An Early La Porte County Suffragist

Posted on October 1, 2020

by Mary Hedge

Naomi Bowman Talbert Anderson is a name you may not remember. However, she was a La Porte County native who was involved with woman’s suffrage, activism, and Prohibition.


She was an African American who was born in Michigan City in 1843 to Elijah and Guilley Bowman. She began her education at home because public schools were prohibited to enroll African Americans. However, her poetry writing skills attracted attention and she was allowed to enroll in public school.


At age 20, she married William Talbert, a barber from Valparaiso, in La Porte County. During her marriage, she became an activist and spoke at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Chicago in 1869. Then she became involved in Prohibition in the 1870’s after she moved to Ohio.


In 1881, her husband died and she married Lewis Anderson and moved to Kansas. Then her second husband died and she moved to Sacramento, California where she participated in a six-month lecture circuit with Susan B. Anthony for women’s suffrage in California. She died in 1899 at age 56.

Mary Hedge

Mary Hedge

Mary is a Public Services Librarian. She enjoys helping people find the information they need, including family and local history searches. Also, she serves as the director of READ La Porte County, Inc., plays the organ for a church, and enjoys traveling.
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