Places of Women’s Suffrage


Aberdeen, Brown County

The corner of Main St and Third Ave

In September 1898, Rev. L.E. Keith lectured on suffrage at the Christian Church on a Friday evening and spoke for an open-air meeting downtown the next afternoon [The State Democrat (Aberdeen SD), September 23, 1898].


Alexander Mitchell Library

On November 21, 1904, the Social Science Club met at the assembly room of the Alexander Mitchell Library, and their program was on equal suffrage. After a paper by Senator James M. Lawson, F.E. Granger and Simeon H. Cranmer led the discussion that “became quite spirited at times.” Cranmer claimed that “there is no longer any respectable opposition to it.” Many women attended the meeting, and the club president invited them to join the discussion. Mrs. Gallett and William Rehfeld spoke for suffrage, and Major Barrett spoke in opposition — that he was “thankful that women occupy and grace a higher sphere than that of active politics.  She need not be a voter to make her influence potent in the life of the state” [Aberdeen Democrat (SD), November 18, 1904, November 25, 1904].

[The Industrial Normal Exponent [NSU] (May 1, 1904), 11]

Bickelhaupt House

Ida E. Bickelhaupt (1864-1921) was president at the founding of the Brown County Equal Suffrage Association in 1914 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 17, 1914; Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), June 26, 1914].  In 1917, she was one of the women who organized a state board of the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage and served as the first vice-chair upon organization in Sioux Falls [The Suffragist (National Women’s Party) (January 24, 1917), 8, and 5(94) (November 10, 1917), 8; Argus Leader (Sioux Falls SD), November 1, 1917].

The Bickelhaupt House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 [“William G. Bickelhaupt House,” National Register of Historic Places nomination; Troy McQuillen, “The William Bickelhaupt House,” Aberdeen Magazine (November 5, 2019)].


Brown County Courthouse

The 1909 state convention of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association was held at the courthouse in Aberdeen [RD06565, Box 1, Correspondence 1909, Breeden Papers USD].  Historic images: color postcard #2015-07-10-306; postcard with wide view of downtown Aberdeen, #2009-06-12-014.

Brown County Courthouse cupola. Photograph by author, summer 2018.

Christian Church

In September 1898, Rev. L.E. Keith lectured on suffrage at the Christian Church on a Friday evening and spoke for an open-air meeting downtown the next afternoon [The State Democrat (Aberdeen SD), September 23, 1898].


Fairgrounds

Women’s Day at the State Fair in September 1890 included a parade from downtown to the fairgrounds, music and oration at the grandstand, and “consultation and deliberation” in the woman’s headquarters tent afterwards. Primary speakers were Emma DeVoe (the superintendent for Women’s Day), Olympia Brown, Emma Cranmer, Susan B. Anthony, and Anna Howard Shaw. DeVoe reported that: “People came out of their stores and shops; farmers filled both sides of the street, clear out to the ground, and they crowded around the speaker’s stand, eager to catch every word.” [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), September 5, 1890; Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 3, 1890; Daily News (Aberdeen SD), September 18, 1890, “Page 50 : Entire Page,” Aberdeen Daily News (SD), September 17, 1890, and The Journal (Sioux City IA), September 18, 1890, “Page 52 : Entire Page,” The Woman’s Tribune, October 11, 1890, “Page 57 : Entire Page,” and The Dakota Ruralist, September 17, 1890, “Page 58 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

A reply to a query to the Dacotah Prairie Museum in Aberdeen indicated that the fairgrounds from 1890 were about where Simmons Middle School is now, between S. 3rd and 5th, and 12th and 17th Ave. SW.

Wessington Springs Herald (SD), September 5, 1890.

Hotel Dayton

The parade to the fairgrounds arranged by Emma DeVoe for Women’s Day at the 1890 state fair convened at the Hotel Dayton and processed to the fairgrounds grandstand [Daily News (Aberdeen SD), September 18, 1890, “Page 50 : Entire Page,” and Aberdeen Daily News (SD), September 17, 1890, “Page 52 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The Dayton hotel was built in 1888 at 105-107 S. Main on pg. 3 of the 1892 Sanborn map of Aberdeen. It was a three-story brick building with two storefronts on the ground floor. [Don Artz, The Town in the Frog Pond, p14].


Methodist Episcopal Church

Planned to coincide with Women’s Day at the Grain Palace Exposition, the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association held their 1893 annual meeting at the Methodist Episcopal church in Aberdeen with an address by Clara C. Hoffman of Missouri. The meeting was held in the early afternoon and adjourned early enough to attend the grand program at the Grain Palace [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 13, 1893].

Historic image: SDSHS, #2009-06-02-003. On Sanborn map for Aberdeen 1892, sheet 5. The present First United Methodist Church building was constructed in 1908.


Northern Normal and Industrial School

In April 1910, Perle Penfield spoke on suffrage at the chapel of the normal school [The Industrial-Normal Exponent [NSU] (April 1910), 15].

Shortly before the election, delegates at the South Dakota Federation of Women’s Clubs’ state meeting, held in at the normal school auditorium in Aberdeen, rejected a resolution endorsing equal suffrage with a vote of 16 to 20. The question had not even been on the program until they were “flooded with protests from suffrage advocates” and opponents. The convention heard speeches on suffrage from B.O. Aylesworth of Colorado and Mary Craigie of Brooklyn NY and support of suffrage had been voiced during the welcoming addresses of Alderman John Wade (president of the Aberdeen commercial club) and Mayor H.J. Rock, as well as in annual remarks from Federation president Lydia B. Johnson. According to one report, many delegates were out of the room when the vote was taken and others who themselves supported suffrage did not think the Federation should get involved as an organization. The Federation’s vote against a suffrage resolution made the news in many South Dakota cities, to the consternation of the Votes for Women campaign leadership [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 22, 1910Mitchell Capital (SD), October 27, 1910The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), October 27, 1910].

