Biographical Sketch of Emma F. Winner Rogers

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Emma F. Winner Rogers, 1855-1922

By Gwyneth H. Crowley, Social Science Librarian, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Activist, treasurer of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and author

Emma Ferdon Winner was born on January 20, 1855 in Plainfield, New Jersey and was the daughter of Sarah J. Taylor Winner and Reverend (Methodist) John Ogden Winner. She died on March 3, 1922 in New York City.

Emma F. Winner attended the private school of Mrs. Chase (Newark, New Jersey), and graduated from the Pennington (N.J.) Seminary. In 1891, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.L. (Bachelor of Letters). She met Henry Wade Rogers while he was studying at the University of Michigan and they married on June 22, 1876 in Pennington, New Jersey. He later became Dean of the Law School of the University of Michigan (1885-1890), President of Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. (1890-1900), and Dean of the Yale University Law School (1903-1916).

Emma Rogers was politically active and interested in social reform during her entire life. While at the University of Michigan, she helped to start the Collegiate Sorosis, the first professional women's club in the United States, and was involved in the Methodist Women's Home Missionary Society.

While at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Emma Winner Rogers helped create The University Guild, to bridge the "community gap between town and gown" and became the second President. Also, she was involved with Fortnightly Club, Chicago's leading woman's club founded in 1876. In 1892, she was a co-founder of the Northwestern University Settlement, and was its President from 1894-1900.

In New Haven, Connecticut, she continued to work on social and economic issues and on women's right to vote. Her name is on a plaque in the Connecticut's state capital (Hartford) acknowledging her and other suffragists for their work. She served as the treasurer of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1914 until her death in 1922. She also served on the NAWSA Finance Committee and was among the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association delegates to the NAWSA Annual Convention in 1914. Other causes she was involved with include the New Haven's Model Housing Association, the Lowell Settlement House, the Women's Bureau of the Democratic National Committee and, during World War I, the Women's Overseas Hospitals Organization.

As a writer for political and social issues, she wrote numerous publications and a monograph titled Deaconesses in Early and Modern Church. Emma Rogers was a member of the American Economic Association from 1893-1919, at a time when social interests, including women's economic independence, were more prominent in the organization.

From reading biographical sources, Emma Rogers was thought of as a visionary, intelligent and influential among those who knew her.

PUBLICATIONS BY ROGERS:

"Contributions: The Futility of Women's Clubs," Christian Advocate, Jan 22, 1903, 78:4, p. 135.

I. Deaconess in the Early Church. II. Deaconesses in the Modern Church. Evanston: Index Company, 1891.

Journal of a Country Woman. New York: Eaton & Mains: Cincinnati: Jennings & Graham, 1912.

"Household: The Place of Pleasure in a Rational Life," Christian Advocate, May 29, 1902, 77:22. p. 871.

"Some Values of the Settlement," Christian Advocate, Sep 21, 1899, 74: 38 p. 1499.

"The Social Failure of the City," Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan 1898, p. 143-157.

"The Story of a Boy's Club," The Epworth Herald, June 2, 1906. p. 4.

"The University of Michigan," Woman's Cycle, August 7, 1899, 2:24 p. 8-9.

"Wanted- the Woman's Land Army!" Forum, May 1918, p.621-628.

"Why not complete the enfranchisement of women," New Haven Equal Franchise League Broadside and in Christian Advocate, April 3, 1913.

SOURCES:

"Emma Winner Rogers," in A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-Seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Woman in All Walks of Life. Edited Frances E. Willard and Mary A. Livermore. 1893. Buffalo: Charles Wells Moulton, 1893, p. 619. [LINK]

Handbook of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. New York City: National American Woman Suffrage Association, [1914] and [1921].

Records of the University Guild (Series 0/4/1) and Records of the Northwestern University Settlement Association (Series 41/1), Northwestern University Archives.

The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, vol 3. Edited by Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, Barbara Bair, and Maree de Angury. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2003, p. 267-268.

The University Guild, Evanston, Illinois, 1892-1962, Evanston, Ill.: The Guild, 1962, p. 5-11.

Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada (1914-1915). Edited by John William Leonard. American Commonwealth Company, 1914, p. 699. [LINK]

PHOTOGRAPH:

 

From A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-Seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Woman in All Walks of Life, p. 619.

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