.

Herring lived by a motto of selflessness her entire life, offering career guidance to female UC students during the Zonta hour, a radio show run by a global organization for women’s support, in March 1937. She volunteered selflessly at Nativity Parish in Pleasant Ridge, supervising girls’ athletics, serving in the St. Ann Altar Society, which worked to keep the church well-maintained, and the Parent Teacher Association. Herring lived most of her life in a humble house at 3554 Glen Edge Lane in Pleasant Ridge with her husband, Authur, and five children. Herring passed away on November 2nd, 1987, leaving a legacy of accomplishment and living on as the mother of the Ohio Credit Union Movement.

Images

 Louise Herring.
Louise Herring. Photo of older Louise Herring. Taken from “Louise McCarren Herring.” Cincinnati Enquirer, November 5, 1987, 62. Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, November 5, 1987, 62.
he University of Cincinnati Orchestra in 1928. Louise Herring sits fifth from the left.
he University of Cincinnati Orchestra in 1928. Louise Herring sits fifth from the left. Photo of orchestra. Taken from "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: University of Cincinnati; Year: 1928. Source: "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: University of Cincinnati; Year: 1928.
Photo of Louise Herring’s house.
Photo of Louise Herring’s house. House at 3554 Glen Edge Lane where the Herrings lived most of their life. Creator: Leah Fisher
Photo of younger Louise Herring in 1932
Photo of younger Louise Herring in 1932 Source: Taken from "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: University of Cincinnati; Year: 1932.

Location

3554 Glenedge Ln, Cincinnati, OH 45213

Metadata

Kyla Dukes and Leah Fisher, “Louise McCarren Herring,” Cincinnati Sites and Stories, accessed July 18, 2024, https://stories.cincinnatipreservation.org/items/show/204.