Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Florence Gibb Pratt, 1872-1935

By Rusty Tobin, Empire (N.Y.) State College

Florence Gibb Pratt was born November 3, 1872 in Brooklyn, New York to John Gibb, a Scottish immigrant and successful dry goods merchant, and Harriet Balsdon Gibb, an English immigrant. Florence was the ninth of ten children and her mother died when she was six. She graduated from Packer Collegiate Institute, a private female academy in Brooklyn, in 1894, and was known as a member of the Brooklyn "Hill and Heights" society set. In 1897 she married Herbert Lee Pratt, an oil executive and art collector. They had five children. She was the sister-in-law of Ruth Baker Pratt, the first woman to serve on New York City's Board of Alderman and the first woman to represent New York State in the House of Representatives.

Florence Pratt was Treasurer of the New York City Woman Suffrage Party and a member of the Party's Executive Board in 1917. She served overseas with the Y.W.C.A. during World War I. After woman suffrage was achieved, Pratt joined the Women's National Republican Club. In 1925, she was one of four women named to the fifty-six member Hughes Commission for the reorganization of New York State government, serving on the Labor subcommittee. She was on the executive committee of New York State Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform. In the early 1920's she became a member of the Board of Education of Glen Cove, New York and in 1928 was elected by the New York State Legislature to the Board of Regents, which oversees the State University System and the Department of Education. Pratt was the first woman elected to the Board and served until her death.

She also served as president of the Board of Managers of Nassau Hospital and was a member of the Colony Club, Cosmopolitan Club, Women's Club of Paris and London, and the Women's National Tennis and River Club. She died suddenly of a heart attack on January 2, 1935 in New York City.


John Gibbs, Ninth Census 1870, Census Place: Plainfield, Union, New Jersey, Roll M593_891, Page: 667B, Image: 185.

Florence Gibb, Tenth Census 1880, Census Place: Kings (Brooklyn), New York City-Greater, New York, Roll T9_844, Enumeration District: 56; Image: 0092.

Florance Gibb, New York, State Census, 1875 [database on-line] Provo, UT, USA;

Harper, Ida Husted, History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. VI, New York: National Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, 466.

Malcolm, James, ed. The New York Red Book. Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Co., 1932, 260.

"Obituaries, Gibb," New York Times (NYT) 12/7/1878, 5.

"Pratt-Gibb," New York Times, 4/29/1897, 7.

"Suffragists Name District Leaders," NYT, 12/5/1917, 6.

"Hughes Names 56 For State Revision," NYT, 11/24/1925, 4.

"Mrs. H. L. Pratt, 62, Dead at Home Here," NYT, 1/3/1935, 23.


Florence Gibb Pratt

Source: Foreman, John, "Big Old Houses: I've Wondered for Years - Part 2 of 3 - 1027 Fifth Ave," 4/14/1915 at

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