In 1914, “William Jennings Bryan, preacher delivered an interesting and powerful sermon at the auditorium of the Northern Normal and Industrial school on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 25, to an audience estimated at 1,500, every seat in the auditorium being filled, including chairs which had been placed on the stage, while as many people as the police would permit stood in the aisles…. He paid in an eloquent tribute to motherhood, dwelling upon the time given, the pain suffered, the sacrifices made, the tasks performed by women who were the mothers of the race, and incidentally mentioned his belief in women suffrage, drawing enthusiastic applause from portions of the audience” [The Industrial-Normal Exponent [NSU] (November 1914), 37].

The Northern Normal & Industrial School in Aberdeen was located southwest of S. Kline Street and 12th Ave SE. Its auditorium was on the second floor of the Administration building, which had been built in 1908 [Aberdeen Democrat (SD), December 25, 1908; Sanborn Fire Insurance Co., Map of Aberdeen, Brown County (June 1912), sheet 1 and sheet 24; Calvin Men, “Krikac Auditorium remade…,” American News (Aberdeen SD), September 14, 2012]. The Administration building was a large Renaissance Revival two-story (with a raised basement) brick building and the auditorium had large arched windows [Photo of NNIS Administration Building, #2014-12-23-307, State Archives digital collections, Pierre]. Now Krikac Administration on the campus of Northern State University, photos of the auditorium “then and now” are featured on the Aberdeen Area History website.

The Industrial Normal Exponent (November 1, 1911), 1.

Opera house

On October 26, 1889, Susan B. Anthony’s first visit to South Dakota concluded with a speech to the state Farmers’ Alliance meeting with its “densely packed” audience of 475 delegates plus other spectators at the opera house in Aberdeen. After Anthony, Helen Barker and S.A. Ramsey, who were seated on the platform, gave short responses [“Page 66 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]. “At the close of her talk, shouts rang out in favor of suffrage for women and the Alliance joined the cause of women’s enfranchisement” [Early History of Brown County, usgwarchives.net].

Sophia M. Harden, secretary of the Farmers’ Alliance, Mrs. Bonham, and Judge A.W. Bangs attended and spoke for suffrage at the state Democratic Party convention held at the opera house in Aberdeen.  Newspapers reported that the anti-suffrage response from congressional candidate Ezra W. Miller was “grossly abusive” and “a vulgar and outrageously filthy speech…. an insult to every woman and was finally drowned by loud hisses and cries of ‘Shame!'” According to one news report, a small group made apologies for the incident, but most of “the party stands branded with the outrage” [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), June 13, 1890Wessington Springs Herald (SD), July 25, 1890; Mitchell Capital (SD), April 7, 1893].

In 1914, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw spoke to an audience (half of which were men) at the opera house in Aberdeen.  She was introduced by Mrs. W.G. Bickelhaupt, and on the stage was also Mrs. Pyle as state association president, Mrs. Emma Brown, Mrs. Helen Gage, Mrs. C.W. Billinghurst, and Mrs. J.S. Robinson [Lemmon Herald (SD), September 18, 1914].

In 1892, the opera house in Aberdeen was a wood-frame building on the southeast corner of E. 3rd Ave. and S. Lincoln [Sanborn Fire Insurance Co., Map of Aberdeen, Brown County SD (October 1892), sheet 5].

After the Gottshalk Opera House in Aberdeen burned down in 1910, commercial and civic leaders worked to build a new theater venue, completing the Aberdeen Theater in 1913 (renamed the Orpheum in 1914), at 218-220 S. Lincoln, connected to the Radison Hotel [Don Artz, The Town in the Frog Pond (Brown County and Aberdeen Landmark Commission, 1991), 48 via Beulah Williams Library Archives & Special Collections, aberdeenareahistory.org; Sanborn Fire Insurance Co., Map of Aberdeen, Brown County SD (January 1917), sheet 7; “Gottschalk Theater Fire, Aberdeen SD, Brown County,” 1910, #2014-12-23-308, SDSHS].


Alexandria, Hanson County

Hanson County Courthouse

Emma Smith DeVoe held an afternoon women’s meeting and an evening lecture at the courthouse in Alexandria in late August 1890 and organized an equal suffrage club, reportedly with 90 members [Alexandria Herald (SD), September 5, 1890, “Page 50 : Entire Page,” and “Page 53 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Beadle County

In February 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe did a campaign tour through Beadle County and spoke in the Parkhurst school house, the Methodist Episcopal church in Wessington, the Murray school house, the Winthrop school house, McCoy’s school house, Burgess Hall in Hitchcock, and concluding with a county convention at G.A.R. Hall in Huron [“Page 26 : Organizing,” “Page 26 : [news clipping: equal suffrage clubs form],” “Page 26 : [fragment: Winthrop Letter],” Page 25 : Equal Suffrage: A Convention to be held in Huron on Friday, Feb. 28, 1890,” Wessington Times (SD), February 22, 1890, “Page 25 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe lectures at M.E. Church],” “Page 29 : An Interesting Letter,” “Page 32 : Entire Page,” “Page 66,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

On the Fourth of July 1890, Susan B. Anthony spoke in Wessington and at a picnic at Merritt’s Grove, ten miles to the south [“Page 43 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

In late September 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at the Parker school house [Huron Independent (SD), October 1, 1890, “Page 52 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

In November 1891, the Hitchcock Republican League met for the first time at Burgess Hall in Hitchcock. The program included papers on prohibition and suffrage by Helen Putnam and Eliza Mouser [The Daily Plainsman (Huron SD), November 11, 1891].


Belle Fourche, Butte County

Congregational Church

In May 1898, Ida Crouch-Hazlett spoke at two meetings in Belle Fourche at the Methodist and Congregational churches [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), May 24, 1898].


Methodist Church

In May 1898, Ida Crouch-Hazlett spoke at two meetings in Belle Fourche at the Methodist and Congregational churches [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), May 24, 1898].


Opera House

Catherine Waugh McCulloch spoke to an “interested” audience at the opera house in Belle Fourche, arranged by Susie Bird and Nina Pettigrew [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914].


Beresford, Lincoln County

Opera House

On June 6, 1915, Mrs. Matt Voegli lectured on suffrage at the Beresford opera house [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), June 4, 1915].

