If you have family photos, recollections, political pins or other memorabilia that capture local efforts to gain the right of women to vote, the Butler County Historical Society is hoping to hear from you.
The society would like to briefly borrow your items, or hear your stories, for an exhibit it plans to put on, probably in August, about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. It was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. Less than three months later, on Nov. 2, 1920, women voted for the first time.
After decades of debate and protests in favor of that right, the U.S. Senate approved the 19th Amendment, and sent it to the states for ratification. Twelve days later, Ohio became among the first six states to ratify it, on the same day as Kansas and New York. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it, the minimum needed to do so. Mississippi was the final state to ratify it, in 1984.
“We are having a horrible time finding information,” said Kathy Creighton , executive director of the Butler County Historical Society. “Of course, the big issue was Prohibition at the same time here in Butler County.”
It bumped news about the suffrage movement off the newspaper.
But it is known Butler County women and men participated in activities in the decades leading up to that ratification. For example, Stella Weiler Taylor, who lived from 1869 to 1953, and wrote a longtime column called “Rosemary, That’s for Remembrance,” in The Hamilton Journal News, recalled meeting suffrage advocate Susan B. Anthony in Hamilton as a young girl.
“She remembers talking with Susan B. Anthony and how she had influenced her,” Creighton said. “We’re hoping somebody out there has a story as to ‘Grandma was a suffragette,’ or some sort of information, because we really would like to tell the local story.”
People with information can call the society at 513-893-9930 or email email@example.com.
Taylor in 1937 recalled meeting Anthony as “a little girl,” probably in the 1870s, when Anthony stayed at the Straub House in what now is Hamilton’s Rossville neighborhood, gave a speech at the Globe Opera House, where Miami Hamilton’s downtown location now is on High Street.
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