Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association papers
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association papers (MSS SC 48). This significant and rare collection related to women’s history in Utah contains handwritten documents of the papers of the Woman’s Suffrage Association which met in Beaver, Utah. Items include minutes, newsletters, songs, and regulations for the group. Also includes a letter from Emmeline B. Wells to Mary A. White, president of the association, dated 1895, and a “Equal Rights” banner. Dated approximately 1892-1895.
The Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association was an active branch of the Woman Suffrage Association (WSA) in Beaver, Utah, in the 1890s. It was formed at a time when woman’s suffrage leadership in Salt Lake City was asking women to form branches of the WSA in their own counties and towns. Eventually nineteen Utah counties had branches of the Association. These branches paid dues that were used to help Utah’s territorial suffrage leaders to attend national meetings, and also served to promote education, improve attitudes, and influence politicians concerning the suffrage movement throughout the territory.
The Beaver County branch of the WSA flourished from 1892-1895, and membership included some of the leading men and women of the county, including Mary A. White, wife of Charles D. White, Beaver Stake President; W. G. Bickley, musician and city choir director; William and Matilda Fotheringham, county clerk and bishop; Daniel and Ruth Tyler, mission president and writer; Lucinda Howd, wife of one of the original settlers of Beaver; Sarah Caroline Maeser, wife of Reinhard Maeser, school prinicipal, and mother of Karl G. Maeser; and, J. R. Murdock, a wealthy town politician and stake president.
The Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association appears to have gone out of existence after the right for women to vote was written into the constitution of the new state of Utah in 1895.