ELIZABETH HAUSER, (16 March, 1873 - 11 November, 1958), writer and suffrage leader, was born in Girard, Ohio, to David and Mary (Bixler) Hauser. After graduation from high school, she began her career as a journalist with local newspapers, including the Warren Tribune Chronicle. She joined the suffrage movement at age sixteen, working closely with Ohio Woman Suffrage Association (OWSA) president, Harriet Upton Taylor, in the association’s headquarters in Warren, Ohio. She became press secretary for the OWSA and the NATIONAL AMERICAN WOMAN’S SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION (NAWSA) in 1895. When the NAWSA’s national headquarters were relocated to Warren during 1903-1909, Hauser ran the office as she lectured on suffrage around the state.
From November 1910 to March 1911, she also edited My Story, the autobiography of former mayor TOM L. JOHNSON. In failing health, he dictated most of the book’s content to her. She organized the material into coherent chapters and added a foreword and a concluding chapter. Her editing helped to create the enduring, positive portrait of Johnson that inspired later historians, politicians, and artists.
As the autobiography was prepared for publication, Hauser threw herself back into her suffrage activities, organizing rallies and recruiting new supporters from Cleveland’s elite families. The suffragists’ goal was to amend the Ohio constitution in 1912 to enfranchise women. Hauser opened the headquarters for the OWSA in Columbus and registered as its lobbyist. he amendment failed, as did a referendum on suffrage in 1914. Hauser then became the field organizer for the OWSA, acting as its press agent and lobbyist, and in 1915, becoming its chairman. She spoke widely throughout Ohio during the months that led up to the final suffrage victory on August 18, 1920.
When the Woman Suffrage Party of Greater Cleveland re-organized as the Cleveland LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS (LWV), Hauser was elected as its regional director and later served on its executive council and national board. In 1931, Hauser, with Harriet Upton Taylor and Clevelanders BELLE SHERWIN and FLORENCE ALLEN, was named to the national LWV Roll of Honor.
Hauser also joined the Progressive Party in 1924, supporting Senator Robert LaFollette for President, and remained active with the party into the 1930s.
Hauser never married and had no children. She is buried in the Girard-Liberty Union Cemetery.
Updated by Marian Morton
Abbott, Virginia Clark. The History of Woman Suffrage and the League of Women Voters in Cuyahoga County, 1911-1945 (Cleveland, 1949).