Literary artist Natalie Clifford Barney was born in Dayton, Ohio on Halloween, 1876. Her father, Albert Clifford Barney, was of the prominent family that founded the Dayton Academy, Cooper Female Seminary, and Barney & Smith Car Works.
Natalie, who knew she was a lesbian by age twelve, lived an outspoken and independent life unusual for women during the turn-of-the-century time period. She published Some Portrait-Sonnets of Women, a book of same-sex love poems under her own name in 1900. Barney was also famously partnered with painter Romaine Brooks for over 50 years.
Natalie Clifford Barney moved to Paris, France in 1909 where she wrote fiction, verse, essays, drama, epigrams, and several memoirs. She also hosted an infamous literary salon, where the leading artists of the Lost Generation gathered. Visitors to the salon included author F. Scott Fitzgerald, dancer Isadora Duncan, playwright Thornton Wilder and writer Sherwood Anderson, also an Ohio Native.
Barney repeatedly sought to advance the rights of women and is considered a leading French feminist writer of the 20th century. She died in 1972 and is buried in Paris, while her parents are interred at the Woodland Cemetery in Dayton.