Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Lucretia Watson Taylor, 1873-1913
By Jessica Vu, undergraduate student, University of California San Diego
Lucretia Estelle Watson Taylor, also affectionately known as Lulu, was born in Pennsylvania in 1873 to oil tycoon Jonathan Watson and well-known public speaker and women's suffragist Elizabeth Lowe Watson. After the couple married and had Lucretia in Pennsylvania, they moved across the country to San Jose, California, where Elizabeth purchased and owned her own fruit farm. Lucretia married Benjamin Grant Taylor in 1899; at the time, he was a law student who later went on to become a clerk at the State Supreme Court. In the 1910 Census. She was listed that year as having no occupation.
Lucretia attended UC Berkeley, and due to her mother's involvement in the suffrage movement, she also got involved at a relatively young age. The earliest newspaper records of her are from 1904, where it describes her participation in the Equal Suffrage Association of Santa Clara County as the president of the group. In October of 1909, she was elected to the office of the recording secretary for the California Equal Suffrage Association. She was also involved in the successful 1911 suffrage campaign, which advocated for Proposition 4 and granted women the right to vote in the state. Beyond participating in organizations, she also contributed to various newspapers by writing articles on women's suffrage. An example of her published work is a 1911 article that she wrote for the San Francisco Call titled "Chivalry's Fate Hangs on Issue of the Battle: Ballot Not Sought to Enable Woman to Rule Man."
She was an avid suffrage worker all her life - in an article by the San Francisco Examiner titled "New Lists Given of Great Achievements: Many of Them Differ Much from Edison's," one of the accomplishments she listed was the "progress of woman suffrage, especially the California victory." Other organizations that she was involved in were the California Club and the Civic League, which strived for "social service, education for citizenship and the promotion of just legislation."
Lucretia died at the age of 39 in February of 1913 and is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, California.
"Chapter IV: California." History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 6: 1900-1920, edited by Ida Husted Harper. New York, NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, p. 51. [LINK]
"Chivalry's Fate Hangs on Issue of the Battle," The San Francisco Call, 26 September 1911, pg. 7.
"Equal Suffragists Meet In Annual Convention," The San Francisco Call, 30 April 1904, pg. 3.
Lucretia Estelle Watson Taylor. Find A Grave. Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/205738624/lucretia-estelle-taylor
"Mrs. Grant Taylor Dead," The San Francisco Examiner, 24 February 1913, pg. 5.
"New Lists Given of Great Achievements: Many of Them Differ Much from Edison's," The San Francisco Examiner, 4 January 1912, pg. 2.
"Passing of Mrs. B. Grant Taylor," Los Gatos Mail, 27 February 1913.
"SBA to Elizabeth Lowe Watson: Atlantic City, N.J. April 1, 1902." The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: An Awful Hush, 1895 to 1906, edited by Ann D. Gordon, Michael David Cohen, Sara Rzeszutek Haviland. Rutgers University Press: 2013. pp. 427-429.
"Suffragists Name Mrs. Watson Chief," The San Francisco Examiner, 3 October 1909, pg. 3.
U.S. Census Bureau (1910). Population. Retrieved from https://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/imageviewer/collections/7884/images/31111_4327309-00998?usePUB=true&_phsrc=LNA19&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=178507486
"Women Take First Turn Watching at The Polls," The San Francisco Examiner, 11 October 1911, pg. 2.