Biographical Sketch of Sarah Gage Crosby

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Sarah Gage (Girard) Crosby, 1832-1915

By Sue McNelly, independent historian

The Phonographic Magazine, Vol. XIII-1899, p. 8.
Accessed online at Hathitrust.org (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044083366914;view=1up;seq=21

Sarah Gage Girard [sometimes spelled Jerrard] Crosby was a key figure in the women's suffrage movement in Maine. She was born on 27 May 1832 in Plymouth, Penobscot County, Maine to John and Jane (Gage) Jerrard. She married Albert Crosby on 24 August 1852 in Plymouth, Maine. Albert and Sarah became the parents of five children, namely:

  • Ellery Channing Crosby, born about 1854, Maine.
  • Ada May Crosby, born about 1857, Maine.
  • Albert Jonah Crosby, born about 1859, Maine.
  • Fredrick Albert Crosby, born about 1862, Maine.
  • Edward Girard Crosby, born about 1870, Maine.

In the 1870 U.S. Census for Albion, Kennebec County, Maine, Albert Crosby was enumerated as a farmer. Living with him was his wife, Sarah G. Crosby aged 38 and all five children, and Albert's mother, 81-year old Lydia Crosby. By 1880 Albert and Sarah G. Crosby had divorced and Albert moved to Montana with two of his sons. Sarah G. Crosby, her daughter Ada, and two of her sons, Fred and Edward, were living on Oak Street, in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine, where Sarah's occupation was listed as a stenographer. By 1900 Sarah G. Crosby was listed at age 65, a stenographer, and still living in Waterville, Maine. Sarah G. Crosby died on April 27, 1915 in Waterville, Kennebec, Maine at the age of 82.

In December 1873, Sarah G. Crosby was appointed the official stenographer for the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, only the second woman to hold that position. That same year, she signed the 1873 call for a woman suffrage convention. She worked in the court system for fifteen years, and retired in 1888. Sarah G. Crosby had a wide assortment of friends and associates. She was a close friend to Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, whom she had met in 1864.

By 1893, Sarah G. Crosby had created the Waterville branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), was president of the local Equal Suffrage club and by 1898, was managing the press bureau of the Maine Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA). She was credited with building up the suffrage press circulation from six to eighty newspapers. Sarah G. Crosby died on April 27, 1915 in Waterville, Kennebec, Maine at the age of 82.

Sources:

Plymouth, Maine, Town and Vital Records, 1825-1874, Intention to Marry of Albert Crosby and Sarah G. Jerrard, 1851; Familysearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99NW-36YS?i=175&cat=7017: accessed 16 September 2017).

"Maine, Death Records, 1761-1922," database with images, Maine State Archives, Augusta; Ancestry (http://ancestry.com : accessed 16 September 2017), Sarah G. Crosby death, 27 April 1915.

1870 U.S. census, Kennebec County, Maine, population schedule, Albion, p. 5A (stamped), dwelling 78, family 80, Albert Crosby; digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 September 2017) from National Archives microfilm M593, roll 546.

1880 U.S. census, Kennebec County, Maine, population schedule, Waterville, enumeration district (ED) 108, p. 5 (penned), p. 475A (stamped), dwelling 36, family 41, Sarah G. Crosby; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 September 2017) from National Archives microfilm T9, roll 482.

1900 U.S. census, Kennebec, Maine, population schedule, Waterville, enumeration district (ED) 132, p. 8B (penned), dwelling 130, family 166, S.G. Crosby; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 September 2017) from National Archives microfilm T623, roll 594.

Susan B. Anthony, Ida Husted Harper, The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV (Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1902), 296. LINK.

The Phonographic Magazine, Vol. XIII-1899, Hathitrust.org (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044083366914;view=1up;seq=21: accessed 16 September 2017), pp. 7-8. (Photo of Sarah G. Crosby)

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