Biographical Sketch of Mabel C. Washburn

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mabel C. Washburn, 1871-1957

By Erin Del Valle, undergraduate student, Central Connecticut State University

Miss Mabel C. Washburn was the daughter of Mary A. Washburn and Roon Washburn. Mary was born in 1835 in New York, and Roon was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Mabel, like her father, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 16, 1871. After her father passed away, Mabel and her mother moved to Hartford, Connecticut. Mabel resided there for many years, working as a teacher in the public-school system. There are no records of Mabel's romantic relationships, however it is known that Miss Washburn chose never to marry and subsequently never had any children. After teaching in CT for more than a decade, Mabel decided to focus her efforts in a different direction: women's suffrage. Mabel proceeded to play a leading role in Connecticut's Women's Suffragist movement.

In 1921, Miss Washburn, as the chairwoman, organized the State League of Women Voters in Connecticut, which led to the beginning of Connecticut's chapter under the National League of Women Voters. Mabel went on to be the first president elected for the chapter, and ran the league for a year. During this year, the chapter formed seven standing committees, each with their own chairman. When 1921 was coming to an end, Mabel announced that she would not be running for re-election of president of the chapter because she had plans of moving to California for the winter. Despite her plans to move, she was voted Secretary in November of 1922.

By 1930, Mabel Washburn had moved to Santa Barbara, California. There is no record of her becoming involved in California's women's suffrage movements during her residency there. Miss Washburn lived the remainder of her life in California until she passed away on March 8, 1957, at the age of 86. Mabel's grave can be found at Oak Hill Cemetery located in Ballard, Santa Barbara County in California.

Bibliography

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