Nora Houston was one of the leaders in the woman’s suffrage movement in Virginia. In 1909, she was a founder of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (ESLV). Throughout the next decade, she traveled throughout Virginia promoting a woman’s right to vote. By 1916, largely through her efforts, a chapter of the ESLV had been established in every town in Virginia with a population of at least 2500. Nora, an artist, would often set up her easel in downtown Richmond. When a crowd would gather to view her artwork, she would launch into a speech about suffrage. Once, a disgruntled listener hit her with a rock. The rock was found among Nora’s keepsakes upon her death in 1942. After the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, Nora and her friend, fellow artist and suffragette Adele Clark set about assisting the black women of Jackson Ward in registering to vote. Nora was later chosen to lead the Richmond Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the Virginia Children’s Crime Commission, and the Catholic Woman’s Club of Richmond. She also continued painting, exhibiting her work in Virginia, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, and New York.
Sadly, Nora’s remains lie in an unmarked grave in Richmond’s Shockoe Hill Cemetery. The Nora Houston Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization formed in 2015, has plans to erect a suitable grave marker at Nora’s gravesite. The dedication ceremony for the marker is set for 7:00 pm on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 — exactly 100 years from the date the 19th Amendment was ratified. The marker costs $3000. Please join the Foundation in raising the needed funds to pay tribute to this remarkable woman. Go to https://www.facebook.com/donate/182608519480399/ to donate, or send a check to The Nora Houston Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 15033, Richmond, VA 23227-0433.
For more information, please contact John Tucker, President, Nora Houston Foundation, Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-837-4900.