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Gougar, Helen Mar Jackson (18 July 1843–06 June 1907), suffragist, temperance reformer, and lecturer, was born near Litchfield in Hillsdale County, Michigan, the daughter of William Jackson and Clarissa Dresser, farmers. After attending the preparatory department of Hillsdale College from 1855 to 1859, she moved to Lafayette, Indiana, to teach in the public schools in order to help support her family. There she joined the Second Presbyterian Church, where she met John D. Gougar, a promising young lawyer, whom she married in 1863. The couple, who had no children, made their home in Lafayette for the rest of their lives....

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Hay, Mary Garrett (20 August 1857–29 August 1928), suffragist and reformer, was born in Charlestown, Indiana, the daughter of Andrew Jennings Hay, a prosperous physician, and Rebecca Garrett. Hay was close to her father, a committed Republican, and got her first taste of politics as a young girl, attending meetings with him and helping him host political gatherings at their home. After attending Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio (1873–1874), she returned home. She participated in a number of reform groups and women’s clubs but soon began giving most of her time to the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). After a brief period as secretary-treasurer of its local branch, she served for seven years as treasurer of the state organization. By 1885 Hay was running a small department in the national office....

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Kearney, Belle (06 March 1863–27 February 1939), temperance advocate, suffragist, and legislator, was born Carrie Belle Kearney in Madison County, Mississippi, the daughter of Walter Gunston Kearney, a planter, lawyer, and politician, and Susannah Owens. Kearney was educated consecutively by a governess, public school, and the Canton Young Ladies’ Academy until the family could no longer afford the tuition. Between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, she led the life of an impoverished “belle”: her autobiographical account describes taking in sewing for former slaves as well as dancing at the governor’s inaugural ball....