Sinclair’s Hall

On November 1, 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe gave a lecture on suffrage at Sinclair’s Hall in Beresford [Page 039 : [news clipping], Emma Smith DeVoe: 1892-1894 (Scrapbook C), “Page 08 : [handbill advertising Emma S. Devoe lecture at Sinclair’s hall in South Dakota],” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Brookings, Brookings County

Brookings Opera House

At Brookings, Elsie Benedict appeared to protest an anti-suffrage rally happening at the theater in Brookings. She had some kind of altercation with the theater manager who said he’d required Benedict and the suffragists to leave banners and placards outside but she tried to force her way in and he dragged her out [The Remonstrance Against Woman Suffrage (January 1917), 4; (April 1917), 8; Des Moines Register (IA), November 27, 1916; Deutscher Herold (Sioux Falls SD), November 30, 1916].


Brown County

In Rondell, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at a Farmers’ Alliance picnic, at the Independent Party’s ratification meeting on a Saturday, and was invited by the local minister to speak “in the hall” on that Sunday morning [“Page 44 : Entire Page,” “Page 47 : Entire Page,” and “Page 48 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Sand Lake grove

Emma Smith DeVoe gave an address on suffrage, took a collection, and closed with her husband’s song, A Soldier’s Tribute to Women, at a community picnic for farmers and villagers at “an artificial grove” on Sand Lake [“Page 43 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]. Sand Lake is now a federal wildlife refuge, website here.


Bryant, Hamlin County

Baptist Church

In September 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at the Baptist church in Bryant. She also sang “A Soldier’s Tribute” and took a collection for the campaign [Bryant Post (SD), September 26, 1890, “Page 53 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Canton, Lincoln County

Bedford Hall

In the fall of 1890, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Howard Shaw, and Henry B. Blackwell each made public addresses at Bedford’s Hall in Canton [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), September 5, 1890, October 3, 1890].

Bedford Hall was on the second floor of a commercial building located mid-block on the west side of the 100-block of S. Main Street, according to Sanborn Fire Insurance Co. maps of Canton that show “Bedford Hall” in 1883 (sheet 1) and the same building with a 2nd floor hall with a stage/scenery on their 1891 map (sheet 2). Bedford Hall was wood-frame, false-front building with tall storefront windows, and it had a seating capacity of 400 [Lincoln County History Committee, The History of Lincoln County, South Dakota (Freeman, SD: Pine Hill Press, 1985), 24, (partial photo) 68]. The hall was the site of the first statehood division convention in June 1882 [The History of Lincoln County, 24]. It was also described in Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide, 1899-1900 [vol. 4 (New York: Empire Theatre Building, 1899), 621] as having a stage with a proscenium arch. After the Kennedy Hall was built in 1911, Bedford Hall was used for dances, roller skating, and high school basketball until the building burned in 1917 [The History of Lincoln County, 24].


Congregational Church

On March 16, 1898, Emma Cranmer spoke on suffrage at the Congregational church in Canton [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), March 11, 1898].


Fairgrounds

Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the Lincoln County Agricultural Association’s fairgrounds in September 1890, to a crowd of about 1,000 people. She spoke about native men being seated at the Republican party convention in Mitchell when suffragists were not, and “castigated the German-Russians for coming to the United States to escape oppression but oppressing women once they arrived” [The Daily Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), September 11, 1890, September 12, 1890; Nelson in Lauck et al., 139].


Mrs. L. Fowler House

In March 1898, the local equal suffrage club met at the home of Mrs. L. Fowler [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), March 25, 1898].


Gifford House

In January 1910, the Canton suffrage club met at the home of Mrs. Gifford and organized for that ballot campaign [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), January 28, 1910].


C.B. and Blanche P. Kennedy Home

In February 1916, the Canton (Women’s) Study Club met at the home of Mrs. C.B. Kennedy. “The large rooms were decorated with carnations and Mrs. Lybarger sent a most beautiful blossoming plant of three hyacinths to scatter their fragrance.” The meeting included a program about suffrage by Hon. A.R. Brown, and the “sentiment of the club was decidedly pro-suffrage.” Then after their luncheon, Mr. Kennedy was “prevailed upon to give his views upon the subject… In his usually happy manner he presented his views heartily endorsing woman suffrage saying there were no arguments against it” [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), February 25, 1916]. The Kennedys built a house at 903 N Dakota that they finished in September 1917 [“C.B. Kennedy House,” Canton, Lincoln County, National Register of Historic Places nomination].

SDSHPO, photo by author, December 2011.

Kennedy Theatre

In early November 1914, Canton suffragists held a rally on suffrage at the Kennedy Theatre shortly before the election [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), November 6, 1914].


Lincoln County Courthouse

In Canton, on November 1, 1909, Rachel Foster Avery held a suffrage meeting at the courthouse and a rally at the opera house while she was in South Dakota for the state suffrage convention in Sioux Falls [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), November 3, 1909; Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), November 5, 1909].

On April 5, 1910, a debate event was held at the courthouse on the question “Resolved that the proposed amendment to the State Constitution regarding woman’s suffrage should receive the support of the electors of the state” [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), March 25, 1910, April 1, 1910].

In 1914, E.C. Perisho, president of the State College in Brookings, and Antoinette Funk, a NAWSA organizer from Chicago, spoke on suffrage at the courthouse in Canton [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), August 14, 1914, September 4, 1914, September 11, 1914].


Methodist Church

Julia B. Nelson of Minnesota spoke on suffrage at the Methodist church in Canton in October 1890 [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), October 17, 1890].

The first Methodist church in Canton was built from the spring to the fall of 1880 [History of Southeastern Dakota: Its Settlement and Growth (1881), 177]


Nash House

The local equal suffrage association gave a “sunflower social” at the home of N.C. Nash in September 1890. The announcement in the paper advertised that “ice cream, cake, sun flowers, and equal suffrage sentiments will be served.  All are cordially invited” [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), September 5, 1890].

In April 1898, the local suffrage club met at the Mrs. N.C. Nash home [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), April 22, 1898].

