Phoebe Couzins served as a Civil War nurse with the Western Sanitary Commission, which her mother Adalaide had helped to found. Her father, John E.D. Couzins, was the Provost Marshall of the State of Missouri during most of the Civil War, and also served as the St. Louis Chief of Police dring the War years.
In 1869, Couzins enrolled in the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, and was Missouri’s first female law school graduate – and the third in the nation. She became a leader of the woman’s suffrage movement, and in her remarkable career achieved the following: Admitted to the bar in Arkansas and Utah, the first female member of the bar in each state; First woman to try a case in federal court; First woman to address a national political convention; and, in 1887, the first woman appointed to the positon of United States Marshall.
Phoebe Couzins died in poverty in 1913, and was buried in St. Louis’ Bellefontaine Cemetery, her Marshall’s badge pinned to her chest.