Allen, Florence Ellinwood

Allen, Florence Ellinwood

(1884–1966) jurist, women's suffrage activist; born in Salt Lake City, Utah. The daughter of the first woman admitted to Smith College, she studied music but decided she lacked the talent to become a concert pianist and took up law instead. Admitted to the Ohio bar in 1914, she served as legal counsel for the suffragist movement, became assistant prosecutor for Cuyahoga County (1919) and was elected a common pleas court judge (1920). In 1922 she won election to the Ohio Supreme Court. Appointed to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1934, she served for 25 years and in 1958 became the first woman named to a federal appellate chief judgeship. She retired from the bench the following year. Despite strong support from women's groups, she never received the U.S. Supreme Court nomination she sought.