Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Jean Louisa Kellogg, 1850-1924
By Yesenia Castellanos, Undergraduate, San Jose State University
Jean Louisa Plumstead was born on October 11, 1850 in Northville, Michigan. She was the daughter of Alonzo Plumstead and Lucyette Meyers. On October 11, 1871 she married James Liddell Kellogg. Although the couple divorced in 1884, Jean decided to keep her married name. Once divorced, Jean Kellogg became a single mother of three: Harry Reid Kellogg, born April 18, 1873, Ralph Plumstead Kellogg, born April 9, 1875, and Mary Kellogg, born November 9, 1878. Mary Kellogg passed away at seven years of age on March 1885. While the 1900 United States Federal Census shows that Jean P. Kellogg was living with her son Harry Reid in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, the Census of 1910 indicates that she was living with her son Ralph in Oakland, California. Kellogg, therefore, had left Michigan and moved to California sometime in the early 1900's.
A few years after her arrival in California, Jean Kellogg became a suffragist and joined others in the fight for women's equality. By working closely with women like Ida M. Cutting, president of the Women's Alliance of the First Unitarian Church, Kellogg began her significant involvement in equal suffrage. Jean Kellogg, along with other members of the Equal Suffrage League of San Francisco and the Women's Alliance of the First Unitarian Church, drafted a letter asking representative women from all over California to demand the right to vote because the government run by men had proven to be "expensive, inefficient, and terribly corrupt."
Through her involvement in the California Equal Suffrage Association, Kellogg participated in rallies, picnics, and meetings where she spoke about suffrage to the community. Kellogg also performed speeches about what women should be doing for the women's rights movement through the Ruskin Club, a local neighborhood women's suffrage club. Kellogg was also a suffrage speaker for the Votes For Women's Club in Oakland, California.
Jean Kellogg identified as a Socialist and spoke on behalf of the Socialist Party at an Alameda County Suffrage League meeting. She was a recording secretary for the Women's Socialist Union of California and was in charge of recording subjects discussed in meetings, the individuals that attended, and the outcomes of the conferences. Jean Kellogg was a director of the Berkeley Center of the California Civic League, working to solve issues in her own county. She was also a delegate of the League's executive board and was responsible for educating and debating legislative issues that would affect the state of California.
Although not much is known about Kellogg's life and work after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in the United States, she continued to appear in multiple voter registration records until her death on December 23, 1924. This demonstrates that Kellogg took advantage of the right to vote: a right that had cost her and her fellow suffragists so much hard work to finally obtain.
"Berkeley Center Wants to Expand," San Francisco Call, October 12, 1912, 17
"Civic League's Officers Named," Oakland Tribune, October 11, 1913, 4
Hopkins, Timothy. The Kelloggs in the Old World and the New (San Francisco, CA: Sunset Press and Photo Engraving Company, 1903)
"Kellogg," Oakland Tribune, December 25, 1924, 30
"Meeting is held by Suffragettes," Oakland Tribune, November 1, 1908, 6
"Ruskin Club is Host at Repast," Oakland Tribune, December 8, 1907, 11
"Suffrage," Los Angeles Herald, April 22, 1909, 3
U.S Bureau of the Census, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 and 1910
"Women Would Wrest All Power from Men," San Francisco Call, September 16, 1907, 4