Harriet Taylor was born in Ravenna, Ohio in 1853, daughter of Judge Ezra Taylor. In 1880, Upton’s father was elected to Congress to succeeding President Garfield as he left the position. In Washington DC where she moved with her father Upton would meet Susan B. Anthony and other members of the suffrage movement.
Once back in Ohio, Upton became an essential organizer and the first president of the Suffrage Association of Warren. Her family had moved to Warren previous to her father’s appointment to Congress.
In 1894 became the treasurer of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. This was the leading national organization for women’s suffrage. Upton brought that organization’s headquarters to Warren for about seven years between 1903-10.
Upton saw the passing of the 19th amendment. Afterwards she was elected Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Republican National Convention. In 1924 she tried running for Congress but did not win the campaign. Upton had some success as a politician by being elected to the Warren Board of Elections.
Upton and her husband lost their wealth during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, Upton spent her final days in poverty in California. Harriet Taylor Upton died in 1945 at 91 years of age.
Today, Upton’s legacy is upheld at the Harriet Taylor Upton House in Warren, OH. It is registered as a National Historical Landmark and was saved from destruction by local activists who also worked with a lawyer from California to have her cremains moved to her Warren home instead of a pauper’s grave.