Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Ethel Hutson, 1872-1951

By Isabelle Elderkin, undergraduate student, Tulane University

Chair of Publicity, Woman's Suffrage Party of Louisiana; Louisiana suffragists; Secretary-treasurer, Southern States Art League; New Orleans suffragists

Ethel Hutson was born in 1872 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Dr. Charles Woodward Hutson, a professor and artist, and Mary Jane Lockett. Ethel, the eldest of ten children, had at least twenty-five nieces and nephews. She did not marry. She died at her sister's home in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1951.

Ethel attended the University of Mississippi and Texas A&M University. She was the first woman to attend classes at Texas A&M. She studied art with Cary Lockett McAuley at the Art Student League as well as studying at the National Academy of Design, the Pratt Institute, where her studies included design, and Newcomb College. Early in her career, Ethel designed tiles in Indianapolis and contributed illustrations as well as articles for Readers Magazine. Then, she taught art in private classes and public schools. In 1909, Ethel began to write feature articles and art criticism for the New Orleans Picayune. She was editor of the Woman's Department for the New Orleans Item from 1912 to 1918. During her tenure there, Ethel became active in local women's organizations. She joined the Era Club, concentrating on health care issues as well as rising prices in the New Orleans area. Additionally, she joined the Woman's Suffrage Party of Louisiana, an organization for which she would later become chair of publicity. The Woman's Suffrage Party stemmed from the Era Club, but divided politically over the question of whether suffrage should be left to the states or to a federal amendment. The Woman's Suffrage Party formally enrolled in the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1913. The organization continued until the 19th Amendment was passed, at which point it dissolved and reemerged as the League of Women Voters. Ethel was then involved in the Louisiana League of Women Voters.

Ethel held leadership positions in various other organizations; she was the secretary of the Junior Red Cross, New Orleans chapter for two years and was even the secretary of the New Orleans Garden Club. She worked in the research department of the New Orleans Association of Commerce. Ethel also became the secretary-treasurer of the Southern States Art League in 1925. There, she helped to collect records for the organization. She resigned from her position in 1947 and retired to Gulfport, Mississippi, where she lived until her death in 1951.


Alpern, Sara and Bonnie Ledbetter, "A History of Women at Texas A&M University,", Presentation posted online on the page of the Office of Diversity at Texas A&M University,

Ethel Hutson Papers, 1879-1957, 14, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.

"Four Hundred Artists to be Asked to Further Campaign," The Times-Picayune, May 17, 1925,

LAC Group, "Ethel Hutson papers 1879-1957," Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University, biography accessible at

"Mayor Behrman Defends Markets, Says Miss Hutson's Statements All Wrong and Untrustworthy," New Orleans States, April 30, 1919,

"Miss Hutson Rites Held In Gulfport" New Orleans States, June 14, 1951,


Morel, Vera, "She Paints and Writes Lectures, 'Encyclopedias' and Helps," The New Orleans Item, December 26, 1929,

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