At that time, producing custom-made clothing and hats for a local clientele was one of the few socially acceptable ways for a woman to make a living. Sarah's business proved successful, but in 1903 she gave up the shop to wed Charles Hawes, a widower and prosperous merchant in nearby Morrowville. Sarah, of course, made the hat she wore for her wedding.
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Hat made by Sarah McWilliams, circa 1900