Biographical Sketch of Sarah M. Siewers

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Dr. Sarah M. Siewers, 1855-1926

By Cassandra Hurst, MA Public History, and Julie Ashton, MA Public History

Founded the Equal Rights Club of Newport (Campbell County Equal Rights Association); Member of the Twentieth Century Club of Cincinnati; President of the Susan B. Anthony Club; Member of the New Century Club; 1910 Congressional Candidate; Nominee for the West-End ward for the Cincinnati Board of Education in 1911.

Dr. Sarah M. Siewers was born on March 1, 1855 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Charles G. and Rebecca Siewers (née Carpenter). When Sarah was young, her family moved to Kentucky, where later she graduated from and taught at Newport High School. During her time as a teacher, Sarah began attending lectures on chemistry and physiology at the Eclectic College of Medicine, in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a means to enhance her ability to educate her students. During those lectures, Sarah realized her affinity for medicine and subsequently enrolled at the Eclectic College of Medicine in order to pursue a medical degree. Graduating in 1891, she went on to pursue her postgraduate work at the Cincinnati City Hospital and the Ohio Hospital for Women and Children, where she largely tended to underserved members of the population. Sarah never married, instead she chose to continue to pursue her medical career and focus a large portion of her time and energy on efforts to advance the cause of women and children, in all areas of life. She died at her Massillon, Ohio home on April 22, 1926.

During the 1890s, Dr. Sarah Siewers became active in the women's movement. She was the founding member of the Equal Rights Association of Campbell County, Kentucky. In November 1892, Sarah was selected to be a part of the delegation of women who were asked to represent the Campbell County Equal Rights Association at the November 9th State Convention in Richmond, Kentucky. During the years that followed, Dr. Siewers was an active member of several other suffrage groups, including: the Twentieth Century Club of Cincinnati, the New Century Club, and most notably, the Susan B. Anthony Club, which she presided over as president until 1913. Sarah was nominated to run for a seat on the Cincinnati Board of Education for the West-End Ward in 1909. She lost the election, but considered the loss a victory as she won 5,800 votes and gained exposure for the women's rights movement.

Over the years, Dr. Siewers lent her voice to all aspects related to the advancement of women and children, such as: equal rights for women to protect one's self and one's property under the law; equal opportunity and access to higher education for women; equal pay and employment opportunities; and the right for women to be self-governing.

Sources

"Cincinnati Women." Cincinnati Enquirer, January 6, 1906, 9.

Felter, Harvey Wickes. History of the Eclectic Medical Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1845-1902. Including the Worthington Medical College (1830-1842), the Reformed Medical School of Cincinnati (1842-1845), and the Eclectic College of Medicine (1856-1859), with biographical sketches of members of various faculties and lists of graduated arranged alphabetically and by classes. Ohio: H.W. Felter, M.D., John K. Scudder, M.D., and J.U. Lloyd, PHR. M. Committee, 1902.

"For Woman's Eye,"Cincinnati Enquirer, July 30, 1909, B8.

"Newport," Cincinnati Enquirer, November 6, 1892, 7.

"Political Gossip," Cincinnati Enquirer, November 4, 1909.

Poweleit, Alvin C. Bicentennial of Physicians of Northern Kentucky, Past and Present. Vesper Printing, Inc., 1977.

Poweleit, Alvin C, James A Schroer, and Northern Kentucky Medical Society. Medical History of Northern Kentucky. Kentucky: Northern Kentucky Medical Society, 1989.

"Woman Running For Congress." The Southern Herald, November 25, 1910. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. < http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87007277/1910-11-25/ed-1/seq-6/ >

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