Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Blanche Harriet Powers Taylor, 1870-1921
By Eden Endewardt, student, University of Puget Sound
Blanche Harriet Powers was born on January 4, 1870 in Durand, Wisconsin to Sarah Ann and John Powers. She grew up in the small town of Baraboo, Wisconsin and later went on to attend the University of Wisconsin where she majored in modern classics and law. She graduated in 1891 and earned a bachelor of law degree. After college, she moved to Salt Lake City where she married Alvin Verander Taylor on March 31, 1892. Her husband practiced corporate law and often defended oil and mining companies. The Taylors had four children. Mrs. Taylor gave birth to her first son in 1892, but he sadly died of scarlet fever in 1898. Her oldest daughter, Margaret, was born in 1895. Her second child, Florence, was born in 1898, but unfortunately died tragically in September of 1901 from severe burn injuries. The family then had a son, Alvin V. Taylor Jr., who was born in 1902. Although she did not grow up in the Mormon faith, after her marriage Mrs. Taylor decided to raise her family in the Church of Latter Day Saints.
The family was well off, and Mrs. Taylor was able to be an active member in the Utah women's suffrage movement. She was passionate about helping women through social work and civic engagement, and also about educating women as she worked for the Home and School League in Salt Lake City. She became an active member in Republican political circles, and served in various leadership positions in the Utah Federation of Women's Clubs, including a brief term as President during the Federation's earliest years. She was active in the Salt Like Woman's Club and served as president of the City Council of Women's Clubs. Her most significant contribution to the Federation was her work as committee chair. She headed multiple committees, including the education committee and the legislative committee. Her work with the Utah Women's movement became so prominent that she was actually compared with Susan B. Anthony.
Taylor died on August 18, 1921 of organ failure after suffering from cervical cancer for two years. Following her death, the Utah Federation of Women's Clubs recognized her work with a touching obituary in their local publication.
Utah Passport and Marriage License Office. Utah, Select Marriage Index, 1863-1911. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1892.
United States Department of Commerce. 1920 United States Federal Census. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1920.
Utah Department of Vital Records. Utah, Death and Military Death Certificates, 1904-1961. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1921.
Utah Department of Vital Records. Utah, Death Registers, 1847-1966. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1898; 1901.
Association, Interstate Press. History of the Bench and Bar of Utah. Interstate Press. 1913.
Winslow, Helen M. (ed.). Official Registry and Directory of Women's Clubs. 1916.
Givens, Terryl L, and Reid L Neilson (eds.). The Columbia Sourcebook of Mormons in the United States. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.
The Utah Payroll Builder. Vol. 8, no. 11 (Nov. 1921) Utah Manufacturers Association,, p. 9 (obituary).
Thwaites, Reuben Gold (ed.). The University of Wisconsin: Its History and Alumni. Madison: J.N. Purcell, 1900.