Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Helen Sophia Shaw Harrold, 1878-1960

By: Michelle Schabowski, Archivist, Physician Assistants Historical Society

Helen Sophia Shaw was born in Maryland on October 2, 1878, to William C. and Leonice Shaw. She married Dr. Charles Cotton Harrold in 1906, with whom she had three children. Dr. Harrold came from a wealthy family from Macon, Georgia. Besides being a general practitioner, he was also known for being a civic leader and archeologist.

In 1914, at 35 years, Helen Harrold was elected to be a member of the executive committee of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia. The following year at the state conference she was elected second vice-president of the party. She was also the first woman to be elected to a post on the Macon City Council, and her campaign speech in 1921 made the local news due to the large turnout of local women.

After Charles Harrold's death in 1948, Helen Harrold decided to part with the land he purchased in the 1930s as the first ecological sanctuary in Georgia; it later became the Charles Harrold Nature Preserve. Helen Sophia Shaw Harrold died on January 4, 1960.


“Alumni Announce Head, New Office at Annual Meeting.” Red and Black (Athens, Ga.). March 24, 1933, p. 3.

Ball, Mrs. George C., ed. “Harrold-Shaw.” Society...And Woman's Interests. Atlanta Georgian. October 20, 1906, p.12.

Find a Grave. Helen Sophia Harrold. Accessed June 21, 2018.

“The first campaign speech...” Home Journal (Perry, Ga.). September 22, 1921, p.2.

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]

The National Conservancy. “Georgia: Charles Harrold Preserve.” Accessed June 21, 2018.

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