Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mrs. Ellen Miller (Boswell), 1850-1915

By Pat Schultz and Thomas Dublin

Ellen Fear (or Fearer) was born in Illinois in 1850 and married Albert Miller in Beatrice, Nebraska. He died in 1904, and after living for a period near her sons in California, she returned to Beatrice in 1905 and married Dr. David Boswell. After a period living in Missouri, they returned to Beatrice.

Ellen Miller was a joiner and newspaper reports reveal her membership in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Political Study Group of Beatrice, the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association, the Royal Neighbors of America, the Grand Lodge, and the Knights and Ladies of Security—all between 1902 and 1905.

Several articles concerned Miller's participation in suffrage debates and organizations. At the state suffrage convention that met in Tecumseh, Neb. in December 1902, Mrs. Miller was chosen to serve on a committee of the association. The report of the convention is very business-like, but even sober business among women could lead to controversy. The same story appeared in the Nebraska State Journal in Lincoln and the Lincoln Journal Star after the convention but the latter story led off with the mocking headline "Suffragists Cease Resolving and Return to Their Household Cares."

The Political Study Group of Beatrice met at least three times in 1902-03, twice at the home of Ellen Miller and one meeting led off with the question, "Why do you want Woman Suffrage?" Later in the meeting a participant read from a NAWSA pamphlet, "The Subjection of Women." At a subsequent meeting Mrs. Miller apparently gave a paper arguing for an educational qualification for suffrage." The group as a whole, however, disagreed with Miller: "it was the unanimous vote that nothing less than full suffrage should be asked for."

Ellen Miller Boswell seems to have moved to California (perhaps living with one of her sons), where she passed away in 1915.


Newspapers published between 1902 and 1905 consulted through included:

The Beatrice Daily Express

Beatrice Daily Sun

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln)

Omaha Daily Bee Searches for Ellen A. Miller, Ellen A. Fear, Ellen Boswell

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