Mary Newbury Adams


Mary Newbury Adams

"Adams, one of the founders of the Republican party in Dubuque, was an ardent Women's rights advocate."
— Louise R. Noun, Strong-Minded Women, 1969


Mary Newbury Adams, of Dubuque, Iowa helped establish the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs and made major contributions to the Women's suffrage movement. In 1868, she formed her first study club as a way to increase Women's knowledge and education. Adams was later instrumental in uniting similar clubs together statewide into an association, the predecessor of the still-existing Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs. Adams' suffrage work began in 1869. Following an inspiring speech by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Adams founded the Northern Iowa Suffrage Association, the first suffrage organization in Iowa. Gradually, she started working with nationally known suffragists as she strove to unite women to gain their equal educational and legal rights. Born in 1837, Adams died in 1901. Adams was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1981.