Church, Marguerite Stitt, 1892-1990

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Marguerite Stitt Church (September 13, 1892 – May 26, 1990) was an American psychologist and politician who represented Illinois' 13th congressional district from 1951 to 1963. She was a member of the Republican Party.

Born Marguerite Stitt in New York City, she attended St. Agatha School in New York City before earning an AB in psychology with a minor in economics and sociology from Wellesley College in 1914. After graduation, she taught a biblical history course at Wellesley for a year before enrolling in a master’s program in economics and sociology at Columbia University. She completed her graduate degree in 1917 and worked for a year as a consulting psychologist with the State Charities Aid Association of New York City. In 1918, she traveled to Chicago and met Illinois state legislator Ralph Church who she would marry that December. After her marriage, she worked in a succession of organizations devoted to family and children’s welfare.

Following her husband's sudden death in March 1950, Republican leaders in Illinois persuaded Marguerite Church to run for her husband’s vacant seat. Winning nearly three-quarters of the vote in November 1950, she would go on to serve five additional terms, winning between 66 and 72 percent of the vote in each of her re-election bids. Church’s chief interests and influence flowed from her work on the Foreign Affairs Committee, where she was assigned to the Subcommittee on Foreign Economic Policy. She voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In her final term, she championed the Peace Corps.

In 1962, as an advocate of mandatory retirement for Members of Congress and facing reapportionment in her district, Church set her own example by retiring at age 70 after the close of the 87th Congress. he worked on behalf of the Republican presidential campaigns of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Richard M. Nixon in 1968. She later served on the boards of directors for the Girl Scouts of America and the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. In 1971 President Nixon selected Church to serve on the planning board for the White House Conference on Aging. Marguerite Church resided in Evanston, Illinois, where she died.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Donald Rumsfeld Papers, 1888-2008, (bulk 1963-2007) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Papers, 1948 (1950-1956) 1964 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Sage Colleges Archives. Honorary degree recipient for 1958, Marguerite Stitt Church. The Sage Colleges Libraries
referencedIn Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961, Papers, 1822, 1831, 1845, 1903-2007 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
creatorOf Church, Marguerite Stitt, 1892-1990. Papers, 1919-1981. Evanston Historical Society
referencedIn Batten, Pluma Burroughs Penton, 1894-. Papers, 1948-1964 (inclusive), 1950-1956 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bertha S. Adkins Papers. 1928 - 1983. Personal Files, 1928 - 1983 Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Batten, Pluma Burroughs Penton, 1894- person
spouseOf Church, Ralph Edwin, 1883-1950. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Columbia University corporateBody
associatedWith Girl Scouts of the United States of America corporateBody
associatedWith Pluma Burroughs (Penton) Batten, 1894- person
associatedWith Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961 person
predecessorOf Rumsfeld, Donald, 1932- person
employeeOf State Charities Aid Association (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith United States Capitol historical society corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. House. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Wellesley College corporateBody
associatedWith White House Conference on Aging corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
Wellesley MA US
Evanston IL US
Legislative bodies
Women legislators
Federal Government Appointee
Representatives, U.S. Congress
Women civic leaders
Women legislators


Birth 1892-09-27

Death 1990-05-26






Ark ID: w6fg4hsq

SNAC ID: 85482120