Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Kate Hughes, 1854-1921

By Emma Ward, student, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Kate Hughes, nee Catherine Matteson, was born to a family in Bellevue, Michigan, on January 2nd, 1854. She grew up and continued to live in Michigan until her marriage to the Reverend John Hughes in 1880. Following her marriage, she moved to her new husband's home in Table Grove, Illinois.

After arriving in Illinois, Hughes became invested and active in the women's suffrage movement. She served many roles, including being the elected president of the 1902 and 1903 conventions sponsored by the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association. Hughes is also mentioned in several publications as being in connection with other demonstrations, such as an organized automobile tour through the state of Illinois, which traveled up the North Shore before looping West and then back South, and meetings sponsored by the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association. Records of Hughes' accomplishments and activism are included in not only feminist and political publications, but also in mainstream news sources such as the New York Times.

Kate Hughes remained active until her death in September of 1921. She is buried in Battle Creek, Michigan.


Chamberlain, Henry Barrett. The Voter (January, 1913). Google Books,

La Follette's Weekly Magazine. Vol. 2 (1910). HathiTrust,

The Public, Vol. 13 (1910)." Google Books,

Weatherford, Doris. Women in American Politics: History and Milestones. SAGE, 2012.

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