Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mary Louise Taylor, 1858-1940
By Madison Cullinan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Mary Louise Taylor (who went by Louise) was born on March 2, 1858 in New York City. Her parents were William Taylor and Mary Leigh. She had a younger brother and sister. Her father opened the International Hotel on Franklin Street in New York City and later became the proprietor of the Hotel St. Denis.
In 1883, Louise Taylor married John Lindsay McCutcheon, a lawyer, a master chess player, and a member of one of the most prominent families in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Louise moved to Pittsburgh the same year she was married to live with him and they had four children. One of their children died in infancy and another died in his teens. Her two surviving daughters, Elsie and Louise Jr., were two years apart in age. John McCutcheon died on July 16, 1905 after they had been married for 22 years. He was only 48 years old at the time. After his death, Louise lived with her two daughters and her older daughter's husband. Sometime between 1911 and 1915, she moved from Pittsburgh to Manhattan, New York, perhaps because of the death of her father, William Taylor, in 1913.
Louise McCutcheon's first recorded involvement with the woman suffrage movement was in 1911, when she was listed as a delegate from Pennsylvania at the forty-third annual National Woman Suffrage convention. After her move from Pennsylvania to New York, McCutcheon took on an active role in the suffrage movement. She was the chairman of the New York City Woman Suffrage Party Ways and Means Committee in 1915. In this year, she also served as one of the New York Suffrage Party's delegates to the forty-seventh National Woman Suffrage convention.
As the chairman of the Party's Ways and Means committee again in 1916, McCutcheon was quoted in The Woman Voter discussing how much work had been put into preparing a convention. In 1916 she again served as a delegate for the New York Woman Suffrage Party at the forty-eighth National Woman Suffrage convention. In 1917, she acted as the secretary to Miss. Helen H. Hill in Manhattan as part of the leadership of the Woman Suffrage Party. After that, she seems to disappear from the written record of the suffragists.
In 1924, Louise McCutcheon was listed as a New York voter, able to practice her right to vote after the Nineteenth Amendment was passed. She continued to live in New York City as a homemaker until sometime between 1935 and 1940, when she moved back to Pennsylvania to live with her daughter, Elsie, and her husband. She died on September 18, 1940 in Moon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
It's unclear which woman in the picture is Louise McCutcheon, but it is titled “Mrs. McCutcheon.” She would have been about 56 at the time this was taken (1914). Courtesy of Library of Congress.
McCutcheon Family Tree. <https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/119599745/family?fpid=290185107598>. [29 March 2018].
Patterson, Hannah. 1916. The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Proceedings of the Forty-Eighth Annual Convention. New York: National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company, Inc.
Shaw, Anna Howard, Catherine Waugh McCullouch, Kate M. Gordon, Mary Ware Dennett, Ella S. Stewart, Jessie Ashley, Laura Clay, and Alice Stone Blackwell. 1911. Forty-third Annual Report of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association. New York: National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company, Inc.
Shaw, Anna Howard, Jane Addams, Charlotte Anita Whitney, Mary Ware Dennett, Susan Walker Fitzgerald, Katherine Dexter McCormick, Harriet Burton Laidlaw, and Louise Dekoven Bowen. 1913. Forty-fifth Annual Report of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association. New York: National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company, Inc.
Sterling, Adaline. “The Woman Suffrage Party of New York City.” The Woman Voter. May 1916, 23, 25.
“Delegates Present at Convention.” In The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Proceedings of the Forty-Seventh Annual Convention edited by Susan W. Fitzgerald, pages 209-15. New York: National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company, 1915.
“J. L. McCutcheon Selected.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 8 February 1897, 12.
“John L. McCutcheon Dead.” The New York Times, 17 July 1905, 7.
“William Taylor Dead.” The New York Times, 28 March 1913, 8.