Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Jean Butler Clark Fouilhoux, 1880-?
By Winter Spray, undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park
Jean Butler Clark was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Martha and James Clark. She had three sisters. She attended Bryn Mawr College, a women's liberal arts college located in Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1899. She married Jacques Andre Fouilhoux in Seattle on July 7, 1908. Thereafter, she was regularly referred to herself as "Jean Clark Fouilhoux" or "Mrs. J. Andre Fouilhoux." Jacques Andre Fouilhoux was a famous architect known for his work in Oregon and New York. Together, they had one daughter, Anita Clark Fouilhoux Houston. In her engagement announcement in the New York Times, Anita was described as having descended on the maternal side from well-known families--Breckenridge, Wilson, and Clark--in colonial Maryland; on the paternal side, she was the great-great-granddaughter of a general in Napoleon's Grande Armee.
Over the course of her life, Jean lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New York, and New Jersey. Her most prominent suffrage activism was carried out in Oregon in the 1910s, and then on the federal level with the National Woman's Party. In January 1912, she became the secretary for the Portland Equal Suffrage League, as reported by the Oregon Journal. That year, the Portland Equal Suffrage League began to use new tactics, such as mass advertising and campaigning which gained a significant amount of success. Jean was also active in the Oregon branch of the College Equal Suffrage League (CESL). The CESL was significant in its efforts to involve college-educated women in the suffrage cause. The group made news in April 1912 for hosting a luncheon to discuss equal rights with Chinese women. In May 1912, Clark was elected co-vice president of the CESL. In the summer of 1912, the League created a suffrage float for the Portland Rose Festival and held a mass gathering for equal suffrage. These continued efforts, combined with the efforts of the Portland Equal Suffrage League which were both led in part by Jean Clar Fouilhoux, ultimately led to the sixth vote and final victory for woman suffrage in Oregon that November. Just days prior October, she gave birth to her only child, Anita.
The name "Fouilhoux" appears in local Oregon papers many times over the next few years, though much of the content is not related to women's suffrage. Jean's husband, who also went by J. Andre Fouilhoux, is typically mentioned in regard to his architecture firm, partnerships, and buildings he helped create. During this time, Jean appears in a mostly social contexts, listed as in attendance of parties and other social gatherings.
Jean re-emerges in the fight for a federal amendment in publications by the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (later the National Woman's Party). She is named as a representative for Oregon on National Advisory Council between 1916 and 1920 and then becomes a representative for New Jersey in October 1920. She attended national meetings of the National Woman's Party through the ratification of the nineteenth amendment. Jean's exact date of death is not certain because an obituary could not be located; however, she is referred to as deceased in her sister's obituary in the late 1960s. It is likely that Jean is buried with her husband at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.
Biographical information located through census and marriage records on Heritage Quest, Ancestry.com, and obituaries of family members Anita Clark Fouilhoux Houston and Jacques Andre Fouilhoux. Researchers should note that her last name is often misspelled.
"Anita Fouilhoux Engaged to Isaac Houston; Both Members of Noted Colonial Families," New York Times. 8 December 1939.
Century of Action, "The Impact of the College Equal Suffrage League on the Oregon Votes for Women Victory in 1912, Documents Project. Accessed March 31, 2020. http://centuryofaction.org/index.php/main_site/document_project/the_impact_of_the_college_equal_suffrage_league_on_the_oregon_votes_for_wom.
"College Equal Suffragists, Chinese Women Dine Together," Oregon Daily Journal. 12 April 1912.
Bryn Mawr Alumnae Quarterly, 1913-1915. Accessed March 31, 2020. https://archive.org/stream/brynmawralumnaeq78bryn/brynmawralumnaeq78bryn_djvu.txt.
The Suffragist, 1916-1920.