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Ella Boole

(1858–1952) Her obituary reads “World Leader of WCTU dies at 92." Ella was an American temperance leader and social reformer. She served as head of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union from 1931 to 1947, after serving as head of the United States' National WCTU.

Following the enfranchisement of women in the United States, Ella decided to run for office herself. In 1920, she unsuccessfully challenged James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr. for the Republican Party nomination for the United States Senate. After losing the nomination, she ran as a candidate for the Prohibition Party against Wadsworth and the Democratic and Socialist Party candidates in the general election. Wadsworth won easily with 52% of the vote, while Boole came in third place with 7% of the vote, not far ahead of the Socialist candidate.

Earlier in her life she had shown great skill as an organizer of new unions, and became vice-president of the New York state union in 1891. After the death of Ella's husband, she was able to support her family through an inheritance from her father and income from her speaking engagements and temperance activities. One of her key activities was in shifting WCTU work away from its emphasis on collecting petitions, and towards direct lobbying of legislators.

Her other causes included supporting legislative changes to bring about social reform, including laws to protect the rights of women and children in industry, the establishment of separate courts and deputies for juvenile offenders, and woman suffrage. As President of the International WCTU, she promoted disarmament, the end of the international illicit drug trade, and supported international women's rights.


Cypress Hills Cemetery

833 Jamaica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208

Kings County

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