From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Fouse, Elizabeth Beatrice Cook

(born: 1869  -  died: October 22, 1952) 

Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse was an advocate for African American women's opportunities; a clubwoman on the local, state, and national levels; and an equal rights advocate. She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She served as president of the Kentucky Federation of Colored Women and was founded the Phillis Wheatley YWCA in Lexington, KY.  

In 1944, Fouse was appointed by Governor Simeon Willis to serve on the Kentucky Commission for the Study of Negro Affairs. In 1945, when the Negro auxiliary branches were separated from the Kentucky Woman's Christian Temperance Union [KWCTU] and reorganized under the Kentucky Sojourner Truth Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Mrs. Fouse served as the president. For the last four years of her life, she served as chair of the scholarship division of the National Association of Colored Women. Lizzie Fouse traveled throughout the United States in her various roles and positions with the National Association of Colored Women.

Elizabeth Cook was born in Lancaster, KY, the daughter of Mary Kennedy and William Cook, a painter. The family lived with Louisa Kennedy, according to the 1870 U.S. Census (Ancestry). The 1880 U.S. Census has all four members of the family enumerated with the last name "Burnside." Elizabeth and Woodard's mother had remarried; her second husband was Pleasant Burnside, a painter. The family was still living in Lancaster.

Elizabeth Cook attended Simmons College in Louisville, KY and Eckstein Norton Institute in Cane Springs, KY, where she graduated in 1892. She was a teacher in Lexington, then married W. H. Fouse in 1898 and joined him as a schoolteacher in Corydon, IN. She was a member of the State Teachers Association in Indiana.

Her mother and brother Woodard Burnside were living in Lexington on East Short Street, her mother a widow, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Elizabeth Fouse's mother and stepfather had been in Lexington as early as 1898 when Pleasant Burnside was still alive and working as a painter and paper hanger [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory (Illustrated), 1898-99, p. 359].

In 1908, William H. Fouse was named principal of the William Grant High School in Covington, KY. In 1913, the couple moved to Lexington, where William Fouse was principal of Russell School and later, Paul Laurence Dunbar School.

Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse died in 1952 and is buried in Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington. 

For more see Jesus, Jobs, and Justice, by B. Collier-Thomas; Fouse Family Papers at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center; "Colored women united temperance forces," The Lexington Herald, p. 4; "Mrs. Lizzie Fouse, Kentucky Negro Leader, is dead," The Courier-Journal (Louisville), 10/23/1952, p. 18; and "State Teachers Association Notes," American Baptist, 1/8/1904, p. 2.

*According to the 1870 U.S. Census, Elizabeth B. C. Fouse was born in 1869.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Garrard County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Kenton County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lancaster, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Covington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Fouse, Elizabeth Beatrice Cook,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 13, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-12-17 19:14:03