Biographical Sketch of Nellie S. Scoville

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Mrs. Nellie S. Scoville, 1872-1937

By Hailey Hoyt, Undergraduate, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Member of California State Equal Suffrage Association, Board Member of the California State Equal Suffrage Association, Secretary of the California State Equal Suffrage Association

Mrs. Nellie S. Scoville was born in England around 1872. She and her family immigrated to the United States in 1880. Soon after her arrival, 19-year-old Nellie married 20-year-old William Scoville of Michigan, and the two quickly settled in San Francisco, California. William was a printer and Nellie was a stay-at-home wife which lent her plenty of time to participate in the suffrage movement. She passed away in Los Angeles in 1937.

Mrs. Nellie S. Scoville was a member of the California State Equal Suffrage Association and served as a board member for the Association beginning in 1902. Scoville was inspired by the annual suffrage convention that took place in San Francisco on October 24-25 in 1902. The President of the National American Suffrage Association, Carrie Chapman Catt, rallied the California suffrage clubs after the 1896 legislative defeat. The convention proved effective; eighteen new suffrage clubs were registered in California and many regular members volunteered to take on larger, leadership positions within the organization. Scoville served as the secretary for the California State Equal Suffrage Association and her reports are cited in the Thirty-ninth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Sources:

Proceedings of the Thirty-ninth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Warren, OH: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1907.

Stanton, Elizabeth C., Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Gage, Harriot S. Blatch, and Ida H. Harper. A Complete History of the Suffragette Movement. Musaicum Books, 2017.

Western Woman. Vol. 1. Western Woman Pub., 1907.

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