Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mary Scranton Lukens, 1849-1925
By Heather Husted, Reference Librarian, New Jersey State Library
Vice President of the New Jersey Women's Political Union in 1913
Mary Elizabeth Scranton was born February 26, 1849 in Oxford, New Jersey. She was the oldest of five children born to Charles (1822-1888) and Jane Ann (Henry) Scranton (1823-1909). In the 1840's her father and his brothers purchased and operated the Oxford Furnace in Warren County, New Jersey. Mary grew up on the grounds of the furnace at Shippen Manor, which today is an historic site. Charles, a colonel and aide-de-camp to the Governor of NJ, died in the Civil War. One of Charles brothers, George, started the Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company and founded a town which was eventually named Scranton, PA.
In 1878, Mary married Edmund Taylor Lukens (1848-1940). They were the parents of two daughters, Evangeline and Gertrude. Edmund was the operating head of the Oxford Furnace for a time and then became the real estate and tax agent of the DL & W Railroad. He was also the secretary of the Oxford Building & Loan Association.
Mary was a member of the New Jersey chapter of the Women's Political Union and attended the June 1913 New Jersey state conference, where she was elected vice president.
"In June 1913, the Women's Political Union held its first state conference and the following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Van Winkle; vice-presidents, Miss Julia S. Hurlbut, '''Mrs. E. T. Lukens,''' Mrs. H. R. Reed, Mrs. W. H. Gardner, Miss Edna Wyckoff, Mrs. R. T. Newton, Miss Louise Antrim, Mrs. Carl Vail, Miss Louise Connolly... This was the only state-wide conference held until after the referendum election in 1915 and these officers continued to serve."
No further records of Mary's involvement in suffrage have yet been located. Mary Elizabeth Scranton Lukens died September 23, 1925 in Oxford, New Jersey. She is buried in Belvidere Cemetery, Belvidere, New Jersey.
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Ida Husted Harper, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Susan B. Anthony, History of Woman Suffrage, (New York: Fowler & Wells, 1881), volume 6, p. 421. [LINK]
“Mrs. Edmund Taylor Lukens,” The Swarthmore News, October 2, 1925.
"Edmund Taylor Lukens, Real Estate and Tax Agent of D. L. & W. for 34 Years," New York Times, September 18, 1940, p. 31.
“Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Scranton Lukens.” Applicant #49578. Lineage Book of the Charter Members of the DAR Vol 50, p. 254
US Census, 1860, Oxford, Warren, New Jersey—FamilySearch.com
US Census, 1870, Oxford, Warren, New Jersey—FamilySearch.com
US Census, 1880, Oxford, Warren, New Jersey—FamilySearch.com
NJ State Census, 1885, Oxford, Warren, New Jersey—FamilySearch.com
NJ State Census, 1895, Oxford, Warren, New Jersey—FamilySearch.com
US Census, 1900, Oxford, Warren, New Jersey—FamilySearch.com
NJ State Census, 1905, Oxford, Warren, New Jersey—FamilySearch.com
Kathryn Ptacek, “The Oxford Furnace Incident,” Skylands Visitor, http://www.njskylands.com/hsoxfordfurnace