Biographical Sketch of Blanche Celia Seger

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Blanche Celia Seger, 1855 - 1924

By Troy Williams, student, University Wisconsin – Green Bay

Executive Board Committee, Winnebago City, Minnesota Women's Suffrage Association. Treasurer, Women's Club of Winnebago City.

Blanche Celia Seger (Celia B. Seger) was born in 1855 in Wisconsin to Aaron Elijah Seger (1826-1904), a farmer and eventual hardware merchant, and Louisa Seger (1826-1903), a homemaker. She was their third child out of five. Her sibling's names were Charles, Mary, Henri, and Francis. Both of her parents were originally from New England: her father was born in Vermont, and her mother in New Hampshire. The Segers would live in New York through the births of their first three children. Blanche would be the first to be born in the Midwest, when the family moved to Wisconsin. The Seger family would eventually settle permanently in Faribault County, Minnesota. Blanche lived the remainder of her life in either Verona or Winnebago City, Minnesota. Even though she was always employed, Blanche lived majority of her life as an adult with her parents, most likely until their deaths. It is also likely that she never married, nor had any children as there is no record to indicate that she did. For all public notices in Suffrage activities and Women's Organizations she was identified as “Miss Blanche Seger,” though she also often went by her middle name, Celia. Blanche would later go on to live with a young couple: Earl and Ida Kirkpatrick, and their one-year-old son, Elwood. She died in either 1924 or 1925 around the age of 69. Her will named her brother, Henri, as executor. She is buried alongside her parents and several siblings at Hillside Cemetery in Winnebago City, Faribault County, Minnesota.

Miss Blanche Seger supported women's suffrage, and was a champion of literacy. She served as an Executive Board Committee member, representing Winnebago City, in The Minnesota Women's Suffrage Association. From 1898 to 1904, she is named as an active member in the organization in local newspapers. In 1904, Blanche was named as Treasurer for Women's Club of Winnebago City. Blanche also worked as a schoolteacher, and later as a milliner. However, she would spend the majority of her life working as a librarian. From 1899 – 1922 Blanche worked as librarian for Winnebago City Public Library and as The Ladies Club Library. On announcing her death on March 26, The Library Notes & News Document (1925-1930) publically thanked her for 25 years of service. The tribute called her a founding member of The Public Library from its earliest days. When it was originally founded, the Library was identified as “a group of women.” Following her death, The Library Board also adopted a resolution of appreciation in Blanche's honor.

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