Lucia was the local instigator of the first Evansville suffrage group in 1886.
The college-educated daughter of a prominent family in Kalamazoo, Mich., (one her brothers, Fred Eames, invented the air brake used on railroads) she came to this city in 1864 as the bride of wealthy Henry Blount, founder/owner of one of Evansville’s biggest industries, Blount Plow Works. She was his second wife; the first died two years earlier giving birth to their third child.
Her home on 7th Street, between Walnut and Cherry, was described as “a roomy and hospitable mansion.”
She organized this city’s first book group, the Ladies Literary Club, in 1874. . She invited a Mrs. Stowe of Michigan, “a person well versed in the systems of literary clubs,” to come to Evansville and “under her direction a number of ladies organized themselves into a society for the purpose of literary, scientific and social culture.” It started with 21 members; and over 10 years the number who’d joined from time to time was 82. At one point they did a Shakespeare play for the public.
Lucia and her husband were members of the committee that planned Evansville’s exhibit at the World’s Fair in Philadelphia in 1876.
She was also a charter member of the national Daughters of the American Revolution, in 1891, and held national offices in it for a number of years. And for four years served on the board of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs.
In May of 1886, she hosted a parlor meeting in her home for women “known to be interested” to discuss the formation of a local suffrage organization. Her special guest for the meeting was May Wright Sewall, an Indianapolis teacher and social reformer who led the Indiana Woman’s Suffrage Association.
The following evening, the women Lucia had called together organized a public meeting that attracted 200 people to hear Sewall and launch the suffrage effort here.
It was Lucia’s last civic involvement in Evansville but she became active at the national level. Shortly after the suffrage group was formed here, she and her husband took their children to be educated in Europe for two years, then returned to the US and bought one of the showcase mansions in Georgetown, outside Washington, DC., where they spent the rest of their lives.
In DC, she was involved in the national suffrage movement and was frequently the hostess to Susan B. Anthony when the iconic leader was in town.
Lucia also founded and was president for many years of Pro-Re-Nata, a select group of well-known women in the nation’s capital who met “for free discussion and the study of parliamentary law as bearing upon the rights of women and children and legislation as necessary for the public welfare.” An article in The Illustrated American on April 13, 1893, said Pro-Re-Nata “aims to train women in extempore debate. Each member is obliged to speak on her feet on difficult subjects against keen opponents . . . The ladies have spirited arguments and they never get angry. “
She and her husband traveled extensively around the world, but came back to Evansville every year on his birthday, May 1, for a big birthday celebration at his company. The couple had a big impact on this city but have been lost in local history.