Valiant Women of the Vote, March 11th in Celebration of Women’s History Month

The Impact 100 March Lunch and Learn was not only educational and interesting, but also, the historic Propylaeum was the perfect venue. Liz Ellis, Executive Director of the Propylaeum, discussed three women active in the Indiana suffrage movement: Carrie Barnes, May Wright Sewall, and Eleanor Barker. The focus of the luncheon was May Wright Sewall, founder of the Propylaeum, and a recognized American reformer. She was an internationally known peace activist and women’s suffrage leader beginning in the 1870’s. Sewall and other Hoosier women met in secret to form the Equal Suffrage Society of Indianapolis. Later, she founded the International Council of Women and served two terms as its President. She served eight years as chair of the Executive Committee of the National Women’s Suffrage Association, and was President of the National Council of Women of the United States. She and her husband taught at Indianapolis High School, which later became Shortridge High School.

The tour of the mansion, built in 1892, included the exquisite bedrooms, Carol Lombard Room, Southeast room (formal music room), Archives Room, and Tea Room. Another highlight was the oil painting by local artist Roberta Avidor, who created the piece to commemorate the suffrage centennial.

Special thank you to Diane Tollliver, who attended dressed in full costume as a suffragist, and Jill Chambers, Historian. Both are Impact 100 Indy members.