Woman of the Century/Henrica Iliohan
ILIOHAN, Mrs, Henrica, woman suffragist, born in Vorden, Province of Gelderland, Kingdom of the Netherlands, 3rd May, 1850. Her maiden name was Weenink. Her parents were in good circumstances, her father being a successful architect and builder. HENRICA ILIOHAN. The love of liberty and independence seemed to have been instilled into her from birth, and when but a child her eyes were opened to the different education of boys and girls. She showed a taste and aptitude for the carpenter's trade, and her father's workshop had a fascination for her. When she was eight years of age, she could plane a board as well as an older brother. The workmen would often send her home crying by saying she was a girl and therefore could never be a carpenter. She remembers that this happened when she was so young that to her consciousness the only difference lay in dress, and she would earnestly beg her mother to dress her in her brother's clothes, so that she might become a carpenter. The disability of sex became of more and more importance as she thought and studied upon it. She was but eighteen years of age when her mother died. In 1870 her father sailed with his three children for America, arriving in Albany, N. Y., in May. She was fortunate in being the object of one woman's considerate kindness and patience, in her efforts to learn the English language. In trying to read English she noticed for the first time an article on woman suffrage in the Albany "Journal," in 1871, when Mrs. Lillie Devereaux Blake addressed the assembly and asked the question: "Whom do you think, gentleman of the committee, to be most competent to cast a ballot, the mother who comes from the fireside, or the husband that comes from the corner saloon?" This was to the young discoverer a javelin that struck home, and she made inquiries why women did not and could not vote. Very much interested, she read all that was accessible on the subject, and when, in 1877, the first Woman Suffrage Society of Albany was organized, she became an earnest member. With the remembrance of woman's share in the brave deeds recorded in Dutch history, she gained in courage and enthusiasm and began to express herself publicly. Her first appearance on the lecture platform was a triumph. Encouraged by many, she gained in experience and became one of the acknowledged leaders of the society. She was elected four times a delegate from the society to the annual convention in New York City, and worked during the sessions of the legislature to obtain the consideration of that body. Mrs. Iliohan has also done some good work in translation. "The Religion of Common Sense," from the German of Prof. L. Ulich, is a sample of her ability in that direction. In 1887 she removed, with her family, to Humphrey, Neb., where she has since lived. Since she has been identified with Nebraska and with subjects of reform in that State, she has endeared herself to the leaders and the public.