Georgia Fowler

Name: Georgia Fowler (Cook (?))
Birth Date: unknown
Birth Place: New York
Death Date: 1966
Death Location: Evanston, IL
Burial Place: Memorial Park, Skokie

Summary

Georgia Fowler was the seventh president of the League of Women Voters of Evanston. She served from 1931-1935.

Before moving to Evanston, Georgia and her husband Clarence P. Fowler lived in Pennsylvania, first near Pittsburgh and then near Philadelphia. She was active in League of Women Voters activities there, including serving as chair of Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County branch of the League. She remained active in the League after moving to Evanston and was the seventh president of the League of Women Voters of Evanston.

At the state level, Georgia Fowler was chair of the Committee on the Legal Status of Women for the League of Women Voters of Illinois. She was a strong advocate for including women on juries in Illinois and spoke about this across the state. Below is an excerpt from a report in the Herald and Review (Decatur, Illinois), February 15, 1929 on one of her talks:

“Mrs. Fowler is most interested in the women on juries bill, which is foremost on the League’s program of bills being sponsored in this legislature. She said that juries were known as far back as the Babylonian time, and women served on them then. Women also served on the Colonial juries, she reminded the group. Mrs. Fowler related her experiences as a jurywoman in Pennsylvania, and declared that they were not dreadful, and she was eager to serve.

“You remember that the men told us that we would be contaminated if we went to the polls,” Mrs. Fowler stated. “We know through experience that is not true. Neither would we be contaminated with jury service. It is merely a theory.””

Once the change allowing Illinois women to serve on juries went into effect (though only temporarily), Georgia Fowler helped to monitor its implementation. She worked with the Illinois League of Women Voters to survey county clerks throughout the state to check on whether they had added women to their lists of potential jurors. Interestingly, in March 1931 she became the first Evanston woman to serve on a jury.

Georgia Fowler spoke across the state about the League of Women Voters, the importance of informed voting, and other issues.

She was also a business woman. Georgia and her daughter Thelma owned and ran the Thelma Parkes Fowler Dress Shop at 906 Hinman, an Evanston shopping destination for many years.

Quotes: "You remember that the men told us that we would be contaminated if we went to the polls. We know through experience that this not true. Neither would be contaminated by jury service." from the Herald and Review newspaper in Decatur, IL, 2.15.1929
Children: Y, 3 - Margaret, Thelma
Years in Evanston: 1930- 1966

Sources: Ancestry; Newspapers accessed through newspapers.com; EHC clipping files; LWVE Membership Directory

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