Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Ella Curry Boise, 1864–1948

By Lisa Eggebraaten, librarian, North Dakota State University

Activist in the Suffragette Movement

Ella Curry was born on August 31, 1864 in Boscobel, Grant County, Wisconsin. She was the eldest daughter out of 12 children. She moved to Dakota Territory, near Hope, North Dakota around 1883 with her father, Seth Curry. Ella and Seth then brought the family to Dakota in 1884. She married Charles Gilbert Boise, a newspaper man and clerk of court for Steele County, on December 14, 1886. The marriage produced six children, Katherine, Spencer, Charles, Gertrude, Phillip, and Genevieve. Ella and Charles were married until his death in 1943.

Boise was active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and became a leader for the North Dakota women's suffrage movement. Given her avid interest in public health legislation for women and children, in 1905, she became the general secretary for the Loyal Temperance Legion, the children's branch of the WCTU. A year later, in September 1906, Boise was elected the district vice president of the WCTU while living in Sherbrooke. Boise and her family moved to Fargo in 1908 and in 1910 she became the assistant secretary of the Loyal Temperance Legion. Boise was on the Legislative Committee in 1913 to lobby suffrage measures through the legislature along with Mrs. Darrow, Mrs. Fannie D. Quain, and Miss Ward. The following year she continued that work in Fargo, North Dakota with Mrs. C. F. Amidon.

She died March 3, 1948 in Pipestone County, Minnesota at age 83.


“North Dakota State Organization Plans to Hold One in Each County.” The Minneapolis Journal, October 4, 1905, Minneapolis, MN.

“The W.C.T.U. Elected Officers.” The Evening Times, September 26, 1906, Grand Forks, ND.

“W.C.T.U. for 1911 Goes for Carrington.” Bismarck Daily Tribune, October 6, 1910, Bismarck, ND.

Hope of the Prairie: 75th Anniversary, 1882-1957. p. 26, 27, & 57. Hope, ND.

Quarter Sections and Wide Horizons: A Series of Stories on Pioneer Women of North Dakota, ... by Angela Boleyn. Vol. 1. 1978. p. 83-86.

Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds., The History of Women's Suffrage. Volume 6, p. 505. [LINK]

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