Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Emma Whitley Newberry, 1852-1919

By Raina Kellerman Egan, Independent Historian & Lisa Hendrickson, Independent Historian

Emma W. Whitley, born in October 1852, grew up in Jersey City, NJ. In April of 1893 she married Andrew J. Newberry and had a daughter Helen. After her marriage she and her husband continued living in Jersey City. Andrew was a member and assistant treasurer of the Free Masons Lodge 74 in Jersey City. By 1910 they had moved to Richmond, NY.

She was founder of the Woman's Club of Jersey City and served as President of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs (NJSFWC) from 1904 to 1906. At the time she took over the NJSFWC presidency, there were 104 clubs with approximately 1100 members. The NJSFWC worked to improve lives in communities with committees focused on Education (libraries & schools), Legislation (state & national), Advocacy (animal rights), Reciprocity (sharing of information & history), Community Betterment (improving public areas), Sociology (social welfare issues), and Practical work (home skills), Mrs. Newberry's objective for the Federation was "To bring the women's clubs of the state into communication for acquaintance and mutual helpfulness." She was one of the hostesses of the NJFWC state convention held at the public library in Jersey City in 1904. At this convention, Minola Sexton gave a presentation on woman suffrage. Mrs. Newberry was apparently deceased by the spring of 1920, because she was memorialized at a gathering that May.


Ida Husted Harper. The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 6, p. 414. [LINK]

Proceedings of the Annual Eighty-fourth Annual Communication of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of New Jersey, Volume 84, (1871), page 531.

"State Club Women Assemble at Passaic," The Courier-News, 01 June 1905, p. 3.

"State Federation Session Opens with the Presence of Distinguished Guests," Asbury Park Press, 13 May 1920, p. 1.
1905 New Jersey State Census, 3rd District, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey
1910 Federal Census
1915 New York State Census
NJ Marriage Records

A Century of Challenge, the NJFWC's First Hundred Years, pp. 87-91.

Photo Credit:


Picture of Emma W. Newberry courtesy of NJFWC A Century of Challenge, the NJFWC's First Hundred Years, pages 87. Top of Form

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