Included on this page is information that I have come across in my suffrage movement research that specifically pertains to the organization and activities of the League of Women Voters.
More to come!
Archival Sources (yet to be added):
SDSHS State Archives, Pierre: League of Women Voters Records (H75-75, H99-007 and H2002-022) 5 cubic feet. Minutes, correspondence, annual reports, circulars, committee reports, and other materials, 1922-1997. The LWV of the United States was organized in 1920, as was the first local SD chapter. However, it was not until the mid 1950s that a state league was organized.
From Northern State University in Aberdeen, finding aid for records from Evelyn Sapa: http://nsudigital.org/Finding_Aids/Evelyn_Sapa.pdf – Aberdeen 1949-2006
- The Discerning Voter 1(4) (November 1925), includes program of work decided at convention in Mitchell, Oct 1925.
- The Discerning Voter 1(5) (December 1925; January 1926), includes items about the talks at the 1925 convention.
- The Discerning Voter 1(6) (February 1926)
[Saturday News (Watertown, SD), January 16, 1919] SD Universal Franchise League calls women voters to meet in Pierre Jan 29-30, asking for every county to be represented. Part of the gathering would include a tour of legislative halls. Mamie Shields Pyle organized the meeting.
AND [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland, SD), January 23, 1919; Madison Daily Leader (SD), January 20, 1919]
[Forest City Press (SD), February 13, 1919] Sioux Falls’ League of Women Voters endorsed Mrs. K. Ketlitz (wife of local physician [Zetlitz?]) for state board of education.
[The Citizen-Republican (Scotland, SD), June 12, 1919] The new Mitchell League of Women Voters planned to meet for lunch and hear a speaker monthly on the last Thursdays, targeting especially those employed downtown. They also hoped to establish a club room downtown.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 24, 1919] Mitchell League of Women Voters would meet monthly, and the first would be at the public library.
[The Citizen-Republican (Scotland, SD), June 26, 1919] Mitchell League of Women Voters luncheons would be held in public library rooms and $0.50 collected for the meal.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), June 27, 1919] South Dakota League of Women Voters and Mamie Pyle report their belief that Governor Norbeck would call a legislative session for ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), July 11, 1919] Mitchell League of Women Voters started a monthly luncheon, will not bar men from joining. President of Mitchell League was Myra P. Weller.
[The Woman Citizen 4 (August 23, 1919), 290] Suffragists of Davison County formed League of Women Voters with headquarters in Mitchell, and Myra P. Weller as chair of county league. It was the second county to organize after Minnehaha. Elected officers included: Edla Lawson president, Mrs. R.H. Lewis, 1st VP, Mrs. P.H. Kelley 2nd VP, Katheryn Grundland recording secretary, Elsie Gullander corresponding secretary, and Belle Butterfield treasurer. Department chairs included: Amanda Johnson, Anna Reid, Mrs. Charles Weller, Mrs. John Berry, Mrs. M.G. Wider, Mrs. A.B. Hagar, Mrs. W.S. Hill, and Mrs. S.H. Scallin. The League planned to have monthly luncheons for business women, and have a question box for discussion. The first program included a discussion about municipal swimming pool, talk about politics by Christine McManamen, a discussion on referendum on prohibition laws of 1919 by Mrs. A.B. Hagar, an appreciation of Shaw by Mrs. R.H. Lewis, and Johnson, as chair of citizenship committee, outlined twelve lessons to assign them to different members to lead future discussions.
[The Woman Citizen 4 (August 23, 1919), 291] SD League of Women Voters formed in Huron in June 1919. Mamie Pyle was retained as president (having been president of the state Universal Franchise League). Eight department heads were appointed: Mrs. Frank Byrne (Faulkton), Alice Loraine Daley (Madison), Mrs. J.E. Notestein (Huron), Mrs. Julia Leavitt (Sioux Falls), Mrs. Kutnewsky (Redfield), Mrs. Dorothy M. Rehfeld (Aberdeen), Mrs. W.S. Hill (Mitchell), and Miss Ida Anding (Pierre).
[Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), September 17, 1919] “(Special to the Argus-Leader) Mitchell, Sept 17. The state conference ofthe League of Women Voters will be held in Mitchell, It has been announced by Mrs. Myra P. Weller, member of the state board, on October 23, the day following the convention of the state Federation of Women’s clubs. On the same day the Library association will have its state meeting. These meetings probably will bring very prominent women In the state to Mitchell on one of these days, October 22, 23 and 24. This is the first state conference of the suffragettes since the organization of the League of Women Voters. The purpose of the conference is to make plans for the organizing of leagues throughout the state and arranging work for the ratification campaign. There will be in attendance delegates from every county, organized or unorganized. The local delegates are Miss Edla Laurson, president of the Davison county league; Mrs. Wallis and Mrs. P.H. Kelly. There will also be a meeting of the state board, the members of which are: Mesdames Julia Leavitt, Sioux Falls; Paul Rewman, Deadwood; [8. R.] Ghrist, Miller: Ruth Hippie, Pierre; Whiting, Pierre, John Pyle, Huron, and Myra P. Weller, Mitchell. Arrangements are being made to have some prominent woman speaker address the conference on the evening of October 23 in the Elks hall. The speaker may be Mrs. Peter Oleson, Minneapolis, or may be supplied by the national board from New York. ”
[Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), September 26, 1919] The Davison County League of Women Voters planned to host presidential candidate Leonard Wood as a speaker at a luncheon event at the Elks’ dining room while he was visiting Mitchell. “His topic will be ‘The Influence of Women in World Affairs Today.’ He will be introduced by Mrs. Myra P. Weller.”
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 27, 1919] Coming up in Mitchell, a state convention in the charge of Myra P. Weller with an agenda focused on federal ratification.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 29, 1919] Speakers Julia Lathrop of NY, national chair of Child Welfare association, and Mrs. Peter Olson of Minneapolis, prominent in the YWCA, were scheduled for the state League of Women Voters convention in Mitchell. It would be held in joint session with the state Federation of Women’s Clubs.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 29, 1919] General Leonard Wood spoke to Davison County League of Women Voters about preparedness for war, including preparation “against radicals and foreign agitators.”
[Philip Weekly Review (SD), October 2, 1919] South Dakota League of Women Voters will have conference in Mitchell.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 11, 1919] The state League of Women Voters convention will be one of “important women’s meetings” coming up in Mitchell. Their meetings were scheduled for October 23rd-25th. One joint session would be held between all the women’s meetings going on at the time. AND [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland, SD), October 16, 1919; October 23, 1919].
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 21, 1919] The first meeting of League of Women Voters-South Dakota will be held after the Federation of Women’s Clubs meeting. Representatives from every county were expected, to work on organization and extending membership.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 24, 1919] Carrie Chapman Catt was scheduled to speak at the first convention of League of Women Voters-South Dakota. She had been supposed to come last fall, but was ill, so Pyle asked her to come this time.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 28, 1919] In Mitchell, Attorney General Byron S. Payne encouraged club women at monthly League of Women Voters lunch to declare party affiliations “because it is only through the party organization that your influence can be felt.”
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 30, 1919] Alice L. Daly spoke at a Madison League of Women Voters meeting as head of Women in Industry department of state League and predicted a fight about formation of teachers’ unions in South Dakota at the upcoming SDEA annual meeting. She also spoke generally about equal pay, alleging that Board of Regents member(s) [in charge of state higher education] had claimed they paid women less because “they can hire women cheaper. The women don’t demand more.”
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 31, 1919] At the League of Women Voters-South Dakota convention in Mitchell, support was given to prohibition and suffrage, equal pay, the separation of genders at the state reform school in Plankinton, the opposition of a referendum on repealing prohibition, a uniform ballot across states, better teacher pay, teacher training, Americanization, child protection, literacy, citizenship standards, and physical training and play for rural students.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 7, 1919, November 8, 1919] Lake County will meet at the high school to organize League of Women Voters, a non-sectarian and unpartisan organization. League national “has a comprehensive plan for unifying laws concerning women and children throughout all the states.” The Madison League will study Richards primary law and look at qualifications of candidates, and they had “special plans…to include business and professional women of Madison.”
[Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), November 14, 1919] Governor Norbeck would call a special session of the state legislature for December 3 to consider ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment if a majority will be present and pay their own expenses. League of Women Voters had pushed for the session after their Mitchell convention, and Pyle solicited pledges from legislators to participate. There was also state proposal meeting on the 2nd that they hoped would lead those already coming to attend the ratification session.
[Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), December 5, 1919] For some reason the Sisseton newspaper reported that League of Women Voters had failed to get enough legislators to attend ratification session in Pierre, lacking 8 members, and were expected to call session in spring–but that was not the case, South Dakota did ratify the Nineteenth Amendment late at night on December 4, 1919.
[The Citizen-Republican (Scotland, SD), January 29, 1920] A meeting was planned in Mitchell of women voters for Leonard Wood (Republican candidate for president), to be presided over by Elda Larson ([Laurson] who also president of Mitchell League of Women Voters). The meeting was called by Wood supporters, Ruth Hipple and Mable Rewman.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 14, 1920] Dorothy Rehfeld, “the leading woman attorney of South Dakota” and state representative to the victory convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and first League of Women Voters national congress, was on the program to address that convention on “Laws concerning women” on Feb 12 (opening day).
[Philip Weekly Review (SD), February 26, 1920] A woman’s club was organized at Grindstone “to study politics and thus be prepared to vote intelligently.”
[The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), June 10, 1920] For the League of Women Voters, Inez Hill was state chair of food supply and demand. She was also president of the Mitchell city federation of women’s clubs.
[The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), August 26, 1920; Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 7, 1920] Mitchell suffrage leaders planned a jubilee for as soon as Tennessee ratification is confirmed. They wanted to include school children, the municipal band, League of Women Voters leaders, and the two old political parties. The arrangements committee included Mrs. P.H. Kelley, Laura Lindley, Margaret Swift, and Myra Pepper Weller. Mitchell League of Women Voters held the jubilee in East Side park, with a children’s pageant “depicting the fight for suffrage” with thirty-six girls representing each of the ratifying states. [I would LOVE to see a photo of this event…]
[The Citizen-Republican (Scotland, SD), September 2, 1920] Mitchell League of Women Voters were meeting at Library Hall.
[Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), September 10, 1920; The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), September 10, 1920] State League of Women Voters called for organizing divisions by congressional district. The conference for the first congressional district was in Mitchell on September 7th, and the second at Huron on September 15th at Parish house (first building east of the post office [associated with Grace Episcopal?]) during the state fair at Huron (which meant reduced train fares).
[Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), September 17, 1920; Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 11, 1920] The first congressional district League of Women Voters was organized at a meeting in Mitchell, to support candidates on nonpartisan basis. Pyle was principal speaker. Caroline B. Smith (Armour) was named district chair, Mrs. J.O. Featherstone (SF) vice-chair, Mrs. J. Blank (W Spr) recording secretary, Lillian McNoughton (Woonsocket) corresponding secretary, Hattie Bowden (Chamberlain) treasurer, Alice A. Tollefson (Elk Pt) auditor, Mrs. Charles Gunderson (Vermillion) auditor, Mrs. H.J. Mohr (Alexandria) selected finance committee, and Myra P. Weller (Mitchell) in charge of publicity. A pageant was presented “as a jubilee for the ratification of the federal suffrage amendment” at closing conference.
[Woman Citizen (November 17, 1920), 709] League of Women Voters of Mitchell will do year study based on Catt’s Citizenship Course.
[Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), March 11, 1921; The Pioneer-Review (Philip SD), March 10, 1921] The state League of Women Voters convention at Sioux Falls would be March 19-20 with headquarters at the Cataract Hotel and meetings held in the ballroom. The program included Mrs. James Paige of Minneapolis (regional director) and the election of officers and five national delegates. Belle Leavitt made local arrangements. “By faith we have won the fight for suffrage. The League of Women Voters now stands organized in every state in the union. It is a vital and helpful force in our country. Heed this call, women of South Dakota. There are many important questions coming before you during the next two years which you much decide with your ballot. Answer this call and let us continue the work of educating a conscientious, well informed electorate.” The call to the convention was put out by Mamie Pyle as president and Ruth Hipple as press chair.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank, SD), March 18, 1921] Excelsior Club planned to meet to hear a paper on the League of Women Voters by Mrs. Heidner.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank, SD), March 18, 1921] Mitchell League of Women Voters set up a committee to name a local woman as candidate for board of education.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank, SD), September 16, 1921] Codington County League of Women Voters opened their activities for fall/winter with a meeting at Lake Kampeska Country club on September 10.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 30, 1921, December 2, 1921] Gladys Pyle will speak at Madison high school about principles and policy of League of Women Voters-National. “Miss Pyle is the daughter of the woman who did more than any other to bring suffrage to South Dakota and thus further the nineteenth amendment.”
