Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Sarah Jane Hinman (Mrs. O. B. Bowers), 1847-1926

By Jordan Biniamow, Dr. Amy Forss, Professor 

Undergraduate student, Metropolitan (Omaha, NE) Community College

Sarah Jane Hinman was born in August 1847 in Quaker Hill, New York. Her parents are unknown. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1871 and married Dr. Orrin Benjamin Bowers in Clinton, Iowa on August 22, 1877. She had a son Ford David Bowers and a daughter Henrietta E Bowers. In the 1900 census Mrs. O. B. Bowers was listed as living in Tekamah, Nebraska. She died on February 13, 1926 in Tekamah and was shipped to La Crosse, Wisconsin for burial. 

O. B. Bowers saw her debut in the suffrage movement by participating and presiding over the convention of "The Woman's Suffrage association of Burt County" which was held in Tekamah in March 1901. The small convention was met with large new names in the Nebraska suffrage scene such as Mrs. Clara A. Young, State President, and Miss Laura Gregg, State Organizer and head of the State Suffrage Headquarters in Omaha.  

Mrs. Bowers would make her way into the Nebraska division of NAWSA during the twenty-second annual assembly of woman suffragists held in Tecumseh, Nebraska on December 1-3, 1902. The assembly's purpose was to gather new memberships, work on county organization, and "push press work". The recently elected Vice President and Chairman on Assemblies of the Nebraska Suffrage Association, Amanda J. Marble of Broken Bow, recommended, "...the enlargement of the committee so that at least one member should be located in the vicinity of large annual gatherings." This recommendation lead to the appointment of several suffragists assigned to various cities across Nebraska, including Mrs. O. B. Bowers and her designated city of Tecumseh, Nebraska. 

Mrs. Bowers would be seen again at the twenty-third annual convention of the Nebraska Women's Suffrage Association held in Nebraska City on October 6-8, 1903. The attendance was far larger than that of the previous year and the meeting was started off with an address from Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, Vice President of the NAWSA.  Here Mrs. Bowers and Mrs. Clara A. Young, President of the Nebraska Suffrage Association, would head a section of a work conference over the subject of, "County Organization: A Source of Strength", among other subjects and presenters reviewing topics to enrich and strengthen the Nebraska sect. 


The Suffragettes – Complete History of the Movement. N.p.: E-artnow, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. 

"Suffragists Close Their Convention." Omaha World Herald, 6 Dec. 1902: 3.

"Woman Suffragists' Officers and Platform," Omaha World Herald, 10 Oct. 1903: 9. 

"Iowa, Delayed Birth Records, 1850-1939," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 April 2017), Orrin Benjamin Bowers in entry for Ford David Bowers, 01 Apr 1880; citing Clinton, Clinton, Iowa, United States, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines; FHL microfilm . 

State University of Iowa. The Iowa Alumnus. Vol. 7. N.p.: n.p., 1910. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. 

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