Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Lura (Laura) Rothier, 1856–1945
Third Vice-President of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, 1915; President of the Kenton County Equal Franchise Association
By Paul A. Tenkotte, PhD, Professor of History, Northern Kentucky University
Lura (Laura) Baker Rothier was born on October 7, 1856 in Hardinsburg, Kentucky. Her family moved to Covington, Kentucky when she was a child. Her father, Leander Baker, was a lawyer, a judge, and served as mayor of Covington.
Lura was an active member and president of the Kenton County Equal Franchise Association (KCEFA). In June 1914, national suffrage organizer Lily Ray Glenn spoke at Rothier's Covington home.
During the opening years of World War I, Lura Rothier served as president of the KCEFA, which issued an official statement supporting President Wilson. Under her leadership, the KCEFA grew to 302 members by 1917. During World War I, Rothier also chaired the Women and Industry Committee of the Kenton County unit of the Kentucky division of the Woman's Committee, Council of National Defense, which operated a labor exchange at the city's market house.
Lura Rothier was also instrumental in advocating for living wages and safe working conditions for women. She was a member of the Consumers League of Kentucky, which supported the National Consumers League's recommendation for the passage of minimum wage laws.
In addition, Lura was the founder of the Trinity Branch of the Girls' Friendly Society of Trinity Episcopal Church of Covington. She was also a member of the Linden Grove [Cemetery] Memorial Association, the Kentucky Colonels, and King's Daughters. After woman suffrage passed, and the Equal Franchise Association became the Kenton County League of Women Voters, Rothier continued to serve as a member. She also served as president of the Kenton County Democratic Women's Club.
Lura Rothier died on June 24, 1945 at her Covington home at 405 East Second Street. Currently called the Carneal (and also the Gano-Southgate House), this palatial home is the oldest in the city. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank A. Rothier (1853–1932), an insurance executive. Both are buried in Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington. Their twins, a son Marion and a daughter Marian, died as children. Another daughter was Anna Lea (Mrs. John A. Ditmars) of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Paul A. Tenkotte, James C. Claypool, and David E. Schroeder, eds. Gateway City: Covington, Kentucky, 1815–2015 (Covington, KY: Clerisy Press, 2015).
"Mrs. Rothier Dies at Home," Kentucky Post, June 29, 1945, 1.
"Women of Defense League Conducting Job Agency as Help-the-War Measure," Kentucky Post, July 16, 1918, 1.