Biographical Sketch of Eunice S. Huff (Noack)

Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920

Biography of Eunice S. Huff (Noack), 1893-1985

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By Dominique Bateman and Miranda Pikaart, Undergraduates, Meredith College

Eunice Sarah, also known as Enna, Huff was a white female born on January 21, 1893 in Nebraska to Luther Sherman (1867-1935) and Martha Huff (1858-1936). She had an older sister named Elizabeth and an older brother named Earl. Her father had been born in Iowa and her mother in Illinois. Her family moved to Jefferson Township, Taylor County, Iowa by the time she was seven. She attended college for at least one year, and by 1915 she was teaching at an elementary school in Hiteman, Iowa.

By 1918, Eunice had relocated to Washington, D.C., where she became an activist in the suffrage movement. She supported herself by working as a clerk for the War Department.

Eunice was arrested twice while in D.C. In 1918, she was arrested for participating in a march past the White House and across the street to the Lafayette monument. For several weeks, activists had been parading with their banners, stopping at the base of the statue of Lafayette to make speeches. At least twice a week, the suffragists would stage a protest and march until the police arrested them. As was the practice with these protests, once the suffragists were released from jail, they marched right back to the White House. Eunice was one of a group of twenty-nine women who returned to the White House upon release from jail to continue making speeches and parading.

The Times-Republican, a Marshalltown, Iowa newspaper unsympathetic to the suffragists' activities, reported the protests as "farcical" and "stupid both on the part of the woman [sic] and the police," and concluded that "women injure (the) cause" by staging these marches. Eunice received special notice as a native Iowan, the paper reporting that

Eunice Huff, of Des Moines, was the only woman roughly handled in the Wednesday night demonstration. A plain clothed policeman attempted to arrest her, and questioning his authority, she resisted. She slipped in the melee and was picked ou (sic) bodily and carried to the patrol. The suffragists lack two votes to put their bill thru the senate. The demonstrations are frankly intended to influence the president into forcing the votes they need. Something the president apparently is disinclined to do.

A year later, Eunice was arrested again for openly supporting NWP protesters in court, including her sister Elizabeth, who had participated in another watchfire demonstration.

On October 5, 1923, at the age of about thirty, Eunice married Han Oluf Noack, a cabinet maker. She had four children, daughters Elizabeth E. and Eunice H. and sons Nils T.B. and T. Luther. She died in August 1985 at the age of 92 and was buried in New Providence, Iowa.

See Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920) 362; U.S. Census 1900, 1920, 1940; Iowa State Census, 1915; U.S. Social Security Death Index (note that the 1900 census records that her birth was in Nebraska, but the S.S. source states she was born in Iowa); Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934; "Women Injure Cause," Evening Times-Republican. (Marshalltown, Iowa), August 17 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85049554/1918-08-17/ed-1/seq-3/. Accessed July 3 2017; Find a Grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/127101548#.

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