On Aug. 26, 2021 the League of Women Voters of Oak Park, the Nineteenth Century Charitable Association and the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest, celebrated the installation of the National Votes for Women Trail Marker honoring Grace Wilbur Trout.
Trout was president of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association (IESA) from 1912 to 1920, and spearheaded the campaign for woman suffrage in the state. Once the Nineteenth Amendment had been enacted, IESA decided its work was finished and was succeeded by the Illinois League of Women Voters. Mrs. Trout signed the Illinois League’s incorporation documents.
The marker is located at the site of Mrs. Trout’s home, 414 Forest Ave. in Oak Park.
The ceremony began at 1 pm on Thursday, Aug. 26. Afterward, all were invited back to the Nineteenth Century Club building at 178 Forest Ave, Oak Park for cookies and lemonade.
This is only one of 250 women’s suffrage sites across the country being recognized with a Votes for Women Trail Marker. The trail is a project of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and markers are funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.
Additional markers in Illinois recognize Ellen Martin, the Lombard woman who first cast a ballot; Catharine Waugh McCulloch of Evanston, a primary architect of the Illinois effort to pass suffrage; and the Alpha Suffrage Club, established by Ida B. Wells-Barnett as the first African-American suffrage organization.
The interactive online trail includes nearly 2200 recognized suffrage sites across the 50 states. Trail sites in Oak Park include the Nineteenth Century Club building, the Scoville Institute site, and the homes of Dr. Julia Holmes Smith and Dr. Anna Blount.
For more information about the trail, click here (https://ncwhs.org/votes-for-women-trail/)