Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Lilla Philbrook Clark, 1869-1965

By Debbie Finocchiaro, Undergraduate, State University of New York at Oneonta, and Thomas Dublin

Lilla E. Philbrook Clark was born in Boston, Massachusetts July 1, 1869 to Elvira B. and Charles C. Philbrook. The census recorded that she had completed three years of college. She married Harry Webber Clark, a dentist, in 1896 and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1910 the Clarks lived in Minneapolis Ward 5, and had a son, Philbrook, 11, and a daughter, Eleanor, 6.

By 1910 Lilla Clark joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association in Minnesota. She worked extensively with the state suffrage association in Minnesota and was one of many who addressed the state legislature during discussions of the federal suffrage amendment in 1919.

By 1920, however, Lilla Clark was a widow and she and her mother and children had moved to Los Angeles. Her son, Philbrook, was now 21 and worked as a clerk at an insurance company. By 1930, Lilla Clark continued to live in Los Angeles with her widowed mother and now divorced daughter. Eleanor worked as an assistant manager in a food shop, and had a 4-year-old daughter. In 1930 Lilla Clark owned her own home, valued at $9,000. In 1940, Lilla,, now 70, lived in the Los Angeles household of her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter.

Little is known about Clark's civic engagement after women won the right to vote.


Ida Husted Harper, ed., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 325-26 [LINK]

New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts-- Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915;

Minnesota, Births and Christenings Index, 1840-1980 [].

1910 Federal manuscript census for Minneapolis, Harry W. Clark household; 1920 Federal manuscript census for Los Angeles, Philbrook household; 1930 Federal manuscript census for Los Angeles, Lilla Clark household; 1940 Federal manuscript census, Sidney Allen household.

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