Phoebe W. Couzins of St. Louis became Missouri’s first female law school graduate when she graduated from the Washington University Law Department on this day in 1871. Couzins was an outspoken supporter of women’s right to vote. She later was appointed the nation’s first female U.S. Marshal in 1887.

Her parents were John E. D. and Adaline Weston Couzins of St. Louis. John E. D. Couzins was an architect and builder.

Phoebe learned the value and importance of public service from her parents when she was just six years old. A terrible cholera epidemic swept St. Louis, killing thousands. John and Adaline Couzins led the local relief organization responsible for victims.

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Photo Credit: Missouri Historical Society