19th at 100: Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Northeast Ohio Main MenuIntroductionThe Road to SuffrageThe Struggle at CWRUNotable FiguresAfter SuffrageEinav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a7958Lauren Dostal628641db4e19e9efe2242726f29ce1860e9c6baeIsabel Fedewa20dc403a88a0fde6c4856bc25beccbae49174777Jewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf01Kellyn Toombsef2469033dbca72962b50fe7dea33c71c0a45069Abbey Wellsef2cda5c08d1ad75ae8532e3f202032ddc31cee0
Florence Ellinwood Allen is sworn in as a Common Pleas Court Judge for Cuyahoga County in 1921
12020-05-13T14:28:19+00:00Einav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a795881plain2020-05-13T14:28:19+00:00Kent State University at Ashtabula1921Einav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a7958
Maybe Western Reserve University’s most notable suffragist alumna, Florence Ellenwood Allen was a judge whose career was marked with a series of “firsts.” Allen began her studies in the Women’s College of Western Reserve University in 1900, at age 16, and graduated with a master’s in political science Phi Betta Kappa.
She decided to pursue a law degree, but could not enrolled into Western Reserve, which did not admit women to their law school at the time. Instead, she went to the University of Chicago and to New York University, where she graduated second in her class.
New York was also the place where Allen first began her suffrage activism, joining the College Equal Suffrage League. She also became involved with some of the leaders of the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA), including Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Howard Shaw and Maud Wood Park, who gave her a job as an organizer.
Upon her return to Cleveland, she became involved in the local suffrage efforts, traveling all over Ohio during the 1912 and 1914 campaigns to amend the State Constitution. In 1916, she successfully defended before the Ohio Supreme Court the right of East Cleveland women residents to vote in municipal elections.
After the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Allen was appointed as the first female judge to the Common Appeals Court, beginning her long career on the bench. She was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 1922 and 1928, and in 1934 was appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the first woman to do so. She served until 1959, yet she never retired from her public engagement, continuing to write and lecture widely. She died in 1966.