Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Lucy E. Beach, 1844-1937

By Dana Aritonovich, independent historian and writer

Delegate, Ohio, National American Woman Suffrage Association Annual Convention

Lucy Eleanor Wilson was born in 1844 in London, Ohio, to James and Eleanor (Smith) Wilson. She was educated at the Esther Institute in Columbus and the Methodist Female Seminary in Springfield. Lucy married surgeon William Morrow Beach on April 12, 1860.They had one daughter, Mary Beach (1862-1935). William died in 1887.Lucy died in 1937 and is buried in Madison County, Ohio.

Lucy was descended from a prominent slave-owning family originally from Kentucky. Upon settling in Ohio, the Wilsons accumulated thousands of acres of land. Lucy and her husband lived on the family's Carter Farm, and she eventually took ownership of The Cedars, a 1,140-acre farm where she hosted many events for women's and other organizations.There, she raised hogs, cattle, and horses, and was a member of the American Duroc-Jersey Swine Breeders' Association and Farmers' Institute. Lucy also was an Ohio delegate to the State and National Conference of Charities and Correction in 1912.

On August 6, 1884, Lucy, her daughter Mary, and several other London women founded Lyon Corps No. 52 as an auxiliary to the Woman's Relief Corps, a patriotic and charitable organization that provided services to veterans and their families. Mary was elected secretary and Lucy was a charter member. Lucy was also a charter member of the Woman's Club of London, in which she held membership for 14 years and served as president for a time.

In January 1893, Lucy was an Ohio delegate to the 25th Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in Washington, D.C. Susan B. Anthony was president at the time. Lucy also served as a delegate to the NAWSA convention in Portland, Oregon, in 1905.

The Woman's Elective Franchise Association was founded in 1894, with Lucy as a charter member. She paid $25 for a state life membership, and served as president for three years and first vice-president from 1915-1916.

Beginning in 1895, women were permitted to be elected to Ohio school boards. Lucy was elected three times as a member of the Deer Creek Township Board of Education. She served 16 years on the board and was president for four years. That same year, Governor William McKinley appointed her as a delegate to the Atlanta, Georgia Exposition, where she represented the Woman's Club of London to the convention of the General Federation of Woman's Clubs.

Lucy and her daughter Mary were active in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary was the first organizing regent of the London chapter in 1908, and Lucy was a charter member and later regent.

"Too high praise cannot be given to this lady for her generous benevolence to this and every other good cause," said a fellow suffragist in 1915.


American Duroc-Jersey Record, Volume XXV American Duroc-Jersey Swine Breeders' Association, Thorntown, Indiana, February 1908. Accessible at

History of Madison County, Ohio: Its People, Industries and Institutions, with Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, Chester Edwin Bryan. Windmill Publications, Madison County, Ohio, 1915. Accessible at

Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association Held in Washington, D.C., January 16, 17, 18, 19, 1893. Edited by Harriet Taylor Upton. Stormont & Jackson, Washington, D.C., 1893. Accessible at

Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth Continental Congress of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C., April 17-22, 2016. The Carey Printing Company, 1916. Accessible at

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