Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Alice Gertrude Taylor Kollock, 1859-1931
By Colleen Kay Porter, Gainesville, Florida
Alice Gertrude Taylor was born in Spring Green, Wisconsin, on May 25, 1859, to James A. Taylor and Phoebe Ann Harris Taylor; she was the fourth of five children. She married Dr. George C. Kollock, a dentist, in Madison, Wisconsin, on October 15, 1885. They lived in Madison and did not have children. She was busy with bridge gatherings, Unitarian church activities, and meetings of the 20th Century Club, a literary society. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Around 1911, due to her failing health, they were advised to try a warmer climate. For a few years, they arrived in Orlando, Florida, in early December and stayed until May. In Orlando, she continued her civic involvement and made many friends. A letter to the editor from Kollock to the Orlando Daily Sentinel dated May 20, 1913, was titled "Florida Good Enough," and complained of the "cold wind with continuous rain" in Madison, concluding, "Be glad you live in a dependable climate. Yours for Florida."
In 1912, suffrage was a controversial topic in Orlando, because some female landowners had tried to register to vote in response to a public announcement that did not specify gender. The Florida legislature had agreed to take up the issue in its 1913 session. In February 1912, Kollock penned a letter in defense of women's suffrage to the Orlando Evening Star, arguing, "It is not for glory or office that women seek the ballot, but that greater protection may be given the home and the children therein."
In 1913, the Orlando Equal Suffrage League was organized, and met at Unity Chapel during the months that the Kollocks were in town. Their pattern of seasonal migrations changed in 1915. Dr. Kollock had retired from his Madison practice the previous year, and in April of 1915 he needed to make a trip to the state of Washington to a fruit farm that he owned with his brothers. He would be gone for the entire summer, and Kollock remained in Orlando for the entire year.
In 1915, she became the secretary of the Orlando Equal Suffrage League, a position she held for several years, as well as recording secretary for the Florida Women's Suffrage Association, in which she participated in many annual statewide conventions. The state organization had been established and abandoned decades earlier, then was revitalized in 1912, with headquarters in Orlando. These experiences positioned Kollock as a chronicler of suffrage in Florida, contributing to the Florida chapter in Volume 6 of The History of Woman Suffrage.
In May 1920, she was named second vice-president of the Orlando Equal Suffrage League. A May 13, 1920 report in The Orlando Sentinel noted, "The meeting yesterday may be the last meeting of the Equal Suffrage League, for if the suffrage amendment is passed during the summer months, the Equal Suffrage League will become 'A League of Women Voters.'"
Kollock died on January 3, 1931 of "intestinal influenza." After a funeral in Orlando, her remains were taken back to Madison for burial.
"Annual Meeting of Orlando Equal Suffrage League," The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Florida), 13 May 1920.
Carey Hand Funeral Home, "Kollock, Alice G." (1931). Carey Hand Undertaker's Memoranda 1931. 9. https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cfm-ch-memoranda-1931/9
Family Search family tree https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/L4BG-HWQ
Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. The History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. VI (1900-1920). N.p.: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, p. 113. [LINK to FL state report]
Letter in Orlando Evening Star, 13 Feb 1912, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/37229209/orlando-evening-star-13-feb-1912/
"Program Equal Suffrage League," The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Florida), 16 Oct 1915, Sat, Page 5