Hello Forest County Residents!
I am continuing to celebrate Women’s History Month by bring you a piece of local history that pertains to the ladies. For much of America’s history women were barred from voting which subsequently led to laws that discriminated against women. Women were not protected against rape and domestic abuse. Women could not own property, divorce their husbands, and were not allowed to work in many professions. Many women were also trying to create better conditions for children and the poor in this country but found it difficult to do without having any power over legislation. The movement towards votes for women began in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York at the first women’s rights convention. It took 70 years of educating the public, staging peaceful protests, and lobbying with government officials by women like: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and thousands of others to finally pass a Constitutional amendment allowing woman to vote(https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/progressiveera/suffrage.html). These women were often thrown in jail, beaten up, threatened, and force fed through tubes but never gave up the fight. “With all the pressure from publicity generated by the White House pickets, the arrests and forced-feedings of women protesters, President Wilson finally lent his support to the suffrage amendment in January 1918. Congress approved it, and on August 18, 1920, with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, women achieved the right to vote” (http://www.americaslibrary.gov).
Local women were first given the chance to vote September 7, 1920, The Northern Advertiser, a local Wabeno newspaper, described the experience: “Bob Miller wins for Sheriff, Poppy nominated for treasurer, Woodbury Register of Deeds and Conway Clerk of Court. Tuesday’s election in Wabeno passed off quietly. The vote was light, only 382 votes being cast. Of this number 15 were Democratic, 2 Prohibition, 2 Socialist, and the rest Republican. Quite a few women cast their initial vote for state and county officers and all seemed to enjoy the experience. The required very little help to vote properly”. Imagine that! Forest County ladies please remember to vote because it is a right that should not be taken for granted. I hope this blog inspires more women to run in local elections!