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Cunningham, Minnie Fisher (19 March 1882–09 December 1964), suffragist and political activist, was born in New Waverly, Texas, the daughter of Horatio White Fisher and Sallie Comer Abercrombie, farmers. She was educated at home and passed a teacher certification examination. Rather than teach, however, she decided to enroll in the pharmacy program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She graduated in 1901, one of the first women in Texas to earn a pharmacy degree, and worked as a prescription clerk in San Antonio and Huntsville. Discovering that she was being paid only half as much as less-qualified male co-workers, she recalled years later, was the seed of her commitment to suffrage and women’s rights....

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DeVoe, Emma Smith (22 August 1848–03 September 1927), suffragist and Republican Party activist, was born Emeline Smith in Roseville, Illinois, the youngest child of Birdsey Smith and Delia Dolan. From childhood she went by the name Emma. Her father, a deacon in the Baptist church for forty years, raised Emma in a strict Christian home. Spirituality was important, but when the young girl exhibited promise as a musician, her parents fostered that talent. She eventually attended college, but the details are unknown. Her musical training and experience led to an opportunity to teach at Eureka College during the 1870–1871 academic year....

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Ruth Hanna McCormick. With her children Katrina and John. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-108593).

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McCormick, Ruth Hanna (27 March 1880–31 December 1944), congresswoman and political leader, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Marcus Alonzo “Mark” Hanna, a businessman and politician, and Charlotte Augusta Rhodes. In 1896 Mark Hanna, Republican national chairman, managed William McKinley’s presidential campaign, in which Ruth participated. Hanna was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1897, and Ruth worked as his private secretary on Capitol Hill. Her marriage in 1903 to ...

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Putnam, Elizabeth Lowell (02 February 1862–05 June 1935), pioneer in prenatal care, antisuffragist, and conservative political activist, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the daughter of Augustus Lowell and Katharine Lawrence. From early childhood until age five she lived with her family in France. In 1888 she married a noted Boston lawyer and a distant cousin, William Lowell Putnam. The Putnams had five children. Their daughter Harriet died of impure milk at age two, and her death was probably the catalyst for Putnam’s long commitment to infant and maternal health and welfare....

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Upton, Harriet Taylor (17 December 1853–02 November 1945), suffragist and Republican party official, was born in Ravenna, Ohio, the daughter of Ezra Booth Taylor, a lawyer, and Harriet M. Frazer. In 1861 the family moved to Warren, Ohio. Ezra Taylor was a circuit court judge in northern Ohio, and, as a child, Harriet’s travels with her father contributed to her interest in and knowledge of politics. She attended public school in Ravenna and Warren, Ohio, and graduated from Warren High School. From 1880 to 1893 Ezra Taylor was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he chaired the Judiciary Committee. Harriet lived with her father in Washington and served as his hostess after her mother died. On 9 July 1884 she married George Whitman Upton, a lawyer who became Ezra Taylor’s law partner when they returned to Warren. The couple had no children....