By Teri Bisceglia
Physician, community leader, suffragist
Dr. Sarah Hunt Lockrey was born April 21, 1863 to Charles, a grocer, and Martha Wisner Lockrey in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lockrey attended The Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia, graduating in 1888 and specializing in gynecology and gynecological surgery. The Woman's Medical College was the first institution in the world to confer medical degrees to women. Dr. Lockrey was the chief physician at the West Philadelphia Hospital for Women. She was also a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), a member of the Medical Women's National Association (MWNA), and a Fellow of American College of Surgery. Dr. Lockrey continued her commitment to the community by serving as President of the Women's Club of Philadelphia and as candidate for the school board.
Her boots-on-the-ground involvement with women's health gave Dr. Lockrey daily insights into the state of women's lives. She supported suffrage as the Chair of her National Woman's Party (NWP) Congressional District and member of NWP's National Advisory Council.
Dr. Lockrey was among the dozens of women arrested, rearrested and jailed for participating in the National Woman's Party meetings in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. in August 1918. She was arrested at the August 6th and 12th meetings for "violating park regulations" and her punishment was 15 days in the District Jail or a fine. Even though Dr. Lockrey was steadfast for suffrage, she had to return to Philadelphia “to perform an emergency operation" and "paid her fine."
In 1920, Dr. Lockrey was honored by receiving the NWP's "prison pin" as one of 166 women esteemed for their dedication to the suffrage cause through serving jail terms. The pin was the "emblem of the sacrifice of individual liberty for the liberty of all women."
Dr. Lockrey died November 8, 1929 at the age of 66 after a yearlong battle with neck and throat cancer. She is buried in Mt. Peace Cemetery in Philadelphia.
Sources: Certificate of Death, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, File No. 106158, Registered No. 22978, http://interactive.ancestrylibrary.com/5164/42342_2421406274_0883-01366/4723669?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry… 7/31/2015; "Obituary: Dr. Sarah Hunt Lockrey,: Gynecologist of Philadelphia and One-Time Suffragist Dies at 66," New York Times, Nov. 9, 1929, p. 14; Founders Week Memorial Volume Containing an Account of the Two Hundred and Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Founding of the City of Philadelphia, and Histories of its Principal Scientific Institutions, Medical Colleges, Hospitals, etc. edited by Frederick. P. Henry, A.M., M.D. & John V. Shoemaker, M.D. Published by the City of Philadelphia in Commemoration of the Two Hundred and Twenty-fifth Anniversary of its Founding (Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company , 1909). p. 837; "Suffragists Again Attack President: Demonstration Opposite the White House Broken Up by Police," New York Times, Aug. 7, 1918, p. 1; Census of Women Physicians. November 11, 1918. Published by The American Women's Hospitals. (Rochester: Rochester Printing Co.) p. 96; "What Women Are Doing." Washington Post, Feb 21, 1909, p. M8 as part of The Washington Post miscellany section, "Feminine Facts and Fancies from Far and Near Fields."
The Suffragist, 8:1 (February 1920), 9; The Suffragist,8:8 (September 1920), 209.
Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), p. 364;
"Picketing Again To Begin Saturday. Militant Demonstration In Lafayette Square This Time," Washington Post, July 31 1918, p. 3; Inez Haynes Gilmore, The Story of the Woman's Party (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1921), p. 357. "Seize Suffragists Near White House," New York Times, Aug. 13 1918, p. 9; "22 `Suffs’ Join In Hunger Strike. Son Pays Mrs. Oakes' Fine against Her Protest,” Washington Post, Aug. 17, 1918, p. 10.