On February 4, 1910, Pres. Nash was scheduled to host a meeting of the local suffrage club [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), January 28, 1910].


Opera House

In Canton, on November 1, 1909, Rachel Foster Avery held a suffrage meeting at the courthouse and a rally at the opera house while she was in South Dakota for the state suffrage convention in Sioux Falls [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), November 3, 1909; Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), November 5, 1909].


Schoolhouse

In February 1879, female students from Canton put on a debate on the question of “Should women be allowed the right of Suffrage?” with students from across the Big Sioux River in Beloit, Iowa.  The student debate was held at the schoolhouse in Canton, which had been decorated with flags and “pictures of welcome” [Canton Advocate (SD), February 20, 1879].

There was a women’s meeting about the suffrage amendment called to meet at the school on the morning of November 4, 1890 (election day) [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), October 31, 1890].

Central School in Canton was built in 1884 and was a two-story Italianate brick building with dark bands of brick around its walls, arched windows, and a tall cupola/steeple bell tower over the center of the facade. It had primary grades on the first floor and high school classes on the second. It was located north of the courthouse on property that became Centennial Park [The History of Lincoln County, 26 (includes photo)].


Carthage, Miner County

Christian Church

Henrietta Lyman spoke on suffrage at the Christian church on November 18, 1895. The local residents decided not to organize a club, but there were members who signed up for the state association [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), November 28, 1895].


Methodist Episcopal church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage to a “large audience” at the M.E. church in Carthage in July 1890 [Carthage News (SD), July 4, 1890, “Page 47 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Centerville, Turner County

Baptist Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Baptist church in Centerville on October 8, 1890, the last day of a district fair in town — “The G.A.R., Knight of Labor, Farmers’ Alliance and business men of the town specially invited.  Everybody attend.” [The Journal (Sioux City IA), “Page 53 : Entire Page,” and “Page 58: Lecture To-Night,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Central City, Lawrence County

Miners’ Union Hall

Susan B. Anthony spoke at the Miners’ Union Hall in Central City during a speaking tour of the Black Hills [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), November 2, 1890]. SDSHS Historical photo of Central City, Hall the white building towards the right, 2009-07-02-014.


Columbia, Brown County

Methodist Episcopal Church

In October 1898, Emma Cranmer spoke on suffrage at the M.E. church in Columbia [The State Democrat (Aberdeen SD), October 7, 1898].


Custer, Custer County

Custer County Courthouse

In 1914, Catherine Waugh McCulloch spoke on suffrage at the courthouse or the opera house in Custer during her campaign tour of the Black Hills [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914].


Methodist Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke to large audience at the Methodist church in Custer and organized a suffrage club [Custer, May 24, 1890, Page 35 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Opera House

In 1914, Catherine Waugh McCulloch spoke on suffrage at the courthouse or the opera house in Custer during her campaign tour of the Black Hills [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914].


School

During her campaign stop in Custer, Catherine Waugh McCulloch spoke at the end of a flag-raising at the school, attended by pupils and their parents [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914].


Davison County

Julia B. Nelson of Minnesota spoke at the Thomas school in Perry Township, the Peck school in Badger Township, and the Martin school in Lisbon Township [Mitchell Capital (SD), June 6, 1890].

The local suffrage association held a meeting at the Thomas school house in Green Valley with prayer, music, recitations, and a speech by Rev. A.W. Adkinson of Mitchell [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 1, 1890].

In Pleasant Ridge, a suffrage meeting was held at Pleasant Ridge school house on September 2, 1890 and later that month, the local WCTU and suffrage women held a meeting at the home of Mrs. A.W. Smith [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 5, 1890]. On October 24th, the suffrage club at Pleasant Ridge held a “dime social and program” at the home of Mrs. E.A. Wright [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 17, 1890].

In October 1890, an oratory prize contest on suffrage was held at the White school house [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 24, 1890].

The Equal Suffrage Society No. 1 in Davison County held a “grand supper” at the Hyer school house and planned to serve dinner and coffee at the local polls on election day as well [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 29, 1890].

On February 18, 1898, the Badger Township equal suffrage club held a basket social at the Tyler school house, that was not well attended because two other entertainments were held locally that same night [Mitchell Capital (SD), February 11, 1898, March 4, 1898].

On July 22, 1898, the Badger Township suffrage club and their W.C.T.U. held an ice cream social at F.D. Tyler’s place [Mitchell Capital (SD), July 15, 1898].

In February 1902, a debate was held at the Beaver school house in Farwell [Mitchell Capital (SD), February 14, 1902].

In October 1914, suffragists in the Betts neighborhood held a meeting at the school house to hear from Anna Simmons on suffrage, and suffragists held meetings at the Nearhood school house and others leading up to the election [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 8, 1914, October 29, 1914].

In November 1916, the Beulah Farmers Club had a suffrage rally at the home of Mrs. A.A. Lawrence with music, readings, talks by Irene Harvey and Myra P. Weller, and supper, with 100 guests [Mitchell Capital (SD), November 9, 1916].

Peck School House No. 1, Badger Township

Julia B. Nelson of Minnesota spoke at the Thomas school in Perry Township, the Peck school in Badger Township, and the Martin school in Lisbon Township [Mitchell Capital (SD), June 6, 1890].

On May 5, 1898, the Davison County W.C.T.U. held a school of methods and suffrage contest (oratory) at the Peck school house (No. 1) in Badger Township [Mitchell Capital (SD), April 29, 1898, pg. 6, pg. 11].


Deadwood, Lawrence County

The Assembly room of the Deadwood Business Club

A joint meeting of the Deadwood, Lead, and Spearfish Equal Suffrage Clubs was held in the Assembly room of the Deadwood Business club on Tuesday afternoon, April 26, 1916. They organized the Lawrence County Equal Suffrage League under president Katherine Powell of Spearfish, secretary Cicely Tinsley of Deadwood, and treasurer Fannie Willhoyte of Lead. Powell spoke at the meeting, they shared afternoon tea, and it concluded with a discussion of the upcoming campaign [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), April 23, 1916; April 29, 1916; Lead Daily Call (SD), April 27, 1916].

