Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Lulu Hubbard Marvel, 1873-1919
By Mary Hussey, Independent Historian
President of the Woman Suffrage Club of Atlantic City, Vice President of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association
Lulu Hubbard Marvel born around 1873 near Dover, Delaware, the daughter of Emery and Margreta Marvel. She was the seventh of ten siblings, many of whom moved to Atlantic City in the early 20th century. The Marvel family was prominent in the high social circles of the seaside resort of Atlantic City. Lulu and her siblings Sarah, Joseph, Dr. Philip, Dr. Emery and their wives were regularly mentioned on various social pages for events they either attended or hosted. Lulu was a member of the National Shorthand Reporters' Association and attended its Eleventh Annual Convention. In 1910, she was elected to be the Commissioner of Deeds for the Third Ward of Atlantic City. Her sister Sarah was featured in the Philadelphia Times after receiving her law degree in 1901, only the fourth woman to join the Philadelphia Bar.
For many years Lulu was the president of the Entre Nous Club in Atlantic City, whose members were among the highest echelons of society. The Entre Nous Club hosted teas and dances, often donating proceeds to charities. One notable event was a costumed Puritan Tea Party hosted by Lulu at her home on the corner of Pacific and States Avenues.
According to one article, Atlantic City Mayor Bacharach appointed Lulu the head of the Women's Service Committee, a branch of the Home Defense Committee, during WWI. Lulu organized a group of 250 women within three days. These women then undertook a census of the 15,000 women who lived in the city, and listed their ages, financial circumstances, and particular skills, among other statistics. This enormous endeavor took a little over two weeks to complete, and little more than that to coordinate the information gathered. The purpose of this type of census was to have a list of names to call upon should a position in the city need filling if most of the male workers were called to war.
Lulu was clearly a leader, having held numerous president and vice-president positions in both social and suffrage organizations, as mentioned in various newspapers from 1900-1917:
Chairman of the Atlantic City Women's Defense Council; Chairman of the General Committee, Atlantic City Woman's Suffrage Club; Chairman of the Second District at Congress on Congressional Work, Newark; President of the Suffrage League, Atlantic City; Social Secretary of Atlantic City Yacht Club; President of Entre Nous Club since 1899; Commissioner of Deeds for the Third Ward, Atlantic City; and a member of the Women's Services Committee.
As in other aspects of her life, she was a leader in her local suffrage organizations. She was president of the Woman Suffrage Club of Atlantic City and in 1915 attended a reception in honor of the first suffrage automobile tour held in New Jersey. She was appointed the chairman of the Second District (of 12 in total) of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association (NJWSA) and attended the Conference on Congressional work held on February 25, 1916. The focus of the meeting was to present an NJWSA plan for bringing pressure to bear upon the New Jersey Senators and Congressman urging them to assist in securing the passage of the “Susan B. Anthony” amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At the 1917 NJWSA annual convention held in Atlantic City, she was elected one of the Vice Presidents.
Lulu died on March 27, 1919, at her brother, Joseph's home in Atlantic City after an illness of several months.
“Another Woman to Practice Law Here,” The Philadelphia Times, March 20, 1901, page 4.
“Bernhardt Receives Key of Atlantic City,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 27, 1917, page 20.
“Final Views on Jersey Suffrage Show Doubt,” The Sun, Oct. 18, 1915, page 5. (New York)
“Jersey Suffrage Campaign Will Open in Atlantic City,” Evening Public Ledger, April 1, 1915, page 7. (Phila.)
“Jersey Women Assail Legislators as Rude,” Philadelphia Evening Ledger, March 22, 1917, page 17.
“Suffrage Auto Campaign Begins on April 29th,” The Daily Home News (New Brunswick), April 22, 1915, pg. 9.
“Mrs. Stevens to Attend Conference of Suffrage Asso.,” The New Brunswick Times, February 25, 1916, pg. 2.
“Miss Lulu H. Marvel Dead,” The News Journal, March 29, 1919, page 7. (Wilmington, DE.)
“Miss Lulu H. Marvel's Great War Work,” Asheville Citizen-Times, March 3, 1918, page 11.
“Mrs. Stevens to Attend Conference of Suffrage Asso.,” New Brunswick Times, February 25, 1916, page 2.
“On the Boardwalk: Many Enjoying Winter Sojourn at Atlantic City,” New York Tribune, January 9, 1910, page 3.
“A Puritan Tea Party,” The Philadelphia Times, November 28, 1900, page10.
“Shore Outlook Bright,” Philadelphia Evening Ledger, Oct 16, 1915, page 4.
“Shore Social Leaders in Suffrage Canvas,” Evening Public Ledger, May 18, 1915, page 14. (Phila.)
“Shorthand Reporters Would Edit Speeches,” Evening Star, August 27, 1914, page 7. (Phila.)
“Suffrage Auto Campaign Begins on April 29th,” The Daily Home News, April 22, 1915, page 9. (New Brunswick, NJ)
“Suffragists at the Shore,” Evening Public Ledger, April 30, 1915, page 4. (Phila.)
“Wedded at the Seashore,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 15, 1900, page 4.
“Wilson Autos to Shadowlawn for Autumn Stay,” The Evening World, September 9, 1916, page 2. (New York)
“Woman's Suffrage: Mayor Riddle for Suffrage,” Perth Amboy Evening News, Oct. 16, 1915, page 4.
Journal of the Sixty-sixth Senate of the State of New Jersey (Trenton, NJ: MacCrellish & Quigley, 1910), page 1013. https://books.google.com/books?id=FRwZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA91&dq=Journal+of+the+Sixty-fifth+Senate+of+the+State+of+New+Jersey:+Being+the+Session+++1910&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiLvpC8z7DdAhUnhOAKHbyuBUAQ6AEINTAC#v=onepage&q=Lulu%20Marvel&f=false
US Census 1880, Kent County, DE. Ancestry.com
US Census 1900, Atlantic City. FamilySearch.com
Photograph of Lulu Marvel from the Evening Public Ledger, February 1, 1918, page 4. (Philadelphia)