Biographical Sketch of Ethel Carle McBee

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Ethel Carle McBee, 1875-1949

By Megan McNish

Young Women's Christian Association; West Virginia University; National Education Association; Women's Christian Temperance Union; West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association; Morgantown; Fairmont

Born on February 26, 1875 in West Virginia to Joseph and Sarah Carle, Ethel Carle attended West Virginia University (WVU), where she was president of the Young Women's Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.), class secretary, and a member of the Monongalia Board. After graduating from the University, she began teaching. In 1900 she lived with her parents in Walker, WV, and was recorded as a teacher. She served as a librarian at Fairmont High School before taking up a post as a mathematics teacher and as principal of Mannington High School. It was there that she met her husband, Perry C. McBee, then the superintendent of the Mannington School District. The couple married in 1908.

In addition to teaching, Ethel Carle McBee was an active member of the National Education Association, but her activism extended beyond education. Sometime after her graduation from WVU, Mrs. McBee became involved in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) where she met Lenna Lowe Yost. president of the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association (WVESA). In 1915, Yost moved activities of the WVESA to Morgantown.

When the WVESA began its campaign for the 1916 referendum, Yost appointed Ethel Carle McBee as one of the co-chairs of the literature department. At a cost of approximately $2,000 the Department printed and mailed 200,000 copies of Congressional speeches to voters in the state. They sent an additional 10,000 posters were sent out for use on Election Day.

After the death of her husband in 1918, Mrs. McBee moved around. She passed on December 5, 1949 at the age of 74 in Fairmont, WV. She is buried in East Oak Grove Cemetery in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Sources:

"Active Members: Washington." Yearbook and List of Active Members of the National Education Association for the Year Beginning December 31, 1914 and ending December 31, 1915. Ann Arbor, MI: National Education Association, 1915. Accessed January 10, 2018. https://books.google.com/books?id=f0TWAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA323&lpg=RA1-PA323&dq=%22ethel+carle+mcbee%22&source=bl&ots=8RHSwVLQ6k&sig=8OjEC-j1mgpLADD2J8gcy095_2Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiMqZb6h-nXAhXESCYKHS7CAvEQ6AEIKzAB#v=onepage&q=%22ethel%20carle%20mcbee%22&f=false.

Effland, Anne Wallace. "The Women's Suffrage Movement in West Virginia, 1867-1920." MA Thesis. West Virginia University, 1983.

"Ethel G. Carle McBee" Find A Grave. Accessed October 15, 2017. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/129595613.

Monticola: Junior Year Book Published by the Class of 1917 West Virginia University. Columbus, OH: Champlis Press, 1917.

The Monticola: Class of Nineteen Hundred Five. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, approx. 1905.

The Monticola: Class of '06. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, 1905.

"West Virginia School News." The West Virginia School Journal 37, no. 1 (1908). Accessed January 10, 2018. https://books.google.com/books?id=Ju4BAAAAYAAJ&lpg=RA5-PA26&ots=xsTHsrvqC5&dq=%22ethel%20carle%20mcbee%22&pg=RA5-PA26#v=onepage&q=ethel%20carle%20mcbee&f=false.

1900 and 1920 Federal Manuscript Censuses for West Virginia. Accessed through HeritageQuest.com.

Images

The Monticola: Class of Nineteen Hundred Five. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, approx. 1905.

Graduation Image: The Monticola: Class of '06. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, 1905.

back to top