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank, SD), December 2, 1921] League of Women Voters chapters were organized in Clark County and Stanley County.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), December 2, 1921] In news from Wessington Springs, their League of Women Voters was scheduling programs, including hosting a proposalmen debate.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), December 6, 1921] League of Women Voters’ state executive committee held proposal meetings on supporting jury rights for women, the right of joint guardianship of both parents over children, and the appointment of women on state boards dealing with women and children, and asked that these measures go into major party platforms.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), December 13, 1921] Salem League of Women Voters branch organized with Pyle there who made address “The Duty of the Enfranchised Woman.” Officers elected were Mrs. Scalan president, Mrs. Jackson VP, Mrs. Hoye secretary, and Mrs. Herbert Erickson treasurer
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), December 16, 1921, December 20, 1921] Madison League of Women Voters held their meeting at high school. Pyle gave a talk about citizenship. The article noted that “the objects of the league are to offer unpartisan information for the education of the voter and a common meeting ground for the women of all parties to work together for those things in which they have a common interest.” Dues for the Madison League were $1, of which half was for local. Local programs were planned for every second Saturday at 3pm at the high school.
[Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), January 11, 1922] In news from Pierre, “An organization of the League of Women Voters was completed in this city. Miss Gladys Pyle, of Huron, was the principal speaker and urged women, regardless of political affiliation, to join in the work of studying and looking into the effect of laws already in existence or asked for. Mrs. C.S. Whiting was selected chairman, Mrs. Hoytl Wales [?] vice-chairman, Miss Marjorie Breeden secretary, Mrs. 1. E. McNalll [?] treasurer.” [from OCR, some spelling issues–will have to check the microfilm copy sometime]
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), January 25, 1922] A League of Women Voters chapter was formed in Moody County, and invited men voters to meetings as well. A League was also formed in Sisseton.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), February 1, 1922] Chapters of League of Women Voters have been organized in Sisseton and Pierre.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 9, 1922] Lake County League of Women Voters held their regular meeting at high school with discussion led by H.H. Holdridge on the Washington conference and congressional procedure.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 18, 1922] Dr. S.R. Wallis was endorsed by Mitchell League of Women Voters and Federation of Women’s Clubs for state director of maternity and infancy hygiene.
[Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), February 18, 1922; Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 20, 1922] “The South Dakota League of Women Voters will hold its third annual convention at the Marvin Hughitt hotel in Huron on April 4, E [?] and 8, according to announcement made by Mrs. John L. Pyle, of Huron, president of the state league. A splendid program of nationwide talent is being secured for the three day of the convention, but no authentic announcement of the speaker could yet be made. It was hoped to have Mr. Maud Wood Park, of Washington, D.C., national president, here for the convention, but as she will be in Sioux Falls on Feb. 27 for a big banquet and get-together meeting, she would be unable to again visit the state for the convention. The officers of the state league are: President. Mrs. John L. Pyle, Huron: vice-president Mrs. S. V. Grist, Miller; secretary, Mrs. Charles S. Whiting, Pierre; treasurer, Mrs. Ed F. Wilson, Huron.” [from OCR, some spelling issues–will have to check the microfilm copy sometime]
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 9, 1922, March 10, 1922, March 14, 1922] Lake County League of Women Voters planned to have their regular meeting at the high school with an address by Dr. Higbie of the state normal school in Madison on school organization and the limits of the present system, and discussion of civil government and the qualifications of congressmen led by Miss Montgomery (of the normal school) and Miss Wolcott (of the high school history department).
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), March 22, 1922] A Spink County League of Women Voters was organized at Redfield.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 23, 1922, March 24, 1922, March 27, 1922] Lake County League of Women Voters held its regular meeting at that high school, discussing party platforms as presented by Mrs. H.P. Gulstine and Mr. Schmidt.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), April 5, 1922] The third annual SD League of Woman Voters convention was being planned for Huron on April 4-6.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 7, 1922, April 10, 1922] Lake County League of Women Voters will hold meetings every two weeks through April and May, and their next regular meeting at high school would be “How Should I Vote on the Bond Issue” by J.C. Palmer followed by discussion.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 8, 1922] At state convention for League of Women Voters, Pyle was re-elected president, Mrs. C.J. Gunderson (Vermillion) VP, Mrs. C.S. Whiting (Pierre) secretary, and Mrs. E.F. Wilson (Huron) treasurer.
