Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

James, Ada Lois 1876 - 1952

James, Ada Lois 1876 - 1952 | Wisconsin Historical Society

suffragist, social worker, reformer, b. Richland Center. She graduated from high school in 1894, taught school for several years, and soon became active in the woman's suffrage movement in which both her parents were playing prominent roles. In 1911 she became president of the newly formed Political Equality League, holding this office until 1913 when the league was combined with the Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association under the leadership of Mrs. Henry Youmans (q.v.). Ada James was active in many of the reform movements of the 1920's including pacifism, the advocacy of birth control, and prohibition. In 1922 she was vice-chairman of the Republican state central committee, and in 1923 was president of the Wisconsin Woman's Progressive Association, but left the organization when Robert M. La Follette, Sr. (q.v.), insisted on supporting Governor John J. Blaine (q.v.). During the 1920's Miss James was also engaged with Levi H. Bancroft (q.v.) in a series of slander suits growing out of her support of S. E. Smalley for the Republican nomination for a Wisconsin circuit judgeship. Active in social work, she administered the David G. James Memorial Fund established in 1922 for the relief of needy families in Richland County. She was chairman of the county children's board for many years. Milwaukee Journal, Dec. 21, 1924; Richland Center Richland Democrat, Oct. 2, 1952; Madison Wis. State journal, Sept. 30, 1952; A. L. James Papers.

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[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]