Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Marie Ellene Seibel Olin, 1854-1931
By Kaley Cooksey, University of California, San Diego
Marie Ellene Seibel was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1854 to Mary Ann Johnson and Charles M. Seibel. She grew up in Mantua, Ohio and she graduated from Kent High School, where she met her future husband, Oscar E. Olin. The couple married on March 21, 1878 and had two daughters, Charlotte and Esther. All four members of the family had careers as teachers.
The family moved to Kansas for about three years and both Marie and Oscar taught there. The family then moved to Akron, Ohio, and Marie didn't focus on teaching as much. Oscar, on the other hand, became the head of the Philosophy department and then later the vice president for Buchtel College (now the University of Akron). Oscar was one of the most beloved educators at Buchtel College. The students referred to him as "Daddy" Olin. In turn, the students and faculty at Buchtel saw Marie as their campus mother or "adoptive mother".
Akron Women's History briefly touches on Olin's involvement in the suffrage movement. It is reported that Olin was involved in the Women's Universalist Missionary Association, a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and a member of the Summit County Woman's Suffrage Association. She was also president of many organizations, including the Akron Federation of Women's Clubs from 1910 to 1912, the Cuyahoga Portage chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the New Century Club from 1915-1916, of which she was also named an honorary member. Olin also helped organize the Home and School League which she was president of from 1915-1916.
Olin's interest in suffrage was secondary to her involvement in the many organizations and clubs she joined or headed. Surviving sources do indicate she was a member of the Summit County Woman Suffrage Association. Above all, she was most known for being the campus mother at Buchtel College and a faculty wife to Oscar.
Marie Ellene Seibel Olin passed away on June 18, 1931, in the same house where she grew up in Mantua, Ohio. Oscar retired that same month, after teaching for more than 50 years, and passed away in 1933.
Devers, S. (2013, August 16). Marie Ellene Seibel Olin, 1854-1931 | Akron Women's History. Akron's Women's History. https://blogs.uakron.edu/womenshistory/2013/08/16/marie-ellene-seibel-olin-1854-1931/
Legacy Washington. (n.d.). Washington LegacyMakers Biographical Database. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/legacymakers/detail.aspx?personid=1219
16 Feb 1933, Page 17 - The Akron Beacon Journal at. (1933, February 16). Newspapers.com. https://www.newspapers.com/image/228693613/?terms=marie%20ellene%20seibel%20olin&match=1