Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Ethel Moore, 1872-1920

Written By Lizbeth Aguilar and Maxwell Murray, students at Sacred Heart Preparatory High School and Serene Williams, Teacher at Sacred Heart Preparatory, Atherton, California

Member of the College Equal Suffrage League

Ethel Moore was born in Oakland, California in 1872 to Alberto Alfonso Moore and Jacqueline Anne Hall. She became a prominent feminist who supported various issues, particularly suffrage and assisting Oakland's youth. She was one of eight children, having four sisters and three brothers. Ethel was an inspiring public figure. She graduated from Vassar College and quickly started the Oakland Social Settlement in West Oakland. According to the sources available, she never married and did not have children.

Ethel Moore held numerous positions as the leader of progressive organizations. She was an active member of the College Equal Suffrage League and was one of the first women to unite college students under one cause related to suffrage. The attitude of the College Equal Suffrage League was trying to repay the generations of pioneering women that came before them. They had blazed a trail and their efforts made it possible for women to receive the educational opportunities they enjoyed. On October 5, 1911, Ethel Moore and Cora E. Jones addressed a large audience in San Leandro in the auditorium of the public library.

Moore served as the president of the Recreational Department for eight years, winning Oakland national recognition. She was a member of the Oakland Club made up of three hundred women, which worked to build playgrounds throughout the city to establish better community conditions. They also established social centers, or recreational centers. Because of her work, she became a national authority in playground work. She also served as a trustee for Mills College, the first women's college west of the Rocky Mountains. She worked side by side with Annie Florence Brown as directors of Alameda County anti-tuberculosis society - thanks to these women, Alameda County established the Tuberculosis Sanitorium at Arroyo.

Ethel Moore died at Stanford Hospital on October 4, 1920. After her death a memorial building was established to promote her work. It was a three-story building with sixty rooms and was built at a cost of $57,000 named the Ethel Moore Memorial Children's Building, part of the Alameda County Public Health Center. It contained an X-ray lab, a health loaning library, and offered weekly classes for teachers in Alameda county. It also offered services to treat patients suffering from tuberculosis.


1."Clubwomen Aid in Cities Fight," The San Francisco Call, December 13, 1911, at

2."Ethel Moore, Woman Leader, Is Dead in S.F.," Oakland Tribune, October 5, 1920

3."First Unit of Public Health Center is Dedicated to Memory of Ethel Moore," Oakland Tribune, December 4, 1922

4."Miss Ethel Moore Called by Death," Sacramento Union, October 6, 1920

5."Miss Valentine's At Home is a Brilliant Success," Oakland Tribune, December 15, 1900

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