Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Louisa (or Louise) F. Titcomb, 1883-1902

By Dana Suleiman, University of California, San Diego

Louisa Frances Titcomb was born June 1823 in Stroudwater, Maine. She was recorded as residing in Portland and Stroudwater and never married. She died in 1905 and was buried in Stroudwater cemetery.

In 1885, Titcomb served as Corresponding Secretary of the Maine Woman Suffrage Association. She also appears in an 1890 report for the Maine Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She was recorded Superintendent of the Cumberland County Franchise Department of the Maine WCTU. In 1891, Louisa was listed as one of about twenty suffragists on the 1891 Maine Pro-Suffrage Map found in the Journal of the House of Representatives, Sixty-Fifth Legislature. She was part of the feminization and professionalism of the Maine suffrage movement, as well as part of an executive committee composed entirely of women. She went on to help other women in 1896 hold a "vigorous" campaign for the women's municipal ballot.

An article in the 1899 Portland Daily Press describes mock testimony for woman suffrage and humorous "testimony" by suffragists acting the parts of anti-suffragists. Louisa played the part of an antisuffragist described in these terms: "She wore a poke bonnet and a costume which would have been considered a la mode some fifty years ago. Her argument against the granting of the petition was very witty and created no end of amusement among the spectators." That same year, Louisa held annual meetings, raised donations, and raised awareness to help prevent animal cruelty as the secretary pro tem for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

As the Superintendent of Franchise Department for the Maine Women's Christian Temperance Union in Cumberland County, she fought for the women's municipal ballot. She said, "Our cause is surely gaining, but in many unforeseen and various directions it is very difficult to reduce them to facts." She mentioned the World's Fair and the importance Great Britain had on women's "ability, success and final liberty to do what she will. Everyday she is steadily gaining in the most difficult departments of art, learning, and science. Our last county convention showed great unanimity on the suffrage cause." She was particularly proud of the new suffrage club that had growing interest and participation in Portland. In 1899, Louisa was acknowledged in the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier for her writing contributions to the local fair. She was shown as living in Stroudwater, Maine, at the time.

Louisa died at the age of 82 in 1905 due to a brain tumor, and was buried in Stroudwater cemetery.


1900 United States Federal Census. Louisa F. Titcomb. Accessed via Ancestry Library Edition.

Find-a-Grave death record for Louise Titcomb July 1905. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.

"Annual Meeting." Portland Daily Press. April 4, 1882.

"W.C.C.H Column." Jan 30, 1896. The American.

"For Suffrage," Portland Daily Press, 22 May 1899, p. 3.

Risk, Shannon M. "In Order to Establish Justice: The Nineteenth Century Woman Suffrage Movements of Maine and New Brunswick," The University of Maine Digital Commons @UMaine. 2009, accessed at

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Maine. "Annual Report of the Women's Christian Temperance Union of the State of Maine, Volumes 16-20.," p. 52 (United States: The Union, 1890).

History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, MWSA chapter, pp. 689-94 [LINK] and vol. 6, Maine state report [LINK].

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