A graduate of Wesleyan University, May Stockbridge Finney Wilford was the first woman from Cornwall to be elected to the State House of Representatives, in 1929. At the time, there were so few women in the legslature that there was only one toilet available for them, tucked away in an unfinished part of the capitol building’s third floor.
In 1929, Wilford was one of a handful of legislators who bravely flew in a monoplane to conduct an aerial inspection of Hartford’s airport, Brainard Field.
May Finney was born and raised in Hartford. After earning her Ph.B., she worked as a grammar school teacher in New Britain and Branford during the 1890s. As was expected at the time, she left her job when she married Bernard Wilford in 1900. The couple lived in Branford, where Bernard was employed at a paper company.
At some point before 1920, the Wilfords moved to Cornwall Bridge, where Bernard became a farmer. After their three daughters and one son were grown, May entered into politics.