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Phoebe Wilson Couzins

8 September 1842–6 December 1913

Born 8 Sept. 1842 at St. Louis.[1] Daughter of John Edward Decker Couzins and Adaline Weston.[2] With her mother, helped organize the Western Sanitary Commission, an organization that provided care for wounded soldiers of the Civil War.[3] Delegate to the American Equal Rights Association Convention, 1869.[4] Admitted to the Washington University Law School, in St. Louis, 1869; became its first female law graduate, 1871.[5] Member of the St. Louis Woman Suffrage Association until joining the National Woman Suffrage Association, 1871.[6] Admitted to the bar associations of Arkansas, Utah Territory, Kansas, and Dakota Territory.[7] Nominated to petition the commissioner of Utah Territory to preserve women’s right to vote, 1882.[8] Served as deputy marshal to her father, who was U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri, 1884; appointed by President Grover Cleveland as interim U.S. marshal to fill her deceased father’s term, 1887.[9] Ran for governor of Missouri, 1888.[10] Appointed as a delegate to the board of Lady Managers of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1890; briefly served as secretary to the board.[11] Moved to Chicago, by 1891.[12] Met with EBW, 1894; gave several lectures in Utah Territory, 1895.[13] Renounced women’s suffrage, 1897.[14] Worked as a lobbyist and lecturer for the United Brewers’ Association, beginning 1897.[15] Died 6 Dec. 1913 in St. Louis.[16]

 

 

[1] Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. Missouri Secretary of State, “Death Certificates 1910–1961,” Missouri State Archives (http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/death certificates, accessed 28 Feb. 2018), Phoebe Couzins, 6 Dec. 1913, file 40845/10822. “Family Tree,” database and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 16 Aug. 2018), Phoebe Wilson Couzins (LQR5-YQC). 

[2] Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. Missouri Secretary of State, “Death Certificates 1910–1961,” Missouri State Archives (http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/death certificates, accessed 28 Feb. 2018), Phoebe Couzins, 6 Dec. 1913, file 40845/10822.

[3] Karen Tokarz, “Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins: Among the Nation’s First Women Lawyer and Law School Graduates,” Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 6 (2001): 184.

[4] “Phoebe Couzins (1842–1913),” Historic Missourians, State Historical Society of Missouri (https://shsmo.org/historicmissourians/name/c/couzins, accessed 27 May 2018). Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. “Woman Suffrage,” Leavenworth (KS) Times, 25 Apr. 1869, 1.

[5] Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. “Miss Couzins,” Lawrence (KS) Daily Journal, 1 May 1871, 2.

[6] “Phoebe Couzins (1842–1913),” Historic Missourians, State Historical Society of Missouri (https://shsmo.org/historicmissourians/name/c/couzins, accessed 27 May 2018). Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. “Woman Suffrage,” Leavenworth (KS) Times, 25 Apr. 1869, 1.

[7] Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. “A Lady Marshal,” Aberdeen Daily News (Aberdeen, Dakota Territory), 17 Feb. 1888, 2. Steven L. Staker and Colleen Y. Staker, “Utah’s First Women Lawyers: Phoebe Wilson Couzins and Cora Georgiana Snow,” Utah Bar Journal 6, no. 10 (Dec. 1993): 10.

[8] “Local Matters,” Salt Lake Weekly Herald, 13 Apr. 1882, 1. “Local Matters,” Salt Lake Weekly Herald, 6 Apr. 1882, 5. “Telegraphic,” Salt Lake Weekly Herald, 25 Apr. 1882, 7. “Local News,” Salt Lake Weekly Herald, 12 Apr. 1882, 4.

[9] “Phoebe W. Couzins,” San Francisco Bulletin, 4 Oct. 1887, 1. “A Lady Marshal,” Aberdeen Daily News (Aberdeen, Dakota Territory), 17 Feb. 1888, 2. Edward T. James, ed., Notable American Women 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), 1:390.

[10] “Notes and News,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Jan. 1888, 120.

[11] Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. Edward T. James, ed., Notable American Women 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), 1:390, 391.

[12] The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago, 1891 (Chicago: Chicago Directory, 1891), 558.

[13] EBW, Diary, 31 Dec. 1894; 2 and 13 Jan. 1895. “Miss Phebe Couzins,” Inter-Mountain Advocate (Salt Lake City), 28 Dec. 1894, 2. Edward T. James, ed., Notable American Women 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), 1:390.

[14] “Her Race Almost Run,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 3 Apr. 1897, 16.

[15] Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds., Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999), 211. “Phoebe Couzins, for Canteen, Says Wine Helps to Uplift,” Washington Post, 7 Jan. 1906, 8.

[16] “First of Women Lawyers Dead: Miss Couzins Dies in St. Louis Home,” Washington Times, 7 Dec. 1913, 16.  Missouri Secretary of State, “Death Certificates 1910–1961,” Missouri State Archives (http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/death certificates, accessed 28 Feb. 2018), Phoebe Couzins, 6 Dec. 1913, file 40845/10822.