Biographical Sketch of Jessie McMillan Stroup

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Jessie McMillan Stroup, 1878-1967

By Jennifer Eltringham, librarian, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Activist; Politician; Educator

Jessie McMillan was born in October 1878 to William W. McMillan, a clergyman, and his wife Mary. Jessie's first profession was school teacher, first in her hometown of Olathe, Kansas and later in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1902, McMillan resigned as a public school teacher and married Andrew B. Stroup, the superintendent of schools in Albuquerque. For the next several years, Jessie was civically involved, serving as secretary of the Albuquerque Library Commission, working with the Non-Sectarian Benevolent Society, and even attending the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Jessie became involved with the suffrage movement in 1917 when she was selected as Chairman of the New Mexico Suffrage League. However, she did not stop her activism there and was also secretary of the Bernalillo County Women's Auxiliary to the New Mexico Council of Defense, organized a book and magazine drive for soldiers at Camp Deming, participated in a Liberty Loan Drive, and served as a member of the local YWCA's Cafeteria Committee, serving meals to those in need.

After New Mexico ratified the 19th Amendment in 1920, Jessie continued to be politically active, becoming the County Chairman of Republican Women. In this role, she led an effort to get women more active in politics, forming non-partisan and bipartisan clubs for educating women on politics and civics. During this time she also attended the National Women's Suffrage Convention in Chicago and supported the successful campaign of New Mexico Senator Holm O. Bursum. In addition to her political responsibilities, Jessie served on the Girls' Welfare Board and was involved in many social pursuits. As chair of the Literary division of the Albuquerque Woman's Club and a member of the Tuesday Literary Club in Albuquerque, she presented lectures on the “Oral Interpretation of Literature” as well as Shakespeare and Milton.

Sometime before 1930, Jessie and Andrew Stroup moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Andrew Stroup died in 1936. Jessie continued to be civically and politically active until the end of her life, serving as both secretary and treasurer of North Carolina's Human Betterment League, a eugenicist organization that supported the sterilization of the poor and mentally ill and is now considered a dark chapter in North Carolina's history.

Jessie passed away on December 5, 1967. At the time of her death, her occupation was listed as “Librarian.” She was buried in the Salem Cemetery of Winston-Salem, NC.

Sources:

“Benevolent Society Supplied Provisions.” Albuquerque citizen. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 26 Nov. 1908. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020616/1908-11-26/ed-1/seq-3/>

“Betterment League Re-Elects President.” Lumberton Robesonian (North Carolina), 18 Nov 1952. Newspaper Archive, Heritage Archives, Ltd.

“Clubs.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 09 Oct. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1921-10-09/ed-1/seq-11/>

“Have You a Book to Give to the Soldiers?” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 30 Sept. 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1917-09-30/ed-1/seq-10/>

Jessie McMillan Stroup (1878-1967), Find A Grave Memorial no. 193946355 (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 March 2019).

Las Vegas daily optic. (Las Vegas, N.M.), 24 May 1904. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063592/1904-05-24/ed-1/seq-8/>

“Library Commission.” Albuquerque daily citizen. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 15 May 1903. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020613/1903-05-15/ed-1/seq-1/>

“Local Items.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 18 May 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1920-05-18/ed-1/seq-8/>

“Local Paragraphs.” Albuquerque daily citizen. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 05 Aug. 1902. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020613/1902-08-05/ed-1/seq-8/>

“New Appointments to State Boards Made by Governor Mechem.” The Spanish American. [volume] (Roy, Mora Co., N.M.), 05 Feb. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92061524/1921-02-05/ed-1/seq-1/>

"North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FP3G-GQ2 : 17 July 2017), Jessie Mcmillan Stroup, 05 Dec 1967; citing High Point, Guilford, North Carolina, v 40A cn 40127, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,983,193.

“Politics Will Be Studied By Women's Clubs.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 23 Sept. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1920-09-23/ed-1/seq-5/>

“Remembered by Pupils.” Albuquerque weekly citizen. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 01 Feb. 1902. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92070464/1902-02-01/ed-1/seq-1/>

Tabor City tribune. (Tabor City, N.C.), 12 Dec. 1947. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn91068761/1947-12-12/ed-1/seq-3/>

“To the Women Voters of New Mexico.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 18 Sept. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1921-09-18/ed-1/seq-19/>

“Tuesday Literary Club,” and “Albuquerque Woman's Club.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 11 Sept. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1921-09-11/ed-1/seq-14/>

"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MM2B-J85 : accessed 29 March 2019), Jessie Mcmillan, Precincts 8, 35 Los Griegos, Los Duranes, Bernalillo, New Mexico Territory, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 7, sheet 1A, family 8, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,999.

"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4VL-3ZF : accessed 29 March 2019), Jessie M Stroup in household of Andrew B Stroup, Albuquerque Ward 3, Bernalillo, New Mexico, United States; citing ED 19, sheet 1B, line 67, family 18, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1074; FHL microfilm 1,821,074.

"United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X3SB-T4V : accessed 29 March 2019), Jessie M Stroup in household of Andrew B Stroup, Winston-Salem, Forsyth, North Carolina, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 57, sheet 5A, line 1, family 92, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1690; FHL microfilm 2,341,424.

“Where Women's Organizations Will Meet and Programs of Meetings.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 11 Oct. 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1917-10-11/ed-1/seq-1/>

“Will Teach Olathe's Children.” The Topeka state journal. (Topeka, Kan.), 24 May 1899. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016014/1899-05-24/ed-1/seq-4/>

“Women Aid Bursum.” Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.), 23 Sept. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1921-09-23/ed-1/seq-12/>

“Women Help Liberty Loan Drive.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 14 April 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1918-04-14/ed-1/seq-14/>

“Women of County Organize to Aid Defense Council.” Albuquerque morning journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.), 25 May 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031081/1917-05-25/ed-1/seq-4/>

back to top