Marie J. Gaston

marie gaston II
J.C. Croly, The History of the Woman’s Club Movement in America (New York: Henry G. Allen & Co., 1898), 326.

Marie J. Gaston (1845-1902) was part of the local group that welcomed Susan B. Anthony to Deadwood in 1890, as president of the local suffrage club she presided over the open-air rally that featured Clara B. Colby in front of the Keystone Hotel in August 1890, and she was one of the active field organizers in the northern Black Hills during the 1890 suffrage campaign [Doughty, 655; Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), August 9, 1890; May 11, 1920, and May 13, 1920; Queen City Mail (SD), August 13, 1890; Page 48 : Letter from Mrs. DeVoe, Woman’s Tribune (August 16, 1890), and Page 48 : Suffrage Campaign in the Black Hills, Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10; Campbell’s Illustrated History of the World’s Columbian Exposition, vol. 2 (Chicago: N. Juul & Co., 1894), 497].  She also participated in a suffrage discussion during an Inquiry Club meeting in Deadwood in 1896 [Black Hills Daily Times (Deadwood, SD), March 26, 1896].

Gaston was a “pioneer” of Deadwood and an active member in the community.  She was active with the W.C.T.U., the founder and first president of the Round Table Club (a woman’s literary club), treasurer of the local Board of Education, and the initiator and first librarian for the Deadwood Public Library [Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), August 8, 1890; J.C. Croly, The History of the Woman’s Club Movement in America (New York: Henry G. Allen & Co., 1898), 326; Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), April 2, 1901April 30, 1916]. 

She was also one of the four “lady managers” from South Dakota to organize the state’s exhibits at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 [For example: Mitchell Capital (SD), August 15, 1890; Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 6, 1892; Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), August 17, 1933Campbell’s Illustrated History (1894), 497]. 

In 1883 (or 1882), Marie had married John A. Gaston, a mining claim and real estate broker [Campbell’s Illustrated History (1894), 497; Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), November 29, 1902; “Marie Gaston,” Find-a-grave.com].

See also: Kaija Swisher, “Deadwood’s First LibrarianRapid City Journal / Black Hills Pioneer (May 25, 2018); and Tim Velder, Northern Hills Bureau, “Women keep the tradition of Round Table Club alive,” Rapid City Journal (August 23, 2004).