Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mabel Hansen Guise, 1885-1963
By Cierra Orlyk, Undergraduate, SUNY Oneonta
Mabel Hansen Guise was born February 19, 1885 in Kasson, Minnesota to John A. Hansen and Nellie Scherlie. Her parents were of Norwegian and Swedish descent. She moved to Kenyon, Minnesota when she was young, where she graduated from Kenyon High School in 1902. She married John Milton Guise of Long Lake, Minnesota on June 17, 1903. The two moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1907. She attended Columbia University in 1910.
Guise joined the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association and served as state organizer. She was active in local St. Paul clubs, including the Schubert Club, the Woman's Welfare League, serving as secretary, the Ramsey County Suffrage Association, also serving as secretary, and, eventually, the Minnesota League of Women Voters, an organization she directed. In 1918, Guise and two other women were appointed as organizers to obtain signatures in over 480 Minnesota towns for women's suffrage. For the 26th annual meeting of the Federation of Women's Clubs, Guise secured Mayor L. C. Hodgson of St. Paul to speak for her legislation department. In 1921, she became chair of the department of legislation for the Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs. That year she spoke at the Midwinter Conference of Minnesota Women's Clubs. At the annual convention of the Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs, she presented the report of the legislative committee. Guise was a member of the lobby that got women into juries and advocated for the fifty-four- hour work week for women, the carnival bill, and a street trades law.
During World War I, Guise worked in the Red Cross suffrage unit, and continued her involvement in Minnesota suffrage organizations. In 1921, she introduced W. I. Nolan, speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, at an event of the Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs. She outlined the state of the department of legislation of the organization and noted the importance of having women in legislation. The same year, she spoke at the Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs in support of a bill for a family court. In 1930, she served as a representative for her congressional district at the Faribault Meeting for the State League of Women Voters, where she would discuss government efficiency, educational measures, and a proposed amendment concerning marriage.
Guise eventually moved to Los Angeles, California, where she died on October 28, 1963.
“Association Will Discuss 1921 Program at Two Days' Session,” Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, February 13, 1921, 11; Mary Dillon Foster, Who's Who Among Minnesota Women. St. Paul, 1924, 124; Ida Husted Harper, History of Woman Suffrage vol. 6 (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 333; Lee Keedick, Official Register and Directory of Women's Clubs in America (1922), 104; “Kenyon,” Fairbault Weekly Journal, April 16, 1919, 2; “Kenyon,” Fairbault Weekly Journal, May 2, 1917, 3; “Local and Personal,” Harmony News, October 24, 1918, 5; “Minnesota Federated Clubs Close Brilliant Convention.” Northfield News, September 10, 1920, 5; “National American Woman Suffrage Association,” Handbook of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, edited by Justina Leavitt Wilson, vol. 50 (National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company, Inc., 1919), 276; “Nolan Tells of Changes Up to Lawmakers,” Daily People's Press, October 6, 1921, 3; “Owatonna to Be Host to Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs,” Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, October 2, 1921, 15; Ries, Geo J. Financial Statement of Ramsey County, Minnesota. Ramsey County, 1931; “Search for a Marriage Certificate,” Minnesota Official Marriage System, https://www.moms.mn.gov/Search?S=1 (Accessed October 30, 2018); “Society and Woman's World,” People's Press, July 19, 1912, 10; “State Club Women Coming Next Week,” Northfield News, August 27, 1920, 3; State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Ancestry.com (accessed Nov. 27, 2018); “State Federation Meeting of Unusual Importance Say Duluth Woman Who Attended,” Duluth Herald, February 21, 1921, 10; “State League Women Voters Will Assemble,” Evening Tribune, Minnesota, October 10, 1930, 4; Barbara Stuhler, Gentle Warriors: Clara Ueland and the Minnesota Struggle for Woman Suffrage (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1995), 282, 284; The Dual City Blue Book (R. L. Polk & Co., 1917), 117; “Voter's League Frames Program for Legislation,” Duluth Herald, May 23, 1922, 9; “Wayzata and North Shore,” Minneapolis Journal, June 24, 1906, 7. She is represented in the papers of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association http://www.lexisnexis.com/documents/academic/upa_cis/10850_GrWOMinnWomenSuffrage.pdf (accessed December 15, 2018).
Photo is from “Convention of National League of Women Voters Attract Attention of Nation,” Star Tribune, April 10, 1921, 74.