[Woman’s Journal (April 8, 1922), 17] The Sioux Falls Press ran an editorial series with articles by Sioux Falls women, including one by the chair of Women in Industry for Minnehaha County League of Women Voters, Mrs. W.E. Peterson.
[The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), April 12, 1922] League of Women Voters gave an annual Americanization dinner in Mitchell.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 13, 1922] South Dakota League of Women Voters selected Watertown for their next annual meeting. They decided to support placing school superintendents (both state and county) outside partisan politics and eliminating their term limit; increasing capacity of the state tuberculosis sanitarium in Custer; removing the girls training school from Plankinton to different location; an eight-hour workday for women workers, or 44 hrs/week; and establishing a minimum wage commission.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 18, 1922] Davison County League of Women Voters planned to do a program series on politics and child welfare.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 20, 1922] Ruth Hipple described as being active in politics “one of the leaders for women’s rights and of the League of Women Voters” at her appointment to the women’s committee of investigation by Governor McMaster.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 29, 1922] The speaker at the Women’s Business/Professional state meeting, Mary Stewart of Washington D.C., had also spoken in the spring of 1920 for League of Women Voters in Sioux Falls.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 16, 1922] Alice L. Daly, Non-Partisan League candidate for governor of South Dakota had returned from the east and begun her campaign. She had attended the League of Women Voters national meeting in Baltimore and the Pan-American Womens’ Congress, attended a trial for striking miners at Charleston WV, spoke in Congress committee against proposed ship subsidy, and had gone to Arlington and Lake Poinsett, S.D. to speak.
[Madison Daily Leader (SD), July 15, 1922] During part of a Non-Partisan League meeting, a debate was held for League of Women Voters members on an initiated bill for creating a Bank of South Dakota. Tom Ayres took the “for” position.
[Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), January 6, 1923] At the legislature, the League or Women Voters, Federation of Women’s Clubs and Women’s Christian Temperance Union enacted resolutions that the three political parties would include “a plank in each of their platforms recommending jury service for women”; “a bill regulating the status of illegitimate children copied after the North Dakota law; “a bill complying with the Shepherd-Towner maternity law; and “strict law enforcement on the part of your public officials.” There were seven board members participating: Mrs. John L. Pyle, Huron, president; Mrs. Eva Robinson Dawes, Mitchell; Mrs. S.V. Ghrist, Miller; Mrs. Paul Rewman, Deadwood: Mrs. Franklin D. Smith, Deadwood; Mrs. C.S. Whiting, Pierre; Mrs. Ruth Hipple, Pierre, and Mrs. E. F. Wilson, Huron.”
[Lead Daily Call (SD), November 24, 1924] The League of Women Voters re-elected officers: Mrs. John L. Pyle of Huron, president; Mrs. S.X. Way of Watertown vice president; Mrs. Fred Hoffman of Sioux Falls secretary; and Mrs. E. F. Wilson of Huron treasurer. A legislative committee was also appointed, comprised of Mrs. John H. Pyle of Huron, and Mrs. C.S. Whiting of Pierre.
[Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), March 30, 1927] “Local Study Club Organized in 1902. It was In 1902 that the Study club was organized In Sioux Falls by a group of 20 women “to promote their intellectual growth and for social Inter organized the League or Women voters for that purpose. Mrs. John L. Pyle of Huron was the first president in South Dakota. She held the position from 1920 to 1926, when she asked to be retired. Mrs. E. W. Feige of Huron was elected to fin the vacancy. The Minnehaha League was one of the first county units established and under the leadership of Mrs. L. L. Leavitt. It grew to be a powerful factor In the creating of interest and efficiency in the political life of Sioux Polls women. Mrs. W. Hildahl, Mrs. P. Bernhardt, Mrs. F. E. Briggs. Mrs. Ette Boyce, Mrs. K. Zetlitz. Mrs. A. B. Fair-bank, Mrs. Dick Adams, Mrs. J. L. Craig. Mrs. L. C. Campbell, Mrs. T. J. White. Mrs. E. B. Spencer, Miss Mary Perkins and Mrs. E. R. Buck are some of those who worked tirelessly for suffrage and many of them continued their association with the league. Candidate for Office As members became efficient the parties began to draft them for partisan work, and In every Instance local women who have become politically prominent, were members of the League of Women Voters. Many of them have been candidates for public office, not always successfully, which…”
[Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), October 29, 1927] The eighth annual League of Women Voters convention was planned for Aberdeen on Nov. 1 to 8 Speakers would be Governor Bulow, Ustrud (assistant director of taxation) of Pierre, and Gertrude Ely, counsel of New Voters, Bryn Mawr, P.A. “Senator J. P. Geldt, Eureka, will be the principal speaker of the opening session, Tuesday afternoon. A report of the national council by Dorothy M. Rehfeld, Aberdeen, and the message of Mrs. B. W. Felgne, Huron, state chairman, presiding, will also be given that afternoon. Governor Bulow will address the delegates and visitors Tuesday evening, and will be followed by Miss Ely, H. C. Anderson, managing editor of the Aberdeen Morning American; Mabel Sensor, home editor of the Dakota Farmer, and Marguerite Wells, director of the fifth region. Wednesday morning, Prof. A. N. Wrify [?], dean of Junior college, Aberdeen,, will speak, on “The Extension of Federal Control,” and Mr. Ustrud will discuss, “School Finance.” Other speakers for this session will include Florence E. Walker, Waubay and Mrs. Stanley Colton, Huron. Mrs. P. H. Kelley of Mitchell, will preside Wednesday afternoon when a number of speakers will address the convention…. The convention will close Thursday morning with election of officers and other business.” The convention would also schedule times for discussion on the legal status of women, child welfare, education, living costs, international cooperation to prevent war, and efficiency in government. State leaders included Miss Rehfeld, Aberdeen; Mrs. H. C. Haves, Deadwood; Mrs. Tuttle, Mitchell: Mrs. Ed Wilson, Huron; Mrs. J. A. Sauer.
[Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), May 21, 1929] South Dakota League of Women Voters’ officers included: president Mrs. B. W. Feige, Huron; First VP, Mrs. Angie L. Chaffee, Huron; Second VP, Mrs. Grace Dowdell, Artesian; secretary Mrs. Bennett, Arlington; treasurer Mrs. B. H. Bryan, Huron; and Chairmen of Departments included: Legal Status of Women, Miss Dorothy Rehfield, Attorney at Law, Aberdeen; Living Costs, Mrs. G. B. Tattle, Mitchell; Efficiency in Government, Mrs. Bennett, Arlington; Women in Industry, Mrs. F. P. Matz, Huron; Child-Welfare, Mrs. May Lampson, Brookings; Education, Mrs. E. H. Bryan, Huron; International Cooperation to Prevent War, Mrs. Etlielyn [?] Hartwich, Huron. Huron League of Women Voters’ board included president Mrs. Angie L. Chaffee; First VP, Mrs. F. P. Matz; Second VP Mrs. John McMahon; Secretary, Miss Juria Lamps; Treasurer, Mrs. Ruth Georgia. The South Dakota League of Women Voters outlined and adopted their annual program of work: November a state convention in Madison; December 1 –Arbitration; January–Legislative work: jury service, petitions, maternity and infancy; February–Newton bill- the good citizen’s test of opinion; March–Legislative results; who knows? April–True and false test on arbitration; foreign policy of the United States; get out the vote; city elections; May—Problems of the Pacific; nominations for school board; June–School Finance, election of school board members; July–School finance; August–Child labor quiz; September–Lame duck amendment (if not previously acted upon); and October–South Dakota women in industry.
[Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), November 1, 1930] “‘Homemaking is a highly specialized profession and nearly every woman finds her greatest happiness in making this her first interest after marriage,’ was Miss Dorothy Rehfeld’s reply to my question, “Should married women work?” Miss Rehfeld, Aberdeen attorney, was one of the principal speakers at the state convention of the South Dakota League of Women Voters which was held here this week. ‘However,’ the attorney continued, ‘I should not discriminate against all married women continuing to hold their positions in business. But I do object to a girl trying to hold two jobs unless this is an economic necessity.’ Matter of choice ‘In the first place, few women have sufficient ability and energy to fill two professions adequately at the same time. In nearly every case one is slighted for the other. It eventually resolves itself into a question of values,’ Miss Rehfeld said. ‘Married women who continue to hold their positions in order to have luxuries that would otherwise be out of reach are able to work for lower salaries than the girl who must support herself entirely. This has a tendency to lower wage standards for all women. ‘Again, when married women continue to hold their jobs and more and more unmarried girls graduate from high school and colleges, a question of unemployment arises and the unmarried girls are unable to secure work.’ Professions Differ ‘The real purpose of marriage, of course, is to establish a home,’ Miss Rehfeld said. ‘The home continues to be the unit of our nations, all rumors notwithstanding. The girl who is trailed in a profession which has required much preparation may later return to this work, or the education may stand her in good stead in one of the countless welfare organizations should she decide to discontinue her position permanently.’ ‘It is difficult, if not utterly impossible, to make a general rule covering all conditions. The question of economic dependence arises, as does her ability to serve because of her training and experience. But in the large majority of cases, the girl in business is doing routine work which can easily be learned by an unmarried girl.’ What Is Happiness? ‘Many women who have worked for many years find it difficult to adjust themselves to home life,’ I suggested. ‘Many of these women have been proficient in business and accomplish their homemaking duties in much the same mariner. The question of leisure arises. What can a woman who does not care for much social contact in the way of bridge clubs and what not, do with her spare time?’ The attorney, who is also very much a charming women, looked at me quickly with dark eyes sparkling. ‘There are endless things she can do. From, social welfare to higher education in classroom or by correspondence it all depends on personal preference. If she has made good in business, chances are that she would be efficient in an entirely new field, for which she now has the time.’ Leisure An Opportunity ‘The secret of the matter is for the woman to undertake something that requir…'”
“Mrs. E. W. Feige Is Re-Elected President Of League Of Women Voters Mrs. E. H. Bryan, Huron, Is First Vice President And Chairman Of Organization And Finance; Mrs. John F. McMahon Named Treasurer. ‘We are an organization of women who wish to help all women educate themselves as voters so that they may intelligently participate in government, that they may live special thought and attention to the human welfare side of government which service they have been created to fulfill,’ said Mrs. E. W. Feige, state president of the South Dakota League of Women Voters in her message to the eleventh annual convention held here this week. ‘Let us hold fast to that which we know is good; never lose our sense of direction or appreciation of true values,’ she said in urging local leagues to accept their responsibility for furthering the work planned at this convention and at the National convention of the League of Women Voters, held in Louisville, Ky. during the past summer. Traces Achievement ‘It is better to go slowly and educate ourselves than to acquire legions who lightly scratch the surface and never discover the precious values which are to be found only after patiently searching for the truth. Slowly the leaven will spread until many serious minded, patriotic citizens will realize that one of the greatest and most important means of improving the quality of our government is the method of adult political education,’ Mrs. Feige said in tracing growth of the league. ‘While we are all proud of our democratic form of government we must remember that it is considered one of the greatest experiments in government in the world today,’ she continued in urging adult political education. ‘No member of such an organization as the league of women voters, which supports its program by educational material of recognized quality, up to date and authoritative, can be excused for indifference or neglect. We must of necessity be leaders this new movement of adult political education.'”
