Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Lucie Belden Blakeslee Merwin, 1838-1930
By Kendra M. Stachum, Dr. Amy Forss, Professor
Metropolitan (Omaha, NE) Community College
Lucie, B. Merwin, maiden name Blakeslee, was born on the 25 November 1838, in Milford, Connecticut. Lucie's parents were, Willis and Nancy (Benjamin) Blakeslee.
Lucie, met her husband, Henry, who had been a Corporal in Company A of the 10th Connecticut Infantry. On December 14, 1862, his unit engaged in battle at the "Battle of Kingston" in Kingston, North Carolina. It was there that Henry suffered an injury to his hand that would handicap him the remainder of his life. Lucie met Henry while he was still a soldier and had been sent to New Haven, Connecticut, where he was detailed to recruiting services, due to his injuries. Lucie became a war bride and married Henry on March 20, 1864.
Lucie and Henry had three children; oldest son, Fletcher Newton Merwin, who established the first newspaper in DuBois, NE, in 1885, and was editor of the Times-Tribune in Beaver City, NE. Their middle child, Mary Eliza Hull, married William Hull and moved to San Bernardino, CA. Their youngest child, John Howard Merwin, passed away at the young age of eleven. Lucie and Henry were to have five grandchildren and three great grandchildren by Lucie's death on 7 April 1930.
Moving to Beaver City NE, in 1900, Lucie and Henry became farmers and were active members of the First Presbyterian Church, the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association, which later reorganized as The League of Women Voters and The National Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. Their support and contributions in these originations paved the way for the women of Nebraska and the suffrage movement for equality which gained a unified voice in 1919, when Nebraska became the fourteenth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote. The reorganization of the Nebraska League of Women Voters, marked a new era in the political life of the state. Their contribution in the Grand Army of the Republic was to assist in preserving, and making available for research, documents and records pertaining to its members. The Grand Army of the Republic protected and aided the widows and orphans of war and maintained true allegiance to the United States of America.
Lucie and Henry's names were listed in the 5th District of the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association of Furnace County, where they had a total of seven members. If it weren't for every single member standing for equality, where would we be today?
"If ever the world sees a time when woman shall come together purely and simply for the benefit and good of mankind, it will be as a power such as the world has never known." ~ Matthew Arnold ~
Nebraska State Historical Society: RG1073.AM: Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association/Box 1, folders 1-4.
Nebraska State Historical Society: B383 + Roll #12 April 3rd, 1930, Vol. 37, No. 15, The Times Tribune/Obituary.
Find-A-Grave entry at https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=171508832 : WEB
Genealogy of the Morris Family (New York, 1911) has entry for Lucy Belden at https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofmorri00carh#page/42/mode/2up/search/%22lucy+belden%22 : See also https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofmorri00carh#page/40/mode/2up/search/%22lucy+belden%22 : WEB
NEGenWeb Project, Resource Center, accessed online at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/resources/OLLibrary/Nebraskana/pages/nbka0191.htm : WEB
"Henry F. Merwin, Civil War veteran," accessed online at http://www.tablerockhistoricalsociety.com/henry-merwin-civil-war-veteran-who-walked-the-streets-of-table-rock.html : WEB
Additional Merwin family information on FamilySearch, accessed online at https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3ALucie~%20%2Bsurname%3AMerwin~ : WEB