Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Julia Erwin Coburn, 1889-1956

By April Akins, University Archivist
Lander University, Greenwood, South Carolina

Founding Member of Morganton Equal Suffrage Association; supervising teacher at the North Carolina School for the Deaf at Morganton

Julia Erwin was born March 30, 1889, in Morganton Township, North Carolina to William and Kate Erwin. She died December 21, 1956, and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Morganton, with her husband, Lambert Spencer Coburn, who preceded her in death, along with her father William, mother Kate, and brother Morton. A side note, in locating information on Julia Erwin Coburn her maiden name was often spelled "Ervin."

On July 10, 1913, Julia Erwin was present at the home of Dr. Isaac Taylor of Morganton to arrange a gathering of awakening women into a club in sympathy to the woman suffrage movement. Ms. Erwin, Mrs. Hughson and Mrs. Taylor were all appointed to formulate the purposes of the society called the Morgantown Equal Suffrage Association. Another meeting followed this one at Julia Erwin's home on July 14, 1913.

Julia Coburn was a teacher in the Primary School Oral Department at the North Carolina School for the Deaf at Morganton, North Carolina. She became the supervisor of the Primary School in 1934. Under her supervision at the school, a modifed nursery program was created.


Betts, O. North Carolina School for the Deaf at Morganton, 1894-1944; the education of the deaf, 1845 – 1945 (1945).accessed online at , October 2017.

Harper, Ida H., ed. The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI (1922) ; accessed online at,12 July 2017.

Julia Erwin Coburn. At accessed 9 September 2017.

Julia Erwin Coburn. accessed 9 October 2017.

"United States Census, 1900," database with images. FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 July 2017), Julia Erwin in household of Wm C. Erwin, Morganton Township, Morganton town, Burke, North Carolina, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 15, sheet 17A, family 326, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972); FHL microfilm 1,241,185.

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