Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mary B. Luckie, 1861-1964
By Hope Smalley, undergraduate, Rosemont College
Mary Barton was born on May 13, 1861 to John H. Barton and Rebecca Baker. She lived in Chester, Pennsylvania and studied at the Gilbert Academy until her marriage to dentist Samuel Blair Luckie on October 2, 1879. The two had five children. She died at the age of 102 on January 14, 1964.
Luckie became active in suffrage in 1891 when the movement was still quite unpopular in the state and "socially frowned upon". Luckie worked alongside Susan B. Anthony, Anna Shaw, and Mary Grew, serving in a range of state level offices including corresponding secretary, treasurer, recording secretary, and vice-president (1908). She attended many Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association (PWSA) annual meetings as well as National American Woman Suffrage Association conventions. She represented Pennsylvania as a corresponding secretary for the NAWSA and was the corresponding secretary of the PWSA in 1896-1897. Luckie often addressed the PWSA on the strength of the movement. During the 1890s, a period of re-building of the movement in PA, she stressed that "the enrollment of the association did not represent the full strength of the suffrage movement," pointing to WCTU members and clubwomen as sympathizers who had not yet joined officially but were nonetheless in sympathy with the cause. After headquarters shifted to Harrisburg she ceased to play a leadership role but remained active in the movement, particularly by working to convert club women to the cause. At the age of 91, she vividly recalled her joy when the General Federation of Women's Clubs, which she helped to found, endorsed suffrage after the first World War.
Following the ratification of woman suffrage, Luckie continued as a prominent civic and social reformer. She crusaded against child labor, advocated for education as a member of the Chester County School Board, served as treasurer of the Chester Centre of the University Extension, and founded child and maternal health clinics. In addition, she served as director of a state school for developmentally disabled children. Later, Luckie became critical of women's failure to use the vote to do more to change society. She was also selected Pennsylvania Woman of the Year in 1952 and was one of the first women to serve on a jury.
"All For Mrs. Luckie." The Minneapolis Star, 14 May, 1952, p. 38. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/187738490/?terms=%22mrs.%2Bluckie%22%2B%22suffrage%22
"Delaware County Women Honor Mrs. S. Blair Luckie." The Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 February 1939, p. 49. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/171406884/?terms=%22mrs.%2Bluckie%22%2B%22suffrage%22
Edgar, Ruth. "Mrs. Luckie Was a Friend of 'Giant Women' of Other Era." Delaware County Daily Times, 9 September 1946, p. 9. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/54082351/.
"Extols Cause of Suffrage." Delaware County Daily Times, 14 February 1913, p. 10. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/5462518/?terms=%22mrs.%2Bluckie%22%2B%22suffrage%22 /p>
Goodman, Roberta E. "Business, Professional Women's Club Makes First 'Girl of the Month Award.'" Delaware County Daily Times, 13 October 1949, p. 27. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/53206984/terms=%22mrs.%2Bluckie%22%2B%22suffrage%22
"Mrs. Luckie Expresses Concern." Delaware County Daily Times, 1 June 1950, p. 6. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/53522153/?terms=%22mrs.%2Bluckie%22%2B%22suffrage%22
"Notes of the Convention." The Pittsburgh Press, 7 November, 1907, p. 17. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/142180604/.
"Pioneer Woman Suffragist Dies." The Evening Standard, 17 January 1964, p. 23. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/27673229/?terms=%22mrs.%2Bluckie%22%2B%22suffrage%22
Votaw, Galja Barish. "Mrs. S. Blair Luckie." Delaware County Daily Times, 17 May 1951, p. 36. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/54118809/terms=%22mrs.%2Bluckie%22%2B%22suffrage%22