By Ashley Nicole Owens and Miranda Pikaart, undergraduates, Meredith College
Beulah Amidon was born in Fargo, North Dakota in 1895. She was the daughter of the U.S. District Judge Charles Freemont Amidon and Mrs. Beulah McHenry Amidon. She graduated from Barnard College in 1915 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She also studied law at the University of Southern California. Amidon was the press secretary for the National Woman’s Party and occasionally worked with Abby Scott Baker in discussing woman suffrage with politicians. She was famously identified as “the prettiest picket” in the caption of her photograph published in The Suffragist. On August 15, 1917, Beulah was arrested after a sailor stole her purple, white and gold banner and knocked her to the ground.
Amidon was a published author, writing about her experience as a picket and other topics, such as her poem “Live Oak,” a reflection on love, published in The Liberator in 1918.
Amidon’s husband died in 1926, and in that same year Amidon began her work as associate editor of The Survey, for which she wrote numerous articles on education and labor. She supported herself and established a prolific career, with publications including “Better Nursing For America,” “Democracy’s Challenge to Education,” “Jobs After Forty,” “Who Can Afford Health,” and “Why Women Work.” She reported on labor issues associated with the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.
Amidon retired from her editorial work at The Survey in 1952 and died in 1958.
Information on Beulah Amidon’s life and career can be found in Linda J. Lumsden, Inez: The Life and Times of Inez Milholland (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); Doris Stevens and Alice Paul. Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920); Inez Haynes Gilmore, The Story of the Woman's Party (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1921). Amidon’s photograph is available from the Library of Congress at https://www.loc.gov/item/mnwp000004/. Amidon’s poem “Live Oak” is available through Internet Archive at https://archive.org/stream/TheLiberator-Vol1No02/180400-liberator-v1-n02-opt#page/n9/mode/2up/search/amidon. Brief biographical information about Amidon is available at the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial site at http://www.suffragistmemorial.org/beulah-amidon/. See also Amidon’s obituary in the New York Times, September 25,1958, p. 33.