Evanston Political Equality League
The Evanston Political Equality League founded in 1903 or 1904 was a group dedicated to fighting for suffrage that included many prominent Evanston women, including both Elizabeth Harbert and Catharine McCulloch. As was common for suffrage organizations, many of the EPEL’s members were also involved in temperance and other reform causes as part of women’s clubs or the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. When the EPEL formed it affiliated with the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association (IESA), the leading state-wide organization and thus was linked to both the state and national work for suffrage. In 1895, an Evanston Index article recognized the efforts of Celestia McKinnie and Elizabeth Harbert, who had been “urging the legislature to extend further suffrage to women”—the kind of effort that other accounts tell us was often met with ridicule.