Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragist, 1890 – 1920
Biography of Judith Weill Loewenthal, 1883-1966
By Julia Flynn, Researcher, Evanston History Center, Evanston, Illinois and Nura Aluss, Student, Harry S Truman College City College of Chicago, Chicago Illinois.
Officer, Chicago and Illinois Suffragist Association, South Side Parent Teacher Association, Chicago Political Equality League, Hull House, Activist, Politician.
Judith Weill was born November 26, 1883 in Chicago, Illinois to Maurice Weill and Melanie Weill. She was educated in Chicago, studying Sociology at the University of Chicago. She married Edward Loewenthal at the Lakeside Club, 17 January 1904 in Chicago. They had a daughter, Melanie (1908-2004). Weill Loewenthal died on January 21, 1966 at the age of 82.
Before Judith married, in 1902 she worked at Hull House in the Near West Side of Chicago and was the director of two afternoon clubs for children, the LaSalle Club for boys aged 10 to 15 and the Louisa Alcott Club for girls aged 12 to 14. As director of the clubs, Weill facilitated debates, recitals, reading and playing games with the children.
Judith Weill Loewenthal was an officer of the Chicago and Illinois Suffragist Associations and South Side Parent-Teacher Associations. She served as President of the Chicago Women's Aid Society and was a member of the Chicago Woman's Club and the Woman's City Club. She was also a Republican candidate for the Cook County Board in 1930.
Loewenthal travelled to Nashville to attend the suffrage convention in 1914. In 1914 she was also the chairman of the Study League with Miss Sophonisba Breckinridge of University of Chicago and Mrs. Stella Jannotta. For a suffrage convention on October 28, 1915, Loewenthal traveled to Washington DC to prepare plans for the effective service of 2 million suffragists in the event of war, and was also a speaker for League of Women Voters in 1920. When the suffrage amendment passed, she attended the "Victory" celebration event at the Hotel La Salle on January 20, 1919. All the members of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association and affiliated organizations were also invited to the dinner.
On March 18, 1931 the Chicago Tribune reported that Loewenthal mailed four thousand letters addressed to club women, in the majority with Jewish organizations. The letters stated reasons why Mrs. Loewenthal supported A.J. Cermak for mayor, a Democrat, although she was a Republican. Loewenthal had been a supporter of Arthur F. Albert for mayor in the primary, but immediately upon his defeat, she switched her support to Mr. Cermak. She stated in the newspaper the reasons for her decision: "I am supporting Mr. Cermak because as a citizen of Chicago I hope that we may regain our spirit of action, our moral, and our progressive and kindly industrial and social leadership before the spotlight is turned on our great world's fair. It appears self-evident that Mr. Cermak's election is essential if we are to build anew."
Evanston History Center Archives, clipping files.
Trout, Grace Wilbur. "Side Lights on Illinois Suffrage History." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984), vol. 13, no. 2, 1920, pp. 145–179. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40194491.
Chicago Tribune, 22 January 1966, Page A6, "State Leader of Suffrage Unit Dies at 82"
Chicago Daily Tribune, 18 March 1931, Page 4 "Republican Woman Tells Why She Is Supporting Cermak."
Heritage Quest (used for verifying date of birth, date of death and date of marriage)
Hull House Bulletin Vol V, No.2 Semi Annual 1902, pages 11 and 13