Biographical Sketch of Alice Judah Clark(e)

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Alice Judah Clark(e), 1837-1915

By Linda J. Dunn, retired Information Specialist

Early activist in the Suffrage movement

Alice Judah Clark was born in Vincennes, Indiana, 28 Apr 1837, and died in the same city, 5 Dec 1915. Her parents were Samuel B. Judah, born in New Jersey, and Harriet E. Brandon, born in Piqua, Ohio. Alice was an ardent worker in the cause for many years, whose name appeared twice on the roll of contributors of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She donated $5.00 in 1893 and the same amount in 1904. She was a member of the Vincennes W.C.T.U. and was elected the Franchise Superintendent in 1891. She was a founding member of the Fortnightly Club in Vincennes, which incorporated in 1901. After the club joined the Indiana Federation of Women's Clubs, she was elected a delegate to the convention held in 1905, was involved in preparation for the Vincennes group hosting the event, and gave the opening speech that followed the mayor's welcome. In 1910, she founded a Woman's School League in Vincennes, which was part of the organization that grew into the Indiana Franchise League. Her group grew to thirty-five members within the first year. In February, 1911, she arranged for her niece, Harriet Noble, a director of the School League, to address the public at the courthouse and explain the municipal suffrage bill which was then before the legislature. In June, 1914, she attended the quarterly conference in Logansport where plans for the coming three months were discussed by the Indiana Equal Suffrage Association at the home of the president, Mrs. Anna D. Noland.

Alice was one of ten children, of whom six survived childhood. Her father, Samuel, was widely recognized as one of the early leaders in Indiana. Samuel graduated from Rutgers University (then known as Queen's College) in 1816 and is noted for being the school's first Jewish graduate. He served multiple terms in the house of Representatives in addition to being US attorney for Indiana. He also had a distinguished legal career that included representing cases before both the Indiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Her mother's family moved to Corydon, Indiana in 1816 where her grandfather, Armstrong Brandon, was a US. Postmaster, State Printer, and Editor of the Indiana Gazette.

On May 20, 1863, Alice married Franklin Clark, a machinist who had relocated from New York to Vincennes. He died April 11, 1900 after a long illness. He was a partner in business with Alice's brother-in-law, John Mantle, and later owned the Prospect Hill coal mines. He was also active in civics and a member of the city council for a number of years. They had three children: Miriam, (died in childhood); Franklin Jr. (died before 1900 after the birth of his daughter); and Armstrong Brandon (married Mabel Purcell and died without issue). Alice has no known living descendants and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, Vincennes, Indiana.

Image below: Indianapolis News, January 10, 1903, p. 26.

 

SOURCES:

A Biographical History of Eminent and Self-made Men of the State of Indiana, Western Biographical Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1880, p. 61.

Vincennes Daily Commercial, May 26, 1884, p.3.

Indianapolis Star, Jan 7, 1912, p. 46.

Vincennes Commercial, May 17, 1891, p. 4.

Western Sun, May 30, 1884, p.1

Indianapolis Journal, Nov 26, 1895, p.3

Western Sun, April 18, 1900, p. 5.

Indianapolis Star, Apr 4, 1912, p. 47

Fort Wayne Sentinel, Oct 19, 1912, p.6.

The Vincennes Commercial, Nov 16, 1910, p. 4.

The Vincennes Morning Commercial, Feb 8, 1911, p.4.

Western Sun, March 22, 1912, p. 3.

Ancestry.com: Knox County, Indiana; Index to Marriage Record 1854 - 1920 Inclusive Vol, W. P. A. Original Record Located: County Clerk's O; Book: F-; Page: 294

Vincennes Commercial, April 3, 1894, p. 3.

Ancestry.com. Indiana, WPA Death Index, 1882-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004

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