In early August 1916, local suffragists gave a reception for Emma Smith DeVoe, who had returned to South Dakota from her home in Washington for the Flying Squadron campaign, and regional organizer Rev. Nina Pettigrew [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), August 2, 1916].

In October 1918, Mabel Rewman spoke at an afternoon suffrage tea in the rooms of the Deadwood Business Club about her experience at the national convention and her impressions of the national leaders [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), October 8, 1916].

The Deadwood equal suffrage association met in the assembly rooms of the Deadwood Business club — “At this meeting the affairs of the organization will be wound up and it will go out of business, its work having been accomplished in the city, county and state” [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), January 22, 1919].


Congregational church

Helen Barker spoke on suffrage on August 9, 1890, at the Congregational church in Deadwood, and the following night on temperance at the Methodist church [Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), August 8, 1890, pg 1, pg 4].

In November 1916, a “joint mass meeting” for prohibition and suffrage was held at the Congregational church in Deadwood “filled to its capacity,” with Emma Smith DeVoe speaking on suffrage [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), November 7, 1916].


Deadwood Union Hall

Harriet Grim “a talented lecturer” spoke on suffrage at Deadwood union hall on July 1, 1910 [Philip Weekly Review (SD), June 30, 1910; Black Hills Union and Western Stock Review (Rapid City SD), July 1, 1910].


Deadwood Theatre

On October 14, 1914, Jane Addams of Chicago spoke to a full house at the Deadwood Theatre, the day before the state Federation of Women’s Clubs held their meeting [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), October 2, 1914, October 8, 1914, October 11, 1914, October 13, 1914, October 15, 1914].


Methodist Church

Emma Smith DeVoe gave a campaign talk and met with local women at the Methodist church in Deadwood in May 1890 [Deadwood Pioneer (SD), May 7, 1890, and Tilford Meade County, May 9, 1890, in “Page 33 : Entire Page,” and The Pioneer (Deadwood SD), May 10, 1890, May 11, 1890, “Page 36 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

On March 21, 1917, Rev. Katherine Powell as outgoing president of the Lawrence County suffrage league called for a county suffrage convention at the Methodist church in Deadwood. Their key speaker was Lydia B. Johnson of Ft. Pierre, “who in an able address gave most intelligent instructions for the preparation and purpose of the next campaign.” They formed an “inter-county council” to lead the next campaign [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), March 18, 1917; March 22, 1917].

In June 1918, the SDUFL and NAWSA held one of the campaign’s Schools of Methods and a “Patriotic Citizenship Dinner” at the Methodist church in Deadwood [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), June 12, 1918].

The Methodist church in Deadwood was built in 1885-1886, but was demolished in 2003 [“Deadwood Cluster,” United Methodist Church General Commission on Archives and History]. Image from 1981: SDSHS #2012-03-17-351. The site is now Methodist Memorial Park.


Dell Rapids, Minnehaha County

Library Hall

On their Flying Squadron tour, Emma Smith DeVoe, Elsie Benedict, and Effie McCollum Jones spoke to about thirty women for an afternoon meeting at Library Hall in Dell Rapids on August 31, 1916 [Jones to Pyle, August 31, 1916, RD07475, Box 1, Correspondence, 1910, April – 1916, December, Pyle papers USD].


DeSmet, Kingsbury County

Congregational church

In March 1910, state organizer Rose Bower met on short notice with supporters in DeSmet at the Congregational church where she made an address, rostered names of local supporters, and name a chair and secretary to liaison with the state committee [Kingsbury County Independent (DeSmet SD), March 4, 1910].


Methodist Episcopal church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the M.E. church in DeSmet on June 13, 1890, although it was reported that it was at short notice, and so sparsely attended [DeSmet Leader (SD), June 14, 1890, “Page 42 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Edmunds County

Emma Smith DeVoe campaigned in Edmunds County at the Lamberton school in Richland Township, the Hempstead school No. 4 in Clear Lake Township, and the Barkman school in Kent Township [“Page 44 : Entire Page,” and Ipswich Gazette (SD), July 17, 1890, “Page 47 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Egan, Moody County

Schoolhouse

On Sunday, October 5, 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the school house in Egan, and the Egan Express reported that “her bearing and the general tone of her talk is in marked contrast with the foreign campaigners who have indeavored to discomfit and overawe the people by their superfluous and highsounding phrases, their scornful tirades on womans abuse and man’s misuse.” [Daily Huronite (SD), October 7, 1890, Egan Express (SD), October 2, 1890, October 9, 1890, and Sioux Falls Press (SD), October 4, 1890, “Page 53 : Entire Page,” and Sioux Falls Press (SD), October 7, 1890, “Page 58 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Elk Point, Union County

Ames House

On December 4, 1897, the Union County suffrage association planned a meeting at the home of Truman Ames [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), December 2, 1897].


Baptist Church

The local equal suffrage society held a meeting at the Baptist Church in May 1890 [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), May 14, 1890].


Courier Office hall

The Union County Equal Suffrage Association organized in October 1897, met weekly in the hall above the Courier newspaper office [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), November 11, 1897].

On the 1898 Sanborn map for Elk Point, a likely candidate for the building referred to in the news article is the building on the west corner of Court & Main that shows a printing office on the first floor and a Lodge hall on the second [Sanborn Insurance Map (1898), sheet 2].


Methodist Church

Helen Barker met with Y’s (a youth temperance organization) and spoke on suffrage on the evening of April 12, 1890 [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), April 9, 1890].

Matilda Hindman of Pittsburgh, PA, spoke at the M.E. Church in Elk Point on April 21, 1890, and organized a local suffrage association; she also visited several surrounding communities in the week following [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), April 9, 1890, April 23, 1890].

The local equal suffrage association met in the Methodist church for a meeting on April 30, 1890 [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), April 30, 1890].

Henry Blackwell of Boston “for whom the governor of Kentucky, in the days of slavery, offered a reward of $5,000 dead or alive” spoke on suffrage at the M.E. church in Elk Point on September 30, 1890 [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), September 24, 1890; The Daily Courier (Elk Point SD), September 25, 1890].

