Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Cora Brown Gotchy, 1863-1943
By Patrick Salkeld, undergraduate student
University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma
Cora Brown Gotchy was born in 1863 in New York. On July 29, 1903, at age thirty-nine she married Edward D. Gotchy in Lake County, Indiana. They had one child, Maude. During this time, they lived in Chicago, Illinois, while her husband earned his medical degree from Dearborn Medical College in 1904 and opened a practice. By 1908 the family had relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Cora's husband opened a medical practice there.
A progressive and prominent club worker, in November 1911, Cora Gotchy presided as state chairman of the Ladies' Progressive Club. In 1913, she served as President of the Oklahoma Woman's Suffrage Association, a NAWSA chapter, as well as President of the Second District for the Oklahoma State Federation of Women's Clubs, a position she had held since 1911. That year she led the women's clubs to help the Progressive Party obtain a place on the Oklahoma state ballot. Gotchy also campaigned to resubmit a woman's suffrage amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution in 1913, but it failed to receive support. She represented Oklahoma at the forty-sixth Annual NAWSA conference in Nashville, Tennessee from November 12-17, 1914. She resigned from the presidency of both associations in 1914.
Outside of pursuing woman's suffrage, Cora Gotchy participated in various local organizations. For example, in 1901 she served as president of the Sorosis Club; she was a charter member in 1910 of the Oklahoma Art League; sat on the board of directors for the County Anti-Tuberculosis Society; she was a member of the Sarah Hackett Stevenson Memorial Lodging House Association Executive Committee in 1919; and she was a member of the Oklahoma Authors Club.
In 1914, the Gotchys permanently returned to Chicago, Illinois, where Cora participated in the Chicago Political Equality League as a director. Sometime after her husband's death in 1924, she returned to New York to live with her daughter's family. Cora Gotchy died in 1943, and she is buried in the Oakridge-Glen Oak Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.
U.S Census, 1910, Oklahoma City Ward 1, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, accessed on FamilySearch.org, December 22, 2016. U.S. Census 1900, Precinct 14 Hyde Park Township, Chicago City Ward 34, Cook County, Illinois, accessed on FamilySearch.org, December 23, 2016. Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007, Edward D Gotchy and Cora S Brown, 29 Jul 1903, Lake County, Indiana, accessed on FamilySearch.org, January 21, 2016. "Cora Taylor Gotchy," findagrave.com. Ida Husted Harper, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 5, 1900-1920 (New York: National America Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 607. [LINK] National American Woman Suffrage Association. The Handbook of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Proceedings of the Forty-Sixth Annual Convention, (New York City: W. W. S. Publishing Co., Inc., 1914), 203. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 29 September 1935. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 12 June. 1909. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 4 June 1911. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 4 September 1914. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 21 April 1914. Forty-Second Annual Announcement of the Chicago Woman's Club, 1918-1919, Vol. 43 (Chicago: Chicago's Woman's Club, 1918), 225. "Maude Cosad Levings," findagrave.com. Arkansas City Daily Traveler (Arkansas City, Kan.) 6 August 1913. The Chanute Daily Tribune (Chanute, Kan.) 4 April 1913.