Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Cora Best Taylor Jewell, 1879-1938

By Linda D. Wilson, Independent Historian

Missouri suffragist Cora Best Taylor was born circa 1879 in Wisconsin of unknown parentage. According to the 1920 U.S. federal census her father was born in Canada and her mother in Pennsylvania. On an unknown date and place she married Benjamin L. Jewell, a lieutenant of the St. Louis Fire Department, Engine Company number 30, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her husband died on February 2, 1916, in St. Louis. Her husband's obituary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on February 3, 1916, gives her maiden name as Taylor. In 1920 as a widow, she worked as a salesperson in a bakery in St. Louis. By 1930 Cora operated a boarding house on Market Street in St. Louis.

The only extant record of Cora Best Jewell's participation in the woman suffrage movement occurred in the autumn of 1912 when she was selected as secretary of the Southside Equal Suffrage League in St. Louis. At that time the league was organized, and Clara Craumer Leavens served as president. This information is mentioned in Volume Six of The History of Woman Suffrage, edited by Ida Husted Harper.

Cora B. Jewell died on March 18, 1938, in St. Louis, and she was buried in the Fee Fee Cemetery, where her husband was buried in February 1916.


Biographical Sketch of Clara Craumer Leavens, accessed on May 16, 2022.

Ida Husted Harper, History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 6 (NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 346.

St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch, February 3, 1916.

U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Cora B. Jewell listed as widow of Benjamin Jewell in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1920.

U.S., Federal Census, 1920, St. Louis Ward 25, St. Louis (Independent City), Missouri.

U.S., Federal Census, 1930, St. Louis, St. Louis (Independent City), Missouri.

U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Lieutenant Benjamin L. Jewell.

U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Cora B. Jewell.

back to top