On October 18-19, 1897, the Union County Equal Suffrage Association held their convention at the Methodist Episcopal church in Elk Point with county president Alice Tollefson and NAWSA campaigners Henrietta Moore, Carrie Chapman Catt, Laura Gregg, and Mary Garrett Hay. Mrs. Dr. Ellis and Mrs. J.T. Martin decorated the church for the convention [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), October 14, 1897, pg1; pg5; October 21, 1897].

The 25th annual convention of the First District SD W.C.T.U. was held in May 1910 at the First Methodist Church in Elk Point. The convention took action to thank state legislators for “work done along the line of Equal Suffrage for the ladies.” Anna R. Simmons also spoke to the convention about suffrage, and a collection was taken for the suffrage campaign work fund [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), May 12, 1910].

In June 1910, Sena Hartzell Wallace spoke at the M.E. church in Elk Point on the county option bill but was described as “quite as interested in equal suffrage and pleads for it not only because it is just and right, but because, with the ballot as a means, woman may contribute to the betterment of the world” [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), June 9, 1910].

First Methodist Church in Elk Point was a wood frame, Victorian-style church. It had a front gable with decorative woodwork, lancet-arch windows, and a large side bell tower with a tall steeple roof. The church entrance was at the base of the tower and had a gable entry roof over square piers [Postcard, M.E. Church, Elk Point, 1909 by Kropp]. The church was located on the northwest corner of Court and Washington Sts. in the 1892 Sanborn map, in 1898 (sheet 2), in 1903 (sheet 2), in 1912 (sheet 2), and 1917 (sheet 2). A 2015 photograph on Flickr of the church, as converted into apartments.

Opera House

Susan B. Anthony and Mary Seymour Howell spoke to “quite a large number of people from different parts of the County” at the Union County suffrage convention held June 6-7, 1890 at the opera house in Elk Point [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), June 11, 1890].

Julia B. Nelson of Minnesota lectured on suffrage at the opera house in Elk Point on October 14, 1890 [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), October 8, 1890].


Ringsrud Building

In December 1897, the Elk Point equal suffrage association met in the office of the president, Truman Ames, in the Ringsrud building [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), November 25, 1897].

The Ringsrud mercantile was located on the north corner of Main and Court Streets [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), May 24, 1906; Sanborn Insurance Map, Elk Point SD (1892), sheet 1, (1912), sheet 1]. Ringsrud built a new building in 1905 on the south corner of Main and Franklin [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), April 13, 1905].


Home of Mrs. A.E. Ronne

After organization at the Union County suffrage convention in October 1897, the first regular meeting for the Elk Point suffrage association was scheduled to be held at the home of Mrs. A.E. Ronne, the newly-elected vice-president [Union County courier, October 21, 1897].


Emery, McCook County

Congregational Church

Emma Smith DeVoe lectured and organized a suffrage club at the Congregational church in Emery [“Page 50 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota

Armory Hall

The 7th annual convention of the Dakota Territorial W.C.T.U. was held September 8-9, 1888 at Armory Hall in Fargo. The hall was a former skating rink. For the convention, it was set up with a platform at the rear, with space for a choir and organ, the president’s chair, the secretary’s table, and a speaker rostrum. Two rooms were set up at the front as committee rooms. Near the entrance there was a literature table, which included suffrage literature arranged by Alice Pickler, the territorial superintendent of franchise. The hall was decorated with two large American flags; portraits of Frances Willard and Prohibition candidates Fisk and Brooks; a bundle of corn for SD and a bundle of wheat for ND each tied with white ribbon; local unions’ banners; other banners and mottoes; plants in the windows and on stands at the front of the room. The convention was presided over by president Helen M. Barker and Alice Pickler “spoke earnestly of the need of woman suffrage, and urged that special work be done [that] winter” [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 14, 1888; Press and Daily Dakotaian (Yankton SD), September 29, 1888].

Armory Hall was a former skating rink, used for mass conventions and social occasions including grand balls [Emmons County Record (Williamsport, D.T.), August 23, 1889; Courier Democrat (Langdon ND), July 21, 1892; Bismarck Weekly Tribune (ND), December 13, 1895]. It was a one-story wood-frame building on the northeast corner of Northern Pacific & 8th [1888 Sanborn Insurance Map, p.7; 1892, p.10; 1896, p.12; 1901, p.2]. It was slated for demolition in the spring of 1906 and the growing neighboring Schlanser carpenter/wood-working/lumber yard took over that part of the block [Sanborn 1905, p.2, 1910, p.2].


Faulk County

Scatterwood Lake grove

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at a the Fourth of July picnic at a Scatterwood Lake grove, held by the Farmers’ Alliance, during the afternoon orations in between dancing, ice cream, target shooting, ball games, foot racing, and more [“Page 43 : Entire Page,” “Page 44 : Entire Page,” and “Page 47 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Faulkton, Faulk County

Byrne House

Governor Frank M. and Emma B. Byrne lived in the house at 1017 St. John Street in Faulkton from 1901 to 1917. Gov. Byrne was one of the men listed as “Noted Men of South Dakota for Suffrage” in a 1918 news article and gave to the movement “valuable assistance, as he had done when a member of the Senate” [Deutscher Herold (Sioux Falls SD), September 16, 1915; Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 29, 1918; The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), October 31, 1918; Anthony/Husted, History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922), 589].  Emma Byrne was involved with the suffrage movement from 1914 to 1919 [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914; The Suffragist (National Women’s Party) (January 24, 1917), 8; The Woman Citizen 4 (August 23, 1919), 291; Byrne to Pyle, November 1, 1918, RA11618, Pyle to Mrs Byrne, November 4, 1918, RA11662, and Byrne to Pyle, November 7, 1918, RA11722, Box 4, Correspondence, 1918, November 1-7, Pyle Papers USD]. The family moved to Oregon in 1924.  Built in about 1898 and significantly remodeled in about 1904, the Byrne House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 [“Governor Frank M. Byrne House,” NRHP nomination].

