Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Ivy G. Loah Corfman, 1872-1953

By Emma Bacchus, student, University of Puget Sound

Ivy G. Loah was born on the 14th of July, 1872 in Mclean County, Illinois, to Thomas Jefferson Loah and Sade M. Fry Loah. Ivy had two sisters named Jessie Elizabeth and Stella. She grew up in Mclean County and went on to graduate from Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia. Ivy moved to Utah in 1892, where she then met her husband Elmer E. Corfman. They got married on June 8, 1898, and then had two daughters, Aileen and Jessie Elizabeth.

Ivy's first job was working as a Sunday school teacher at various churches in Salt Lake City. After teaching for a couple of years, Ivy became interested in the suffrage movement and became president of the Utah Federation of Women's Clubs. While she was very busy working with the church and leading these clubs, her husband Elmer was the chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court. They were a very busy and involved family.

As president of the Utah Federation of Women's Clubs, Ivy gained a bigger role in the suffrage movement. She travelled to California and Oregon where, she attended conventions in San Francisco and Portland. Indeed, she visited various states all over the United States, including New York and New England, discussing and enlightening groups to the idea that women's rights must be equal to the rights of men. While traveling to these various conferences, she created interest in Utah Women's club. On August 26, 1916 the Weekly Herald published an article solely about what Ivy was doing in the East: "Mrs. Corfman delivered addresses of the status of women's clubs in Utah, in which the delegates were greatly interested as Mrs. Corfman judges from conversations and inquiries to her." She was very capable of handling her business with the utmost professionalism. During these trips, she spoke to crowds with as many as 20,000 delegates. Her last major suffrage activity came in November 1919 after the Utah state legislature had ratified the 19th Amendment. The Suffrage Council sponsored a 3-day convention attended by NAWSA president Carrie Chapman Catt and chair of the League of Women Voters, Jean Nelson Penfield. Ivy Corfman assisted Emily Richards, the Council president, in organizing the conference.

After the passage of the 19th Amendment, Ivy became president of Utah's Federation of Music Clubs. The Salt Lake Telegram reported on her activities, including district contests that she organized for the National Federation of Music Clubs. Through both associations, she grew and became very good at what she did, and as a result was nominated for reelection as Utah director of the National Federation of Music Clubs at the national convention of the organization in San Francisco. By staying involved at high positions, Ivy made an impact in Utah in many different ways. On November 8, 1953, Ivy passed away in Shasta County, California.


"Utahn Nominated." SaltLakeTelegram, 06-26-1931.

Ivy Gladys Loah Corfman:

"Salt Lake Women to Go to Convention." Salt Lake Telegram 02-28-1918.

"Final Music Contest Friday." Salt Lake Telegram, 10-201926.

"Mrs. E.E. Corfman is Back from East." Ogden Daily Standard, 07-25-1916.

"Mrs. E. E. Corfman Returns from California." Provo Semi-Weekly Herald, 06-24-1915, Page 1.

Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922) [LINK].

A picture of Ivy can be found at :

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