Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Evangeline Mitchell Woods, 1854-1932
By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University
Evangeline Mitchell was born in March 1854 in Abington, Indiana, the seventh child of Moses G. Mitchell and Ellen Ture Mitchell. The family continued to live in Abington in 1870 and Moses Mitchell was recorded as a physician and minister. In June 1874, Evangeline (sometimes recorded as Eva or Emma) married Clarence Oliver Woods in Wayne, IN. In 1900 the couple resided in Pipe Creek, IN and Clarence worked as an annealer. In 1910 and 1920, they resided in Ward 5 of Kokomo, IN and had six children over their years of marriage. A 1932 article noted that C. O. Woods had installed machinery in an "old spoke factory" for turning scrap timber into packing material. By 1920, Clarence worked in an auto factory. Clarence passed away in Louisville, KY in January 1928 and the 1930 census recorded a widowed Eva M. residing with her married daughter, Lemia Robinson, in ward 2 of Louisville.
In May 1906 a suffrage convention was held in Kokomo, IN to revive a statewide suffrage organization that had gone dormant. Mrs. E.M. Wood of Kokomo was elected secretary. In 1909, at a convention in Logansport, IN, Mrs. Wood was elected recording secretary. In 1917 the state legislature passed a partial woman suffrage bill, but the state Supreme Court overturned the law that October. Finally, in January 1920, Indiana ratified the 19th Amendment and Indiana women voted for the first time in November 1920. While we do not know the exact dates of Woods's suffrage activism, her obituary noted that she "was an active member of the Equal Suffrage club and the W.C.T.U. over a long period of time." Digitized newspaper stories from the Kokomo Tribune indicate that Kokomo had an active chapter of the Indiana Equal Suffrage Club well into the 1930s. Unfortunately, no issues of that paper are digitized between 1895 and 1928, so we don't know more about Woods's suffrage work during the movement's prime years.
Federal Manuscript Censuses, 1860 and 1870, Indiana, Moses Mitchell family; 1900-1920, Pipe Creek and Kokomo, IN, Clarence and Evangeline Woods households; 1930, Louisville, KY, Robinson household. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.
Find-a-Grave death entry for Clarence Oliver Woods, 22 January 1928. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.
Find-a-Grave death entry for Evangeline M Mitchell Woods, 5 January 1932. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.
"Mrs. C. O. Woods Dies," Kokomo Tribune, 6 Jan. 1932, p. 3.
"50 Years Ago," Kokomo Tribune, 13 Feb. 1932, p. 4.
Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922) [LINK].