Methodist Episcopal Church

The church was the location of the county suffrage convention in May 1890 where the Faulk County Equal Suffrage Club was formed [Citing Faulk County Record, Thursday, May 22, 1890, in Faulk County Newspaper Excerpts].  Historic images: #2009-07-28-042 and #2009-07-28-003, SDSHS.


Pickler House

On John and Alice Pickler, and their landmark house in Faulkton, from SD Public Broadcasting.  The Pickler House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.  The museum has several items connected to their work for the suffrage movement.

Pickler Mansion museum, photograph by author, August 2017.

Flandreau, Moody County

Methodist Episcopal Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at the M.E. Church in Flandreau on October 6, 1890 [Page 53 : Equal Suffrage, and The Enterprise (Flandreau SD), October 9, 1890, and Flandreau Herald (SD), “Page 53 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].  Current website for Flandreau United Methodist Church, looks like it may be a historic building…


Fort Pierre, Stanley County

Cedar Hill Cemetery:


Hallenbeck’s Hall

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at Hallenbeck’s Hall on April 17, 1890 “to a large and attentive audience” and organized a local suffrage association [Page 30 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe at Hollenback’s Hall],” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Phillips House

In March 1908, the Fort Pierre Equal Suffrage Club met at the Phillips home [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), March 12, 1908].


Scotty Philip Cemetery


Frederick, Brown County

Methodist Episcopal church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the M.E. church in Frederick on a Sunday evening in June 1890 [Frederick Free Press (SD), June 26, 1890, “Page 42 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Gettysburg, Potter County

Methodist Episcopal church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Methodist church in Gettysburg on April 9, 1890 [Gettysburg Herald (SD), April 9, 1890, “Page 29 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe in Gettysburg],” and “Page 29 : Gettysburg,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Grant County

During the 1898 campaign, Mrs L.B. Perry of Minnesota had a suffrage campaign schedule through Grant County of evening meetings that included the Alban M.E. church, Vernon school No. 2, Georgia school No. 2, Stockholm school No. 3, Mazeppa school No. 2, Farmington school No 2, and Blooming Valley school No 6 [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), October 21, 1898; October 28, 1898].


Hand County

On her winter 1889 campaign week in Hand County, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Brown school house in York Township, Greenleaf church in Ree Heights, the parsonage in Beulah, Beulah school house, a church at Burdette, Star school house near Holden, Brown’s School house, and they scheduled a convention for the county at the opera house in Miller but it was postponed [The Woman’s Tribune (Boston), January 4, 1890 in “Page 09 : Among the Workers”; “Page 10 : York Township Suffrage Meeting,” Page 10 : Mrs. DeVoe at Ree Heights,” Page 10 : Woman’s Wants,” Page 10 : Equal Suffrage,” Page 10 : Notice,” and “Page 10 : Holden News,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]


Hermosa, Custer County

Congregational Church

When Emma Smith DeVoe visited Hermosa on May 19, 1890, she spoke at the Congregational church and organized a suffrage club. The local newspaper reported that the church was filled, and some people left because there wasn’t room [Hermosa Pilot, undated, “Page 37 : Entire Page,” and The Woman’s Tribune, June 21, 1890, “Page 43 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Maxson House

When Emma Smith DeVoe visited Hermosa on May 19, 1890, she first held a meeting at the home of Mrs. Maxson with ten local supporters before speaking that evening [Hermosa Pilot (SD), May 23, 1890, “Page 37 : Entire Page,” and The Woman’s Tribune, June 21, 1890, “Page 43 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Highmore, Hyde County

Congregational Church

Alice M.A. Pickler spoke on suffrage at the Congregational church in Highmore in September 1895.  

Historic image of the church building dedicated in 1889: SDSHS #2014-12-08-313.  Same image in John B. Perkins, History of Hyde County (1908), 100-101.


Hyde County Courthouse

Emma Smith DeVoe’s campaign/organizational tour of Hyde County in December 1889 concluded with a convention at the county courthouse in Highmore [Highmore Herald (SD), “Page 05 : It Looks as if Women Will Get to Vote in Dakota,” and “Page 01: Call for a Convention,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

On April 24, 1890, Anna Howard Shaw traveled with DeVoe from Huron to Highmore and spoke at the courthouse — “farmers with their wives came as far as fifteen miles to hear her” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 25, 1890].


Hill City, Pennington County

McClure’s Hall

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage in McClure’s Hall in May 1890 [Hill City Tin Miner (SD), May 23, 1890, “Page 36 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]


Hot Springs, Fall River County

Black Hills Chautauqua

Clara B. Colby and secretary Rachael Brill attended the Black Hills Chautauqua assembly in July 1892. Colby gave a talk on suffrage, and they distributed copies of their Woman’s Tribune newspaper [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), August 5, 1892, August 12, 1892].

The Black Hills Chautauqua Assembly was in operation from 1889 to 1894. The grounds, outside of Hot Springs, had a large, partially-open meeting pavilion, dining hall, tents for rent by attendees, spaces for lawn games, and “a miniature lake at the bend in the creek.” [Hot Springs Star (SD), June 19, 1891, July 31, 1891, September 11, 1891; Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), July 29, 1892, August 5, 1892, August 12, 1892; “Chautauqua Grounds, Hot Springs SD, Fall River County,” photograph, #2008-03-11-020, H96-48 Photograph Albums, South Dakota State Archives, Pierre; Michael R. Schliessmann, “Culture on the Prairie: The Big Stone Lake Chautauqua,” South Dakota History 21(3) (1991), 249].


Black Hills College

Suffrage was the topic of the W.C.T.U. union gospel temperance meeting held at the college chapel in Hot Springs [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), June 29, 1894].


City Hall

On April 9, 1898, Ida Crouch-Hazlett spoke on suffrage at city hall in Hot Springs to a “fair sized crowd” and organized a local suffrage association [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), April 8, 1898, April 15, 1898].

