Marker to Honor Indiana Suffragist

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The state will dedicate a new historical marker next month in Lafayette to honor a women's suffrage and prohibition advocate. Helen Gougar became a lawyer and argued for the right of women to vote before the Indiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate in the late 1800s. October 30, 2014

News Release

LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A public dedication ceremony for an Indiana state historical marker commemorating Helen M. Gougar is scheduled for Monday, November 10, 2014. The marker will be dedicated at 1:30 P.M. near 914 Columbia St. in Lafayette, the current home of Fisher Funeral Chapel. Parking is available in the funeral chapel’s lot.

The text follows for the state marker entitled "Helen M. Gougar"

Gougar advocated for women’s suffrage and prohibition as a lawyer, writer, and lecturer, and directly challenged injustices through the legal system. Born in 1843, she moved to Lafayette by 1860, and to house here, 1897. Began newspaper column, 1878; later owned temperance paper. Argued for women’s suffrage in front of Indiana General Assembly and U.S. Senate, 1880s. Gougar challenged suffrage laws by attempting to vote, 1894. She was denied and filed suit against county election board. While few women were lawyers at the time, she gained admission to the bar and argued for “The Constitutional Rights of the Women of Indiana” before county court, 1895, and Indiana Supreme Court, 1897. Died 1907; women achieved suffrage in 1920.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony for this Indiana state historical marker that commemorates Gougar and her efforts to secure suffrage for women in Indiana, as well as her important place in Indiana’s legal history. The Indiana Supreme Court will be in West Lafayette to hear an oral argument at Purdue University at 10:30 am on November 10. Before returning to Indianapolis, the Court will participate in the Helen Gougar marker dedication. The public is welcome to attend this ceremony.

State historical markers commemorate significant individuals, organizations, places, and events in Indiana history. These markers help communities throughout the state promote, preserve, and present their history for the education and enjoyment of residents and tourists of all ages. For almost 100 years the Indiana Historical Bureau, an agency of the State of Indiana, has been marking Indiana history. Since 1946, the marker format has been the large roadside marker, which has the familiar dark blue background with gold lettering and the outline of the state of Indiana at the top. There are over 550 of these markers across the state.

For more information about this marker, the Indiana Historical Marker Program, and other resources about Indiana, visit the Indiana Historical Bureau’s website at http://www.IN.gov/history or call (317) 233-8940. For more information about the marker dedication ceremony, contact Elizabeth Osborn, Indiana Supreme Court, at elizabeth.osborn@courts.IN.gov or call (317) 233-8682.