Biographical Sketch of Lottie Case

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Lottie Case, 1845-1920

By Maysa Mesto and Dr. Liette Gidlow, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Woman's Christian Temperance Union President and Suffragist

Born Charlotte A. Johnson on August 4, 1845 in Franklin, Connecticut, Lottie Case was the daughter of a farmer, John Perkins Johnson, also born in Connecticut. Her mother, Lucy Amelia Warner Johnson, was born in Pennsylvania and worked as a maid. Case attended school until the age of fifteen. In 1866, she married Charles M. Case, a Navy veteran.

The couple moved to Enterprise, Kansas in 1870 where they owned one of the finest private libraries in the state. Case devoted her time to church and Sunday school where she was a superintendent. He was also a 32nd degree Mason and the mayor of Enterprise for three terms. They adopted two children.

Case served her community by getting involved with Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She hosted events in her home and was often a speaker at conventions. She was elected as president of the Fifth District for W.C.T.U. in 1870.

Case and her family moved from Enterprise to Topeka in 1891 where she remained the president of the Fifth District. She was widowed in May of 1894, after which she became even more involved in community work. She often travelled to give speeches and was elected president of W.C.T.U's Topeka chapter on September 16, 1904.

Case's values were reflected in the papers she often presented in Willard Hall at Kansas State University and at annual W.C.T.U. conventions. She often discussed alcohol use in the community and the role of politics in temperance and she was also known for her outstanding piano performance. She was also involved in legislative work and in lobbying for prohibition. In July 1914, she wrote a letter of welcome to the new W.C.T.U. chapter that formed in the city of Leavenworth and expressed sympathy for the families whose businesses were affected by the Clayton Antitrust Act. In the July 1, 1914 issue, Our Messenger published a letter written by Case where she asked members of the district unions to "[send] in petitions for National Prohibition" and urged them to do so despite the difficult circumstances which were "not too hard when [they] considered the greatness of the campaign." She was re-elected president of the W.C.T.U.'s Topeka chapter in the annual convention in Atchison on September 23, 1915.

The one reference for suffrage activity is a note in the History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, indicating that Lottie Case was "active in legislative wor4k" in 1919, the year that the 19th Amendment went out to the states for ratification. Kansas wasa one of the firest stastes to ratify on June 16, 1919.

Three months prior to her death, Case suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed. She passed away on November 3, 1920, never getting to vote herslef. The Topeka State Journal described her as "prominent in political and civic work."

A photograph of Lottie Case can be found in Our Messenger, December 1, 1920.

SOURCES

Adams, Franklin George. Woman Suffrage in Kansas. Topeka, Kansas: The G. W. Crane Co., 1888. Nineteenth Century Collections Online (accessed February 26, 2019).

"Assembly Notes." Ottawa Daily Republic, June 25, 1908, p.8.

"District Letters," Our Messenger, July 1, 1914, p.5.

"Hon. C. M. Case Dead," Abilene Weekly Reflector, May 31, 1894, p.4.

"Kansas News Told in Short Paragraphs." Douglas Tribune, October 1, 1915, p.2.

"Lottie A. Case." Our Messenger, March 1st, 1900, p.1.

"Mrs. Case Elected." Topeka Daily Herald, September 16, 1904, p.1.

"Mrs. Lottie A. Case Dead." Topeka State Journal, November 3, 1920, p.9.

"Mrs. Lottie A. Case Promoted." Our Messenger, December 1, 1920, p.3.

"Personals of Society Folks." Topeka Daily Capital, October 23, 1908, p.5.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States. 1850. MyHeritage website.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1910. MyHeritage website.

"W.C.T.U. Institute." Topeka Daily Capital, March, 18 1907, p.8.

back to top