Catharine Gouger Waugh McCulloch
Catharine McCulloch is our featured person in history this week. She was instrumental in passing legislation in Illinois for the age of consent for women from 14 to 16 and gaining women equal guardianship of their children.
Suffragette and lawyer Catharine Gouger Waugh McCulloch was born near Ransomville, New York. The family later moved to a farm near New Milford, Illinois; she attended the village school and nearby Rockford Female Seminary, graduating in 1882. In 1885 she enrolled in the Union College of Law in Chicago, precursor to Northwestern University Law School, and upon completion of the course (1886) was admitted to the Illinois bar. After further study at Rockford Seminary, McCulloch was awarded a BA and then an MA in 1888. Her master’s thesis, “Women’s Wages,” would be published and widely reviewed. In 1890 she married Frank Hathorn McCulloch, a fellow law student with whom she then practiced law. They had four children. Click here to read more.