In 1919, the US Senate finally passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which would allow women the right to vote, and Ohio was the fifth state to ratify it on June 16, 1919. So 100 years later, on Thursday evening Nov. 14, 2019, members and guests of the American Association of University Women, Washington Court House Branch (AAUW) gathered to hear women leaders in Fayette County describe the efforts undertaken by women leaders of the suffrage (ie, right to vote) movement in Ohio that pushed for the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Judge Nancy Hammond, retired, opened the event by introducing the six female lawyers who had accompanied her to participate in the presentation. They were Aubrey Kiger, Mary King, Rachel Martin, Melissa Upthegrove, Shena Weade and Susan Wollscheid.
Judge Hammond then provided an extremely interesting and oftentimes, very humorous, overview of the events leading up to the final ratification. Then each lawyer in turn told us about an Ohio woman who was instrumental as an advocate for women’s suffrage. These women were Belle Sherwin, Mary Belle Grossman, Eliza Archard Conner, Harriet Taylor Upton, Florence Allen, and Betty Wilson. (Since these women were extremely important to the success of the suffrage movement, they will be featured in upcoming articles during Women’s History Month in March.)
Judge Hammond closed the program with a photograph of Rosetta Zimmerman, a Fayette County woman who in 1920 and only 22 years old, was the first female to be appointed Deputy Fish and Game Warden in Ohio. Judge Hammond then thanked all the women for their time and effort in developing the program, including Sarah Smith, law librarian.
Special thanks were given to Cindy Sagar and Bambi Baughn for the wonderful refreshments. The AAUW Washington Court House Branch was organized in 1956 to advance the equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. If you have a college degree or are a current college student, you are eligible to join.
Please contact through www.aauwoh.org