Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 1934

Mother stayed in bed sick today.
Edna Gellhorn papers at
Edna Gellhorn (December 18, 1878 - September 24, 1970)

Born in St. Louis, inspired by her activist mother and very supportive husband, Edna
Gellhorn worked for the passage of clean water and pure-milk legislation. With her husband George,
she worked to reduce infant mortality through their campaign to ensure a safe milk supply
for babies and a provision for free medical clinics. During World War I, she served as
regional director of the food rationing programs.

In 1910, she fought for women's right to vote, saying she was "inspired by the message
that women had something to contribute." From 1910 to 1919, when women secured
the right to vote, Gellhorn worked with state and local Equal Suffrage Leagues. She helped
form the National League of Women Voters and served as the league's first vice president.
She also founded and was president of the St. Louis League of Women Voters and Missouri
League of Women Voters, where she served as the first president. Gellhorn led the
St. Louis league's effort to institute the merit system in Missouri government hiring as
well as leading the league to become one of the first racially integrated civic groups
in St. Louis.

Gellhorn received honorary degrees from Lindenwood College and Washington
University. In 1957 the St. Louis Globe Democrat named her a Woman of Achievement.

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