Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Cara Little Ebert, 1886-1977
By Kaci Resau, Librarian, Washington & Lee University
President, West Virginia Suffrage Association; Associate Republican Committee Member; West Virginia Ratification Committee, Third District; West Virginia Republican National Committeewoman
Cara Little Ebert was born in Cumberland, Maryland in 1886 to Robert W. and Cara Little. Her father was the president of the S. T. Little Jewelry Company, of Cumberland, Maryland. In 1906 Cara married J. Gale Ebert and they resided in his hometown of Parkersburg, West Virginia. Cara remained in Parkersburg until her husband's death, at which time she returned to Cumberland, Maryland before retiring to Sarasota, Florida. She lived there until she passed away in 1977. Cara had three children, two sons, Robert Little Ebert, and Waller Ebert (who later joined the military and became a Rear Admiral in the Navy) and a daughter, Cara Elizabeth Ebert (Mrs. J. Russell Wilson).
While living in Parkersburg, Ebert was dedicated to the Women's Suffrage Movement in West Virginia. She was a prominent female figure in the Republican Party, and used that platform to expand the quest for women's voting rights. She was President of the West Virginia Suffrage Association from 1914-1915, and she served on the Associate Republican State Committee for the Third District in 1920. She was a member of the WV State Ratification Committee with other West Virginia suffragettes: Mrs. Ellis A. Yost, Mrs. John L. Ruhl, Mrs. H.D. Rummel, Miss Mary Wilson, Miss Margaret McKinney, and Mrs. E. S. Romine. Additionally, Ebert served for 12 years as the Republican National Committeewoman from West Virginia between the years 1932-1944. In 1934, Ebert spoke at the WV GOP committee meeting, along with Leila Bloomfield of New York. At the meeting, Bloomfield and Ebert rallied hundreds of women for the GOP to encourage them to vote and carry the principles of the Republican Party back to their communities. Ebert's voice on women's rights rang loud and clear in West Virginia. Most news articles written about Ebert were written between 1934-1950, her most active period in the woman's movement.
In addition to being active in the Republican Party, Ebert was also active in the community. In 1936, she spoke at the George Washington birthday program of the St. Albans Republican Woman's Club. In 1938, Ebert travelled with other Republican women leaders to discuss the elections with the GOP chairman, John Hamilton. During this meeting, plans for the future and evolution for the Party were discussed. In 1940, she was a member of the arrangements committee for the Republican National Convention. In 1950, Ebert attended the Women's Republican Club of Cumberland as a delegate. The meeting included talks by the candidate for governor, Theodore R. McKeldin, John Marshall Butler, candidate for US. Senate, and William Gunter, candidate for attorney general. At the meeting, a film of the GOP National Committee was shown. Additionally, Ebert was a district manager for Mutual Life Insurance Company in Parkersburg, and she succeeded her father as President of the S. T. Little Jewelry Company until her son took over the business.
Cara L. Ebert. (1977, March 4). The Cumberland News, p. 15.
GOP Women Meet In Capital Oct. 22 Charleston. W. Va., Sept. ll. (1937, September 12). Bluefield Telegraph Newspaper, p. 1.
Harris, J. T. (Ed.). (1920). West Virginia Legislative Hand book and Manual and Official Register. Charleston, WV: Tribune Printing Company.
Harris & Ewing, photographer. (1937) Republican women leaders discuss election plans with G.O.P. Chairman. Washington, D.C., Aug. 11. Women members of the Republican National Committee from all parts of the country converged on Washington today for a conference with National Chairman John Hamilton. Plans for the party's election campaign were discussed. In the photograph, left to right: seated Mrs. Robert L. Hoyal, Ariz.; Mrs. Worthington Scranton, PA; Chairman Hamilton; Mrs. John E. Hillman, Colo.; and Mrs. Virginia White Speel, Dist. of Col. Standing left to right: Mrs. Grace B. Reynolds, Ind.; Mrs. Cara L. Ebert, W.Va.; Ms. Chris Carlson, Minn.; Mrs. Edna B. Conklin, N.J.; Mrs. Pearl Wates, Ala.; Mrs. Katherine Kennedy Brown, Ohio; Mrs. Margaret A. Green, Mass.; Mrs. Doris K. Reynolds, Wyo.; Miss Katheryn Byrne, Conn; and Miss Consuelo Northrop, VT, 8/11/37. District of Columbia United States Washington D.C. Washington D.C, 1937. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2016872164/.
Miller, T. C., & Maxwell, H. (1913). West Virginia and Its People (Vol. 3). New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company.
MS. EBERT TO M SPEAK AT CLUB. (1936, February 16). The Charleston Daily Mail, p. 9.
Photo by Jay, T. W. (1931, Dec 27). VIRGINIA L. HOSEA WEDS ENSIGN EBERT.New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/99207133?accountid=14882
West Virginia Men Urge Ratification. (1919, June 7). The Woman Citizen, 3, 738.
Weatherford, D. (2012). Women in American politics: History and milestones. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Year: 1920; Census Place: Parkersburg Ward 2, Wood, West Virginia; Roll: T625_1973; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 166
Year: 1930; Census Place: Parkersburg, Wood, West Virginia; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0017