The Nugent Sisters: Georgia (circa 1872), Alice (1875), Ida (1880) and Mollie (1867)

This biosketch was written by Dr. Carol Mattingly, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Louisville. For her full project on “African American Women and Suffrage in Louisville,” visit

Georgia A. Nugent Improvement Club, Louisville

The Georgia A. Nugent Improvement Club of Louisville was organized September 25, 1896, as the Louisville Woman’s Improvement Club after a visit to Louisville by the investigative journalist and suffragist Ida B. Wells-Barnett of Chicago. Charter members of the club included Mary V. Cook, Georgia A. Nugent and Mamie E. Steward – and they elected Fannie B. Williams president. The women in this 1945 photo are listed as follows:

Mamie E. Lee Steward

Portrait of Mamie E. Lee Steward (1869-1930) of Louisville, active in the West End Republican League of Colored Women, president of the Baptist Women's Educational Convention, and the second president of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women. Image snipped from Part 1, Reel 24 frame 360 of National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, (microform), eds. Lillian Serece Williams and Randolph Boehm (Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, 1994).

Georgia Anne Nugent (1873-1940), Louisville educator and clubwoman

Georgia Anne Nugent (15 May 1873 – 28 November 1940), first president of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, served as an officer in the National Association of Colored Women. She taught for more than forty years in the segregated Louisville public school system, volunteered as a Baptist Sunday-school teacher for half a century, and participated in many charity works and fundraising campaigns for the community.

Working across racial boundaries in Bell County for women's suffrage

While updating items on the Kentucky "Votes for Women" Trail digital map, I came across a wonderful bit of information reported by Stella Thompson Helburn, secretary for the Bell County Suffrage League, to the Kentucky Equal Rights Association convention in 1915.

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