Biographical Sketch of Harriet Belvel Evans

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Harriet Belvel Evans, 1871-1954

By Susan R. Cloud, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, Iowa State University, and Danielle Giles, undergraduate student, Iowa State University

Harriet B. Evans (January 24, 1871 - July 11, 1954) of Corydon, Iowa, was an attorney who served as president of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association in 1911 and as vice president in 1912.

Harriet Belvel was born in Lineville, Iowa. After graduating from high school in 1887, she worked as assistant postmaster at the Corydon post office until her marriage on January 1, 1891, to Hiram Kinsman Evans, an attorney who assumed office as county attorney the same day. Evans took up the study of law with her husband and was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1893, only the fourth woman to be admitted to the bar in Iowa.

Evans was active in several organizations in the community. She served as district secretary of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church and as secretary of her local women's suffrage organization. She was a member of the first library board in Corydon, chairman of the Corydon Friday Club, a member of the Bayview Study Club, and active in the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs. She also conducted lessons on the legal rights of women and minors, probate law, and other areas of the law of particular interest to women.

In 1912, Evans presented a resolution for the endorsement of women's suffrage at the state meeting of the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs at Sioux City. In 1913, she was a delegate from the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association to the General Federation of Women's Clubs in Chicago, Illinois.

Evans was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court in 1917. After passage of the 19th Amendment, Evans practiced law with her husband.

Evans died on July 11, 1954, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Sources:

Find a Grave website. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=62165416.

Iowa Press Association. Who's Who in Iowa 1940. http://iagenweb.org/wayne/whoswhobios.htm.

The Law Student's Helper, Volume 2:1 (1894). Collector Publishing Company, page 127.

National Women's Suffrage Association. The History of Women's Suffrage, volume 6.

Newsletter of the Wayne County Historical Society, June 2014. http://prairietrailsmuseum.org/newsletters/2014.06.Newsletter.pdf.

State of Iowa. The Iowa Legislature website. "Representative Hiram Kinsman Evans." https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/legislator?ga=26&personID=3783.

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