Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Alice Lloyd, 1864-1951

By Tandy Nash, Education Curator, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville, KY

Mason County, Kentucky women have a long tradition of being strong willed. One such woman was Alice Lloyd—not the New England Alice Lloyd who established the school in Knox County Kentucky, but the Alice Lloyd from "The Pines" just outside of Germantown, Kentucky. She was born in 1864, the daughter of Evan and Lydia Cheeseman Holton Lloyd. She attended Daughters' College in Harrodsburg, now the site of the Beaumont Inn. She had a long career in teaching, holding positions at the Maysville Female Institute, Daughters' College, and at Hamilton College in Lexington. Later, she helped to establish the Madison (County) Female Institute, which she ran until 1901. The boarding and day school was innovative. In 1896, Lloyd began requiring her female students to participate in military drills to give them extra physical exercise. After leaving her position in Madison County, she took post-graduate courses at the University of Chicago. She then took a position as principal of a girls' school near Nashville.

Her most significant legacy, however, is the reform work that she championed during the first three decades of the twentieth century. She was active in the Christian Church, in the YWCA, and in honoring Confederate veterans. She fought for the rights of tobacco farmers, she was involved in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and she was an active suffragist.

Her father, a prosperous farm owner, Mr. Evan Lloyd, gained local fame as the founder of the Germantown Fair. Alice grew up in a region of the state known for growing tobacco and, as the daughter of a tobacco grower, she was aware of the economic difficulties those in the industry faced. She contributed to the formation of the Kentucky Burley Society and championed farmers' fight against the tobacco trust. As a press agent, she worked closely with Clarence LeBus, president of the Burley Tobacco Cooperative, and helped tobacco growers form a marketing pool. In March 1908 she spoke at a Louisville rally defending farmers who participated in Night Riding (violence directed against the tobacco trust and farmers who did not line up with the Cooperative). She also boldly denounced Governor Willson, in an open letter signed "Mason County Farmer." She argued that the governor had favored the American Tobacco Company and showed little concern for struggling growers. She also scolded the press and ministers, whom she accused of being under the thumb of the trust. Grateful famers called her the "Joan of Arc of the Burley tobacco growers." They raised money to thank her and sent her an inscribed blue ribbon among other tokens of appreciation.

Lloyd also participated in reform efforts concerning suffrage and prohibition. She served as the founding president of the Mason County Equal Rights Association, and she was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs. She attended the 1914 National American Woman Suffrage Association convention as a Kentucky delegate. She represented the Mason County Equal Rights Association at the Democratic State Convention of 1919 in Louisville. She was on the state board of the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs and served as chair of the Department of Social Hygiene. In this role in 1922, Lloyd led a campaign which finally convinced the state legislature to raise the age of consent from sixteen to eighteen years. This law had been a priority of woman's rights advocates in Kentucky since the 1890s. The law became a model for other states to emulate and won Kentucky women praise at the national convention of the League of Women Voters.

There was a difference between suffragists and suffragettes. Suffragists believed in peaceful campaigning, while suffragettes believed in direct action, which might include violence. In August 1913, The Maysville Daily Bulletin quoted Miss Lloyd in saying, "that they will 'be good' and not emulate the English women, who have made a merry muss of it in John Bull's domain." "Instead of fire-brands and other destructive mediums employed by the Londonites," Miss Lloyd promised, "our ladies will resort to milder methods of winning mere men to their side of the argument--the effective weapons of free speech and printer's ink... a combination that ought to convince, if anything will."

Following the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Alice Lloyd became a member of the executive committee of the Democratic Party along with 6 other women and 7 men, demonstrating the respect she had in Kentucky. She became active in the League of Women Voters. Lloyd spent most of her life in Maysville, Lexington, and Louisville, but in her later years, she moved to Nashville to be near her sister. She died there in 1951. She is buried in Maysville's Maple Grove cemetery.


1913 articles concerning Alice Lloyd from The Maysville Daily Bulletin, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center Archives, Maysville, Kentucky

"In Search of the 'other' Alice Lloyd," Maysville Ledger Independent, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center Archives

Advertisement for the Maysville Female Institute, Maysville Evening Bulletin, September 2, 1885, 3,

Maysville Evening Bulletin, September 13, 1887, 3,

Maysville Public Ledger, April 12, 1893, 1,

Advertisement for Madison Female Institute, Maysville Evening Bulletin, July 16, 1894, 2,

Maysville Public Ledger, March 16, 1896, 1,

Richmond Climax, August 7, 1901, 2, newspapers.

"Gov. Willson has been Secretive but Not Idle," Louisville Courier-Journal, March 30, 1908, 1,

"Maid of Winchester," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, April 2, 1908, 5,

"Tobacco," Paducah News-Democrat, April 4, 1908, 4,

"Alice Lloyd," Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, ed. Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, University Press of Kentucky, 2009, 559.

back to top