“work in helping assemble the newly issued book ‘A Survey of the Legal Status of Women in The Forty-Eight States.’ Under the direction of Miss Dorothy Rehfeld, Aberdeen attorney, Mrs. Matz made a survey of the laws of this state pertaining to women and children, and the National league has this year incorporated tier report in the new publication mentioned. In speaking of the opportunity offered the league in furthering its work by radio, Mrs. Feige urged all members to take advantage of this opportunity, saying, ‘We should embrace every opportunity offered us to go on the air, ever bearing in mind that we are “To Present all sides, promote none,” that the pur- thought and not to advocate points of view.’ Survive Depression ‘The past year has not been conducive to the best work,’ said the president in concluding her message, ‘We have all felt the economic pressure and mental depression which is everywhere present. Unusual conditions prevail, yet we must keep the spirit of optimism alive, keep alive the spirit of inquiry and understanding of public affairs from the highest tribunal down to our own local affairs. It is the life of the nation. We must continue to follow a conservative plan. ‘We are of necessity an organization of slow growth, so let us now grow discouraged if we do not rapidly increase our membership. It is the woman who does her own work, cooks her own meals, runs her own household, on whom we must depend for that which we hope’ to accomplish. No cause can claim her undivided time and energy and our very strength and hope of achievement lies in the fact that she does tit the work of the league into the housewife’s day. ‘This is a true picture of our league of the league is to engender family in South Dakota. I do appreciate
Present Generation Must promote World Peace, Says League Expert
‘New Officers Named In addition to the leading officers, Mrs. Feige, and her first vice president, Mrs. E. H. Bryan, the following state officers were elected during the convention: Mrs. Grace Dowdell, Artesian, second vice president; Mrs. C. W. Quinn, Arlington, secretary; Mrs. John F. McMahon, Huron, treasurer; Mrs. E. W. Spence, Groton, director of the first congressional district; Mrs. C. H. Dillon, Vermillion, director of the second congressional district. Chairman of state committees are as follows: Mrs. H. W. Bennett, Arlington, Efficiency in Government; Mrs. G. B. Tuttle, Mitchell, Living Costs; Mrs. E. H. Bryan, Huron, Education; Miss Dorothy Rehfeld, Aberdeen, Legal Status of Women; Mrs. F. P. Matz, Huron, Women in Industry; and the chairman of the committee on Child Welfare and International Cooperation to Prevent War are to be named later.”
“Outstanding among the speakers on the program of the state convention of the League of Women Voters, which closed here yesterday was Mrs. A. J. McGuiro, St Paul, new director of the fifth region of the National League of Women Voters, who has done special work in the department of International Cooperation to Prevent War. “There is no denying the fact that the world is restless with uprisings, revolutions and political unrest, the speaker said. “Some of cur own problems deal with result* of the crash in the stock market, overproduction, raised tariffs, and economic back wash. “But there is a general trend of growing up among nations, an awareness M other countries–making a world neighborhood. The fact that no one country is independent of other countries, is only now beginning to be understood universally. War Not Solution “Whereas war may have solved the problems of international disputes year; ago it is not the solution today. If we learned no other thing during the World war we did learn that it is not the solution of problems, Mrs. McGuire said. She then traced the merging of small units and the eventual need of a counsel between nations. “There must be a course of common action. We must get on together. The greatest argument against war is utter devastation of countries. The next war will not be a war of front lines, nor will it be segregated into two nations, but it will spread throughout the world leaving death and destruction in its wake,’ the speaker said. “Knowledge of these facts is causing nations to hesitate before making war. During the past years, many occasions which they found the men could not answer, and this has made the men wonder what the answers really were. Not Political Party “While the league is not a political party, it is a feeder and educator of all parties, encouraging women to work in and for the best interests of the party to ; which they belong. It is the medium through which candidates may appeal to the voters, and through which they may become acquainted. It has the purpose j sician? i of a rounded study of government and American traditions as well as of practical politics and its machinery.’”
“have arisen, with greater difficulties to solve than those which caused wars in the past. We must build up a common court where problems may be solved without destruction.” Talks On World Court Mrs. McGuire then reviewed the purpose of the World Court, for which the league is working; she touched on the London treaties, explaining some of the events. Finally, she pointed out that despite chaos, methods are being devised for the prevention of war and furthering of peace. “If our generation does not take it upon itself the responsibility for furthering peace, it will have the blood of many nations upon its hands.” she concluded. Miss Dorothy Rehfeld, Aberdeen, first woman to be admitted to the bar in this state, discussed the state marriage laws and jury service for women. Miss Florence Walker of Waubay, director of the department of maternity and infancy, reviewed her work for the past year, pointing put that she has traveled 15,000 miles in the service of women and children. Urges Need of League Mrs. ___ Farkes, ‘Minneapolis, secretary of the fifth” region of the National League of Women Voters, urged women to accept the challenge of suffrage and learn the workings of government and how to obtain those things which arc required for the welfare of a nation, and especially for women and children. Comparing the league with other organizations she pointed out that whereas it is the purpose of some to endorse legislation, it is the purpose of the league to support it. She traced the history of the organization from its beginning in 1920, growing out of the National American Womens Suffrage association to the present. “We have made men do a lot of thinking,” she said when pointing out that women are being educated in politics. “Wives have gone home from league”
[from OCR, some spelling issues–will have to check the microfilm copy sometime]