Biographical Sketch of Alice Foster McCulloch

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Alice Foster McCulloch, 1884-1970

By Linda J. Dunn, retired Information Specialist

Socialite, Community Activist, and Suffragist

Alice Harrison Foster was born 21 Dec 1884 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her parents were Samuel Monell Foster (born in New York) and Margaret Harrison (born in Canada). Samuel was a driving force in the economic and civic development of Fort Wayne. Margaret was active in several community organizations and a trustee of the Allen County Orphans' Home. Alice was a delegate to the 1912 biennial convention of the National Federation of Women's Clubs in San Francisco. In 1914, she was Chairman of the Civics Department of the Woman's League of Fort Wayne, served on state committees in 1917, and was state chairman for the Woman's Liberty Loan program for the second, third, and fourth campaigns. She was elected second vice-president of the Franchise League of Indiana and chairman of the membership and petition committee in 1919. From 1919 through 1920, she lobbied state legislators to vote for ratification.

After Alice graduated from Smith University, her parents took her on a cruise through the West Indies followed by a tour through Europe the following fall before she married Fred McCulloch in 1907. Their daughter, Betty, was born in 1908. By 1912, Alice was a member and often an officer in several clubs and organizations as well as Treasurer for the Woman's Hope Hospital Committee. In October 1912, she gave a report at the first meeting of the Woman's League and she was in charge of decorating for the state woman's club convention, which was held in Fort Wayne in late October, 1912. During this meeting, local club women “demonstrated an unwavering support for suffrage”. The Fort Wayne Sentinel that year listed her as one of fifteen women noted for their progressive efforts.

Her work for healthier living conditions led to her being widely known as “The Fly Lady” in 1913 as she initiated a clean-up day in Fort Wayne and traveled widely over the next several months to encourage them to clean up their communities despite illness and an eventual operation for appendicitis in 1915. In 1917, she traveled frequently for the Liberty Loan program.

In 1918, she was President of the local Women's Franchise League, in charge of membership and petitions for the Allen County Franchise League, and hosted the county convention at her home. She also spoke at the Women's Parade 30 Mar 1918 and attended the annual convention of the Woman's Franchise League of Indiana.

In March, 1919, Alice spoke to the Fifth Annual Convention of the 11th District on “Needs in Suffrage Work”. She also became State Chairman of the Women's Democratic Party and moved to Indianapolis for the duration of the election campaign and was also a delegate at large to the National Democratic Convention.

After the ratification, Alice was President of the Indiana League of Women Voters in 1923 before remarrying and later moving to California. She died as Mrs. Alice Foster Hill, widow of attorney Julius Hill.

 

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, May 18, 1912, p.7.

SOURCES:

The Indianapolis News, Obituary: Ft. Wayne Park Donor, 83, Dead. April 5, 1935, P. 10

The Fort Wayne News, Society. Jan 26, 1907, p.2.

The Fort Wayne News, Society. Feb 18, 1907, p.2.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Women's Work for Progressive Fort Wayne. Feb 18, 1912, p. 7.

The First Wayne Sentinel, Society. Jun 17, 192, p. 6.

The Fort Wayne News, Society. Jul 26, 1912, p.2.

The Fort Wayne Gazette, Colonel Foster Addresses Woman's League. Mar 8, 1914, p. 15.

The Huntington Herald, Mrs. M'Culloch to Speak Wednesday. Mar 31, 1914, p. 1.

The Huntington Herald, Will Ask Ordinance For Removing Trash. April 2, 1914, p. 1.

The Fort Wayne News, Operated on for Appendicitis. Jan 16, 1915, p. 11.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, All is Ready For the Mrs. Gibson Meeting. Mar 29, 1918, p.22.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Nominations are Made by Women's Club Federation. Nov 20, 1918, p.9.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Franchise League. 07 Feb 1919, p.14.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne Woman Heads Democratic State Body. Jun 21, 1919, p.11.

The Indianapolis News, Women Waiting for Two More Senators, Jan 13, 1920, p.1.

The Los Angeles Times, Rites Today for Mrs. Hill, Jan 14, 1970, p.5.

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