Born in 1852 in Columbus, Pennsylvania, Elnora Monroe Babcock became a leader in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, rising to the status of Press Secretary for the organization. She moved to Dunkirk in 1880, having married John. W. Babcock of Jamestown at the age of 18. Her husband served as superintendent of the Dunkirk public school system. in 1889 her efforts helped create a Political Equality Club in the city and she was elected its first president. She was also elected president of the Chautauqua County Political Equality Club, the most thoroughly organized county in the United States, proven by the fact there came to be twenty-five flourishing local clubs within its borders and a membership of 1,400.
According to Sara Kibbler’s The Suffrage Writings of Elnora Babcock, “As the publicist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) between 1899 and 1906, Elnora Monroe Babcock of Dunkirk, New York wrote and distributed thousands of purposeful newspaper articles advocating women’s suffrage. By her estimate, she sent out approximately 200,000 articles annually. At the turn of the twentieth century, she reported that she was furnishing ‘150 papers with articles regularly, some every week, others once in two or three weeks. Fifty papers are supplied with one column a week of plate matter,’ she continued, ‘and the American Press Association, the Columbia Press Co., and New York Newspaper Union of New York and A. N. Kellogg and Western Newspaper Union of Chicago are also furnished with suffrage matter.’” [Click here for article: Babcock ]
Her name is inscribed on a bronze tablet in the New York State Capitol in Albany along with those of other prominent suffragists.
While living in Dunkirk she was a member of the Adams Memorial Unitarian Church and of the Women’s Alliance group that existed in that church. The also helped establish the Women’s Literary Club in the city.
She died in Dunkirk in 1934.
A chapter she wrote for the History of Chautauqua County called “Political Equality Movement” can be found here: