Harriet Taylor Upton was born on December 17, 1853, in Ravenna, Ohio. At seven years of age, her family moved to Warren, Ohio. In 1890, Upton joined the National Women’s Suffrage Association. The next year, she began Ohio Women in Convention, a group of women seeking equal opportunities, especially the right to vote, with men.
Upton emerged as a leading women’s rights advocate by the early 1890s. In 1894, members of the National Women’s Suffrage Association elected Upton treasurer of the organization. She served in this capacity until 1910. It was at Upton’s urging that the National Women’s Suffrage Association moved its national headquarters to Warren, during this same time period. Upton also served as president of the Ohio Woman’s Suffrage Association from 1899 to 1908 and from 1911 to 1920.
Besides advocating for women’s rights, Upton played other roles in politics. In 1898, she was the first woman elected to the Warren Board of Education. A life-long member of the Republican Party, Upton was the first woman to serve on the Republican National Executive Committee. In 1928, she helped lead the Republican Party’s campaign in Ohio by becoming an assistant state campaign manager. Upton also ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 1926.
Upton was a prolific author. Besides writing several children books, she also authored several histories, including A History of the Western Reserve, The Early Presidents, Their Wives and Children, and History of Trumbull County. Upton died on November 2, 1945.