Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Lucia McCurdy McBride, 1880-1970

By: Sara E. Campbell, researcher

Founded and directed the Cleveland Woman Suffrage Party and Ohio Woman Suffrage Association

Lucia (McCurdy) McBride founded and directed the Cleveland Woman Suffrage party and Ohio Woman Suffrage Association and held leadership positions in national suffrage organizations, as enumerated in her obituary in the Cleveland Plain Dealer of 22 January 1970.

She was born to privilege in Cleveland on July 21, 1880, to William and Fannie Rhodes McCurdy. Her father was a manufacturer and dealer in iron and steel. Her uncle was U.S. Senator Mark Hanna, a close supporter of President McKinley. She had one brother, Philip, two years older. Their Prospect Street household included three servants in 1880. Lucia was educated at Shaw Academy and Hathaway Brown School for girls in Cleveland, and Miss Hersey's finishing school in Boston. She traveled to France with the Hanna family after her graduation in 1899.

Lucia married Malcolm McBride, when she was 24, on June 6, 1905 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland. It was said that nearly 2,000 guests attended the event. Malcolm was a "dry goods merchant" at the time of the 1910 census, and became president of Root and McBride, wholesalers, as well as a director of the Central National Bank.

She began her service to Cleveland's community organizations as a young woman, first joining the board of the Visiting Nurse Association (1904-1911.)

In 1910, the census includes two servants in their household on NE 69th Street in Cleveland. In 1920 they lived on Hazel Drive with their three children and four servants. Their children were Lucia, John Harris, and Malcolm Rhodes McBride.

Lucia rose to a leadership role in every area of her interest. She was a charter member of the League of Women Voters of Cleveland and director of the Cuyahoga County League of Women Voters. She was an activist for labor issues, testifying with two other women at the state capitol for minimum wage laws, and opposing child labor as a member of the national Child Labor Commission. She became a member of the Cleveland Board of Education and was a foreman of a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury. She helped lay the groundwork for, and was a founding trustee of Cleveland's first birth control clinic, the Maternal Health Association (est. 1928, later Planned Parenthood of Greater Cleveland.)

During World War I, she was vice-chair of the women's committee of the Ohio Council for Civil Defense. In later years she was an advocate for peace, speaking about "The Price on an Enduring Peace" on 11 November 1943 for World Community Day in Medina, Ohio,

Lucia was also a patron of the arts in Cleveland, displaying her collection of contemporary art in her home gallery as well as serving on the board of the Cleveland School of Art, the Commission on Public Works of Art, and the advisory committee for the Cleveland Museum of Art.

She died 18 January 1970 and is buried with her husband at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.


"A Short History of Lucia McCurdy McBride (Mrs. Malcolm L. McBride)" typescript, CWRU Archives accessed at:

The Index, Philadelphia: The Index Company, Vol. XII, No. 1,7 January 1905, p. 18, accessed at Google Books.

U.S. Census 1880 Cleveland

U.S. Census 1910 Cleveland

U.S. Census 1920 Cleveland

U.S. Census 1930 Cleveland

U.S. Census 1940 Cleveland

Medina Sentinal, "To Observe World Community Day" 4 November 1943, p.1.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Index 1905

Abstract of the Donald McBride Family Papers, Western Reserve Historical Society,

FindAGrave memorial #24631026

Cleveland Plain Dealer, 22 January 1970.

Findlay Republican Courier, "More Police Seen Linked to Bribery" 7 October 1936, p.1.

Elyria Chronicle Telegram "North Olmstead Resumes Meetings" 23 September 1948, p. 22.

Hammond Times, "Proper Place for Barmaids Concerns Ohio" 31 May 1937, p. 7.

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