Biographical Sketch of Gertrude Gouvernor Ogden Clemson Smith

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Gertrude Gouvernor Ogden Clemson Smith, 1867-1947

By Nia Reed, undergraduate, Rosemont College

Gertrude Gouvernor Ogden Clemson Smith was born on October 6, 1867, to Thomas G. Clemson, an Episcopal minister, and Sarah F. Clemson. Gertrude married Lewis Lawrence Smith on June 29, 1892. They lived in Delaware County and had three children, Lewis Gouvernor Smith (1889–1914), Ludlow Ogden Smith (1899–1982), and Lawrence Meredith Smith (1902-1975). Gertrude Smith died on July 21, 1947, and was buried in Old Saint David Church Cemetery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Smith became involved in the suffrage movement in the early twentieth century. She held several different positions, including chairman of the Delaware County committee in 1916. Through her hard work and dedication, she became vice president of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association in 1917. She also became the vice chairman of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters (LWV) in 1922 and Chester County state vice chairman in 1924. She spoke at conferences and lobbied at the state capitol. In addition, she was a delegate at the meeting of the Executive Suffrage Council in Washington, DC. She was also on the board of managers at the Hospital and Dispensary of the Alumnae of the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania.

After the attainment of women's suffrage, Smith remained active in encouraging the young women of her country. On September 21, 1920, she noted "the necessity for women to fully meet their new responsibilities" at an open meeting for the LWV.


Information about Smith can be found on and in the Harrisburg Telegraph; Philadelphia Inquirer; Pennsylvania Gazette; Delaware County Daily Times; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Emma C. Patterson, "League of Women Voters: Members, 1921 Convention," May 1, 1953, Radnor Historical Society,; and Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Catalogue and 53d Annual Announcement (Philadelphia: Jas. B. Rogers Company, 1902).

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