Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Foltz, Clara Shortridge

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FOLTZ, Clara Shortridge, lawyer, b. in Henry county, Ind., 10 July, 1849. She removed to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, with her father, Rev. Elias W. Shortridge, and was educated chiefly at Howe seminary in that town. She taught in 1863 in Mercer county, Ill., and in December, 1864, married. She went with her husband to Oregon in 1872, and soon afterward to San José, Cal., contributing to the “New Northwest” and the San José “Mercury.” About 1876 she was thrown on her own resources, and, though having the care of four children, she determined to study law, aiding herself by lecturing. She went before the legislature of 1877-'8, secured the passage of an act permitting women to practise law, and was the first to take advantage of it, being admitted to the bar on 5 Sept., 1878, after passing creditably a strict examination. In 1880 she was clerk of the assembly judiciary committee, and in the same year removed to San Francisco, where she spoke for the Republicans during the canvasses of 1880, 1882, and 1884. In 1886 she became a Democrat, and in the winter of that year lectured in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. She has been successful at the bar, and is an effective public speaker.