Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Lulu Strong Halvorsen (also Luella), est. 1879-1960
By Courtney Mills, Metropolitan Community College
Lulu Strong was born in Otoe County, Nebraska around 1879 to George and Sophia Strong. Her father was a civil war veteran. Her full name was Mary Luella Strong, but she went by Lulu. She was a school teacher before she married Lee R. Halvorsen in 1900. Her husband was a bookkeeper for a factory and fought in World War 1. She and her husband had two children in 1905 and 1909, Ruth and Dorothy. Before she had her children, Mrs. Halvorsen was active in the suffrage movement in Nebraska. She was the press chairman and helped publish a suffrage book, A Suffrage Cook Book, in 1904.
After she had her children, I believe she took some time off from the suffrage movement to raise her daughters. According to the 1910 census, they lived in Nebraska City but somewhere between then and 1920 Lulu and her family moved to Evansville, Indiana.
After moving to Indiana, Lulu started working with the suffrage party in Evansville. She was part of a publicity committee in 1923. In 1924, she was a part of the "get-the-vote-out campaign" special feature committee. In 1926, the League of Women Voters held another convention in Indianapolis, Indiana where Lulu was a part of the credentials committee. She attended a voters' convention in Chicago in 1926 where she was Evansville's second district director and the status of women for Indiana. In 1928, Lulu was a part of the financial committee where they were responsible for local quotas and pledges. She was also in the advertising committee in 1928. In 1929, she organized the state convention for the League of Woman Voters in Evansville. She was the first district director for Evansville and president of the Evansville League during this time. She also used that convention to honor the League of Woman Voters president, Mrs. H. R. Misener.
Mrs. Lulu S. Halvorsen was a political activist. After she was done with the suffrage movement in Indiana, she joined the Socialist party. She and her husband were very active in the Socialist party. There were numerous newspaper articles between 1936 and 1945 about them and the Socialist party. According to the 1945 Florida census, Lulu and her husband moved to Florida to retire. They lived in the Manor in Fort Lauderdale, for 29 years, where they both passed. After they moved to Florida, Lulu started going by Luella again. She passed away in April 1960 and her husband, Lee R. Halvorsen, died ten years later in April of 1970.
Otoe County, Nebraska Census, 1900-1920, Familysearch.com, entries for Lee and Lulu Halvorsen, accessed online at https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3Alee~%20%2Bsurname%3AHalvorsen~%20%2Bany_place%3Aotoe~
Evansville, Indiana Census, 1930-1940 https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3Alee~%20%2Bsurname%3AHalvorsen~%20%2Bany_place%3Aotoe~
Fort Lauderdale Census, 1940-1970 https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3Alee~%20%2Bsurname%3AHalvorsen~%20%2Bany_place%3Aotoe~
Ida Husted Harper, et al., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, p. 371. LINK
The Indianapolis Star, Articles from 1920-1940, from newspapers.com , accessed online at https://www.newspapers.com/search/#query=lulu+s.+halvorsen&s_place=Indianapolis%2C+Indiana&offset=23