Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Elizabeth Blanchard Beach, 1865-1946

By Hope Smalley, student, Rosemont College

Elizabeth Blanchard was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on December 8, 1865, to Evan Miles Blanchard, a lawyer, and Eliza Thomas Harris Beach. Beach attended the Bellefonte Academy and then studied Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College, earning her degree in 1889. She later became a graduate student at Bryn Mawr. After leaving school, she married Robert Mills Beach, a fellow teacher, on June 6, 1914. In 1920, Beach moved to Maryland to teach at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. After her husband died in April 1930, Beach spent time in San Francisco before returning that year to Bellefonte, where she lived with her sister Mary until her death on October 4, 1946.

Beach was an active member in the suffrage movement for many years. On July 16, 1913 she is mentioned as a member of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association and carried a petition to Washington, D.C. She held numerous leadership positions in the suffrage movement, including vice president of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association and county chairman of the Centre County Woman Suffrage Party. She later became the treasurer of the Women's Suffrage Association.

In addition to her work in the suffrage movement, Beach was also a member of the publicity committee for the National Fire Prevention Association. In 1939 she contributed a reminiscence at the 50th reunion of her Bryn Mawr graduation, "Fifty Years in Retrospect." In 1940 she continued to live in Bellefonte with her sister Mary and brother Edward and owned her home worth $8,000.


"The Annual Convention, The Citizen (Honesdale, PA), July 29, 1913, p. 4.

"Big Rally Here to Be Opening Wedge in Suffrage Fight," "Harrisburg Telegraph. (Harrisburg (PA) Telegraph, July 16, 1913, p. 1.

"Delegates from State to National Convention," Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Nov. 1, 1913, 16.

Bryn Mawr College Calendar: Register of Alumnae and Former Students. The College, 1920.

National Fire Protection Association, Proceedings of Annual Meeting, 1916.

The Pennsylvania Manual. Department of Property and Supplies for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1933.

"Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964." Accessed February 6, 2017. Accessed on

Senate, Pennsylvania General Assembly. Journal, 1931.

"U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current." Accessed January 26, 2017.

"U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935." Accessed January 26, 2017.

"U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925." Accessed January 26, 2017.

"Speech by Elizabeth Blanchard Beach, 1889, at the President's Luncheon to the Alumnae," in Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, Vol. XIX, No. 1 (January 1939). Accessible online at

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