Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920

Biography of Lucy Barber, 1882-1974

By Mackenzie Henderling, student, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Lucy Lombardi was born on May 20, 1882 in Houston, Texas. Her parents were Caesar Maurice Lombardi from Switzerland and Caroline Ennis Lombardi from Texas. When she was young her father was a store clerk and her mother was a housekeeper. Her family moved to Portland, Oregon when Lucy was in school. In Portland her parents and her two brothers lived in a boarding home. Her father was a wash house man and her mom was a homemaker. ​Lucy attended the Portland Academy and later the Baldwin preparatory school. Lucy earned a Bryn Mawr scholarship for the western states. Lucy graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1904 with a degree in history, economics, and politics.​ At Bryn Mawr College, Lucy was a prolific writer and was published in her school's literary magazine. She organized and starred as Lynette in her college's rendition of "Garreth and Lynette." She also gave a speech at her graduation.

After her graduation, her family moved to Berkeley, California. In 1908 she married Alvin Barton Barber from Portland. Shortly after they married they had their first child, Godfrey, and moved to Washington, DC. They lived on the Birchington Military reservation, Alvin was a 1st lieutenant in the army. Alvin served in World War I. Lucy continued living in Washington, DC during WWI.

Lucy continued her writing career, publishing a Nursery History of the United States​ in 1916, an illustrated history book that chronicled American history from 1692 to 1906. It sold for $2 in 1916.

Lucy was an active supporter of the women's suffrage amendment and became active in the National Woman's Party in 1916. In spring of 1916 she participated in a deputation to representative Charles Carlin of Virginia. The group of mostly southern women drove to the Capital and met Carlin in his office. Their goal was to pass a federal amendment to enfranchise all women in America. In the week's publication of The Suffragist​,Lucy is mentioned: "Mrs. A. B. Barber, of Texas, wife of Captain Barber of the U. S. A., made an exceedingly interesting speech, declaring that all southern suffragists were heartily in favor of the amendment."​ Lucy continued her work in the National Woman's Party by serving on the legislative Department Lobby Committee.​ In her position she interviewed members of congress. She helped interview all the members of the 65th congress in spring of 1917 to find out their stance on a federal suffrage amendment.​

By 1930 Lucy and Alvin had three more children Jennet, Cesar, and Alvin Jr. They lived in Montgomery, Maryland where Alvin Barber worked as a civil engineer at the Chamber of Commerce and Lucy was a homemaker.

Later she lived in Washington, DC until her death in June 1974. She was buried in Arlington Cemetery.​


Year: 1930; Census Place: Potomac, Montgomery, Maryland; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 2340611

California, U.S., Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

1880; Census Place: Houston, Harris, Texas; Roll: 1308; Page: 62C; Enumeration District: 074 Bryn Mawr College. Program. The University of Michigan, 1905.

1900; Census Place: Portland Ward 4, Multnomah, Oregon; Page: 12; Enumeration District: 0054; FHL microfilm: 1241350

(1894). The Bookseller, newsdealer and stationer. New York: Excelsior Pub. House.

"The Deputation to Representative Carlin." The Suffragist, vol. 4, no. 17, 29 Apr. 1916, pp. 10-11.

National Cemetery Administration; U.S. Veterans' Gravesites

Bryn Mawr College Yearbook. Class of 1904 (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania: Bryn Mawr College, 1904).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 4, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_151; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0082; FHL microfilm: 1374164

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