Louise Antrim Renwick (1884-1949)
By George Robb: Professor, William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey
This biographical sketch was first published on the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States and appears here by permission. That database is accessible at https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/VOTESforWOMEN
Secretary, Equal Franchise League of Merchantville; Vice President, Woman’s Political Union of New Jersey
Louise Kromer Antrim was born in Burlington, New Jersey, on March 20, 1884, to Elwood Antrim and Sarah Janett Pennock. The Antrims moved to nearby Merchantville, where Louise was educated at local schools and the family lived at 15 East Walnut Avenue.
In January 1913, Louise Antrim and other Merchantville women organized the Equal Franchise League in their town to advocate for female suffrage. Antrim was elected secretary of the organization. The League held meetings at the Centre Street School, where they heard invited speakers. The group sent to the U.S. Senate a petition in favor of women’s suffrage, signed by a large number of Merchantville women and men. In 1915 Antrim and other Merchantville suffragists traveled to nearby Camden, where they met Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
In June 1913, Antrim was elected one of several regional vice presidents for the Women’s Political Union (WPU) of New Jersey. Based in Newark, the WPU had been founded in the hopes of reinvigorating the suffrage movement and attracting more working women to the cause. Antrim took part in suffrage rallies across the state, and she served as the WPU spokesperson in southern New Jersey.
On May 1, 1918, Antrim married Victor D. Renwick Jr. (1873-1965), a local bricklayer, and the couple lived at 22 Linden Avenue in Merchantville. Their only child, Louise, was born in 1921. Little is known about Louise Renwick’s life in the decades following the passage of the 19th Amendment. She died on July 17, 1949 in Merchantville, NJ.
“Equal Franchise League,” Courier-Post, February 28, 1913.
“Merchantville Petition,” Courier-Post, July 31, 1914.
“New Jersey Notes,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 18, 1913.
Photo of Louise Antrim, courtesy of the Merchantville Historical Society