Geneva (pop. approx. 13,000) is a city at the northern end of Seneca Lake. Settlement began in 1792; Geneva became a village in 1806 and a city in 1897. Nineteenth-century Geneva’s economy centered on agriculture, especially the nursery business (flowers, shrubs, and trees). One of the most successful nursery firms was led by William Smith, who became an important local philanthropist.
Geneva was also a center of reform activism, especially the woman's suffrage movement (nineteenth-century practice was to use the singular, woman's; later practice was to use the plural, women's). Suffrage leader Elizabeth Smith Miller organized notable suffrage events and also helped persuade William Smith to endow the then-revolutionary women’s college that still bears his name.