Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biography of Ida Clark DePriest, 1869-1938

By Sode Smith, student at Sacred Heart Preparatory High School, Atherton, California

Ida Clark DePriest was born in 1869 in Kansas. She spent most of her life living in Colorado and was a pioneer suffragist. Her father was born in Missouri, while her mother, Mary E. Clark, was born in Kentucky. In 1891, Ida Clark married Richard K. DePriest, a painter and paperhanger from Alabama. The couple had two children, but one died shortly after birth. Her surviving son was named Claude H. DePriest. Claude later married a woman named Rose E. DePriest.

Ida C. DePriest was an active member of the Colorado women's suffrage cause, founding the Colored Women's Republican Club with Elizabeth Ensley, shortly after women were granted the right to vote in Colorado in 1893. In its initial years, this club helped campaign for and later elected, Joseph Stuart, a black lawyer, to the Colorado state legislature. In 1894, Ida DePriest also formed the National Colored Women's League of Denver. She also served as a clerk under the Colorado Secretary of State until resigning in 1909 because of racial adversity. While working in the office of the Secretary of State, Ida DePriest faced instances of racial bias under Secretary Timothy O'Connor and had to work through the adversity to elevate both her status as a colored person and as a woman. In addition to her founding multiple colored women's clubs, she worked in the office of the Election Commissioner in Denver on voter registration in 1916. Throughout these different jobs, she actively educated voters on the issues in different campaigns, through the use of parlor meetings. Although women had achieved the right to vote, not much changed about the position they held in society. Ida DePriest also created many educational and civics programs, helping to educate voters.

Ida DePriest was also an active member of the State League of Republican clubs, since she founded multiple clubs helping women become involved in the political process. She died in August 1938.


"Colorado Clubs." Colorado Weekly Chieftain, 6 June 1895, p. 6. The Denver Star, Denver. 6 May 1916.

Goldstein, Marcia Tremmel. “BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: BLACK AND WHITE WOMEN'S VISIONS OF INTEGRATION The Young Women's Christian Association in Denver and the Phyllis Wheatley Branch, 1915- 1964.” 1995. University of Denver, PhD dissertation.

"Ida DePriest in the 1910 United States Federal Census.", Operations, Accessed 26 Nov. 2018.

"A Little Man in a Big Place." Franklins Paper: The Statesman, Denver, 16 Jan. 1909.

"OUR ORGANIZATIONS." Denver Star, Denver, 26th ed., 19 Sept. 1916.

"Pierce Condemned." The Statesman, Denver, 21st ed., 24 Sept. 1910.

"Political Changes." The Statesman, Denver, 20th ed., 16 Jan. 1909.

"POLITICS!" The Statesman, Denver, 22nd ed., 29 Oct. 1910.

Walker, Carmen V. AN ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLORED WOMEN'S CLUBS 1896-1935. 2008. Clark Atlanta University, PhD dissertation.

"Whose election will be the strongest rebuke to democratic insults to our race." The Statesman, Denver, 29 Oct. 1910.

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