Eliza Pickrell Routt

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Eliza Pickrell Routt
Eliza Pickrell Routt.tif
Eliza Franklin Pickrell

1839 (1839)
Springfield, Illinois
Died1907 (aged 67–68)
John Long Routt (m. 1874)

Eliza Pickrell Routt (1839–1907) was a pioneer in women's suffrage and the original first lady of the state of Colorado.

Early years[edit]

Eliza Franklin Pickrell was born in Springfield, Illinois[1] in 1839[2][a] to Mary Ann Elkin and Benjamin Franklin Pickrell.[3] Both of her parents were from Kentucky. She was orphaned early in her childhood and then lived at the home of her grandfather Colonel William Franklin Elkins.[1] Along with Abraham Lincoln, he was one of the "Long Nine" who averaged six feet tall and represented Sangamon County, Illinois between 1836 and 1837 in the legislature. She received a good education, which involved study abroad and travel.[1]

In 1874, she married Colonel John Long Routt, who was the second assistant Postmaster-General. They were married in Decatur, Illinois at the home of her uncle. They then traveled to Washington, D.C.[1]

Political and community works[edit]

The year following her marriage, Routt moved to Colorado with her husband, who President Ulysses S. Grant had appointed the Territorial Governor of Colorado. In 1876, Colorado was made a state and John Routt was the state's first governor and she was the original and an active first lady,[1][2] involved in community and public works.[4] She helped to found the Old Ladies Home, as a member of the Ladies Relief Society. She helped find a building for the Women's Home Club, now the YWCA, where young women lived. In 1881, she co-founded the Denver Orphans Home Association.[2] They lived in Denver for 16 years before 1891, when John Routt was governor again. She was an active member of the Christian Church of Denver.[1] She progressed the equal rights movement for women, as First Lady.

Routt died in 1907.[2]


Routt joined the Non-Partisan Suffrage Association of Colorado.[2] In 1893, she was the first woman registered to vote in Colorado, because of her efforts to obtain the right to vote for women. Colorado was the second state, after Wyoming, to grant women the right to vote.[2] She was the elected president of The City League of Denver, an active proponent of the women's suffrage movement.[1]


Routt was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 2008.[2]

In honor of her role in the state's suffrage movement, the Secretary of State of Colorado gives the Eliza Pickrell Rout Award for outstanding voter registration efforts to a teacher or administrator that enrolls eligible seniors to vote.[5]


  1. ^ Women of the Century states that Routt was born in 1842.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Willard, Frances Elizabeth (1893). A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life. Moulton. p. 624.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Eliza Routt". Colorado Great Women. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  3. ^ Revolution, Daughters of the American (1919). Lineage Book. The Society. pp. 259–260.
  4. ^ "7 women who led the way to equality in Colorado". History Colorado. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Eliza Pickrell Routt Award" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-10-11.

Further reading[edit]