Allie Delphia Harned appears to be a glowing example of such a woman. She was one of my second great grandmothers on my father's side. This was the mother of Clarence Otho White's mother. She was born on July 26, 1860 in the vicinity of Logan County, Kentucky.
One of the things that Allie accomplished in her lifetime was to open a boarding house in Seadrift, Texas around 1912. This was about the same time and location of my grandfather C. O. White's birth to Eulah Peyton Williams, one of Allie's daughters. She was around 52 years of age when she began this venture!
For now, here's a photograph of the boarding house from shortly after 1912. And as far as I understand, there were at least two others built later on.