Catherine Gougher Waugh Mcculloch (1862-1945)


Catharine Gouger Waugh McCulloch challenged legal barriers to woman suffrage through her career as a lawyer. Unable to break into the male dominated profession in Chicago, McCulloch and her husband started their own law firm. As a lawyer and legislative superintendent of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, McCulloch drew up a bill providing for woman suffrage in presidential and state elections as a way of circumventing the state constitution. She also drafted bills granting women equal rights in the guardianship of their children and raising women’s legal age of consent from fourteen to sixteen.

McCulloch dedicated more of her time to state and regional suffrage and law associations than to national organizations, yet still found the energy for both as the legal advisor and first vice-president of the NAWSA. After the adoption of the federal suffrage amendment, McCulloch turned to legal activities as advisor to temperance groups such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and chairwoman of the League of Women Voter’s Committee on Uniform Laws Concerning Women. She continued her advocacy for women through social legislation and organizational participation for the remainder of her life.


Works Cited:

  • Reprinted from NWHM Cyber Exhibit "Rights for Women"
    Author Kristina Gupta
  • PHOTO: Catherine Gouger Waugh McCulloch, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (LC-DIG-ggbain-03577)