Lucia V. Grimes was born August 28, 1877, in
Princeville, Valley Township, Stark County , Illinois,
in a family of Dutch descent. Princeville was a farming community and due to the early death of her
father, Lucia Grimes helped to run the family farm, starting at an early age. She graduated from high
school in 1895 and , after teaching for one year in a one-room country school , she enrolled at the Illinois
State Normal School in Normal,Illinois in 1896. During her stay at Normal, she was captain of the girls'
basketball team, then Illinois state champions.
After a year's teaching in the Pekin,
Illinois high school 1898-1899, she enrolled in the University of
Michigan. She graduated in 1902 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts, having also obtained her teacher's
certificate in History and English. She taught for two years at the Escnaba, Michigan high school before
returning to school. In 1905 she received her Master's degree in History. Aftr two more years of teaching
,in Coldwater,Michigan and Oklahoma City, she married George Lyman Grimes on April 29, 1907.
Lucia Voorhees Grimes circa 1930
Mr. Grimes was an instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan from 1903 to 1907. In that year he left the university and worked in Flint and Detroit as afoundry specialist. In 1909 he founded his own firm, the Grimes Molding Machine Company, in Detroit, that he managed until his retirement.
During World War I, and for nearly ten years afterwards,
Lucia Grimes worked with her husband as purchasing agent for the family firm. In 1928 she joined the faculy
of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, where she taught History and English until her retirement
in 1948. While teaching at Cass, she was enrolled in the Graduate school of the university as a student
in the doctoral program in History and
completed twenty hours towrds her doctorate.
Mr. and Mrs. Grimes' only daughter,Emily, born in 1909, graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Lucia Grimes became an active participant in the
women's suffrage movement at the time of her
marriage in 1907 when she moved to Detroit. Her first association was with the College Suffrage League,
later, she wa sone of the organizers of the Equal Suffrage League of Wayne County and chairman of its
political Department. She prepared a card file on members of the Michigan legislature and on the basis of
that pioneering venturewas invited by the National Women's Suffrage association to ccomplie a crd file on
all Members. of Congress. She and her daughter spent some six weeks in Washington, during the fall of
1915 to prepare this file which is now in the Library of the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Lucia Grimes played a leading role in the National Woman's
Party, as one of the organizers of its
Michigan branch. She worked as a challenger in the 1913 and 1917 elections when a women's suffrage
amendment was put before Michigan voters and took part in the vital preparations that led to the passage
of the bill to give Michigan women presidental suffrage. By 1918, as Legislative Chairman of the
Michigan FEderation of Women's Clubs, she was one of the leaders of the effort to have the state ratify
the 19th or Susan B. Anthony amendment to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to
vote. In 1920, Michigan became the second state to rafity the 19th amendment.
Lucia as she appeared in a newspaper article 25 April 1965
After the passage of the 19th amendment, Lucia
Grimes continued her efforts to bring women into the
political arena. She was the Recording Secretary of the Campaign League of Detroit, and President of the
Wayne County Women's Republican Club. In 1920, in recognition of her contribution to the suffrage
movement, she was elected Chairman of the Legislative Council of Michigan Women and continued,
throughout the 1920's and 1930's to take an active interest in the work of the Michigan legislature.
In 1968, Lucia Grimes published "A History
of the Suffrage Movement as Related to Michigan and
Detroit" (Detroit, Cass Technical High School ; 55 pp.) as short and authoritative account of the
movement of which she was such an important member.
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