Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Adell Gill Helmer, 1854-1929
By Ashley Edwards, Middle Georgia State University, Macon, GA
Chairman, Fulton County Suffrage Association
Adell Gill was born in 1854 to Hugh Gill and Mary Gill and was originally from New York. In 1879, she married James H. Helmer, and they had children five children, Lillian, Mabel, Claud, Violet, and Harry.
Adell Gill Helmer was the chair of the Fulton County Suffrage Association. In the report of the Committee on Education in 1911, Helmer was pointed out specifically by Pauline Steinem as one “among others who have stood by a cause which it requires courage to advocate in this state.” Helmer was also an auditor for the League of Women Party in Georgia and became president of a local branch in 1915.
Helmer was passionate about teaching children about plant pathology and textiles. She believed teaching children about nature was the best way to foster gender equality. She offered schools and homeschools a chance to purchase a “A Study in Cotton,” in which, for a dollar, would include a mature bale, box of seed, box of seed hulls, box of seed meal, cotton flower photograph, cotton leaf and green boll photograph, vial of crude oil, vial of refined oil, natural ripe boll, and some loose rocks.
Helmer was friends with E.C. Buchanan, the chair of the Democratic Executive Committee. Both of them, along with Mrs. Charles Goodman and Mrs. Emily McDougald, canvassed the Democratic Executive Committee and were able to get 4,000 women to vote in the 1920 Atlanta citywide election.
Adell Gill Helmer passed away in 1929 and is buried at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.
Find a Grave. Adell Gill Helmer. Accessed June 25, 2018. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/106884743/adell-gill-helmer.
Harper, Ida Husted, ed. “Georgia.” Chapter X in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920, 121-143. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922. [LINK]
Helmer, Adell Gill. Advertisement (back cover). Nature-Study Review 6, no. 5. May 1910. InternetArchive.
Steinem, Pauline. “Report on the Committee on Education.” In The Forty-Third Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Given at the Convention Held at Louisville, Ky., October 19-25, pp. 49-53. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1912. GoogleBooks.
“Within the Organization: Who Was...In St. Louis.” The Woman Citizen, New Style vol. 3, no. 44. March 29, 1919, pp. 922-23. GoogleBooks.