In October 1898, M. Lena Morrow of Illinois spoke on suffrage at the Hot Springs city hall on a Sunday afternoon before another address at the Soldier’s Home in the evening, both as part of a tour of twenty-one points through the Black Hills [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), October 7, 1898, October 14, 1898].

Hot Springs’ City Hall is located at 303 N. River St. and is a grand two-story sandstone building with arched windows and stone piers standing from the roof parapet. It was built in 1893 by A.D. Mackay [SD SHPO records, FA00100009]. The Sanborn Insurance Map for Hot Springs from October 1903 shows the building having a grocery and post office in the front storefronts, offices in the rear of the building, the city jail, and an auditorium hall with stage/scenery on the second floor [sheet 3]. The building remains city hall today.

Photograph by author, March 2018.

Evans Hotel

National suffrage campaigner, Clara B. Colby, addressed a “fair-sized audience” on equal suffrage from the veranda of the Evans Hotel in July 1896 [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), July 17, 1896].

While in town with Florence Jeffries to organize a county equal suffrage club, Rose Bower spoke on suffrage at the Evans to a large audience [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), August 18, 1910].  

Historic images, SDSHS: People on Evans Hotel veranda, #2008-06-13-048; 1897, #2008-06-13-046, #2009-09-30-017, colorized postcard #2014-10-01-307, wide view of hotel and street #2013-12-26-370 and colorized hotel #2008-06-13-043, hotel lobby interior #2008-06-13-060

Photograph by author, March 2018.

Methodist Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the M.E. Church in Hot Springs on May 24, 1890, to a “large and appreciative audience” and organized a suffrage league [Hot Springs Star (SD), May 23, 1890; May 30, 1890; Minnekahta Herald (Hot Springs SD), May 28, 1890, “Page 36 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the M.E. church in Hot Springs on October 22, 1890. It was reported that the church was overflowing by 7:30 p.m. “and standing room was in demand” [Hot Springs Star (SD), October 10, 1890, October 24, 1890].

Harriet E. Grim of Illinois spoke on suffrage at the Methodist Church in Hot Springs on June 18, 1910 [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), June 16, 1910].

Rev. J.W. Taylor of Aberdeen spoke on suffrage for a union meeting at the Methodist church in Hot Springs before a “large and attentive audience” [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), August 4, 1910].

The M.E. Church in Hot Springs was dedicated in August 1887 [Hot Springs Star (SD), August 12, 1887].


Minnekahta Hotel

Helen Barker spoke from the porch of the Minnekahta Hotel “on the question of woman suffrage” [Hot Springs Star (SD), August 15, 1890].

The hotel was built in 1886 and was 2.5 stories with a 3.5 story central bay and a long wide porch. It burned down in 1891 and was replaced with the Evans Hotel (above) [Sanborn Fire Insurance Co., Map of Hot Springs, Fall River County (August 1891), sheet 2; Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, vol. 4 (1915), 61; Peggy Sanders, Fall River County and Hot Springs: 125 Years (Charleston SC: Acadia Publishing, ), 71].

Hot Springs Star (SD), January 13, 1888.

New Opera House

On November 4, 1910, Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the opera house in Hot Springs as part of her two-week campaign tour in South Dakota just before the election — “All our citizens are invited to turn out and enjoy this delightful intellectual treat. Admission free to all. Address will commence promptly at 7:45 as the speaker has to leave on the 9:25 train” [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), October 27, 1910].

Al Dearduff had plans for the new opera house in October 1908. It would be fitted in a building north of Chase’s store, have painted curtains and scenery from F.C. Hinrichsen & Joe Herms of Atlas Scenic Co., have a seating capacity of 500 [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), October 30, 1908, November 27, 1908]. With theatrical, film, and musical events, the new opera house was also regularly used for union revival meetings and temperance lectures [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), December 11, 1908, January 8, 1909, May 21, 1909, December 3, 1909]. On the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for November 1909, sheet 2.


State Soldier’s Home

M. Lena Morrow of Illinois spoke on suffrage at city hall on a Sunday afternoon in October 1898 before another address at the Soldier’s Home in the evening, both as part of a tour of twenty-one points through the Black Hills [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), October 7, 1898, October 14, 1898].

The Administration Building of the state veterans home in Hot Springs was built in 1893 and designed by W.N. Perry of Mitchell, S.D. [SD SHPO records, FA00000368; Nicole S. Christiansen, “’Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty’: The Grand Army of the Republic and the Dakota Soldiers’ Home.” South Dakota History 46(4) (Winter 2016), 343]. It is a large three-and-a-half story sandstone building with a second-floor balcony, many dormers along the mansard roof, and turrets at the corners. Images of the Administration building from the South Dakota State Archives’ digital collections: early photo by W.R. Cross, #2008-03-11-016; #2008-06-16-042; early 20th-century color postcard, #2015-06-22-302; c.1976, #2014-01-03-302; c.1991, #2014-01-02-340. As shown in the Sanborn Insurance Map, Hot Springs, SD, March 1897, sheet 1.


Hudson, Lincoln County

Methodist Church

The First District W.C.T.U. convention was held in May 1909 at the Methodist church in Hudson and included a talk on suffrage by Edith Fitch and an suffrage oratory contest as part of the program [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), April 29, 1909; Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), May 13, 1909].


Hurley, Turner County

Methodist Episcopal Church

In May 1909, Laura Gregg, then an organizer for NAWSA, held a women’s meeting and spoke at the M.E. church in Hurley [Turner County Herald (SD), June 3, 1909]. Or the Presbyterian church? [Turner County Herald (SD), May 27, 1909].

Opera House

In 1890, Matilda Hindman spoke on suffrage at the opera house in Hurley in early April, Susan B. Anthony spoke there on June 12, state lecturer Emma Smith DeVoe spoke there August 29 or September 6, and Carrie Lane Chapman of Iowa spoke on October 17 [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), April 10, 1890, June 12, 1890; September 4, 1890; October 16, 1890; Dakota Ruralist, September 20, 1890, “Page 50 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The local equal suffrage club held meetings and debates at the opera hall [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), April 17, 1890, April 24, 1890, May 8, 1890].

In 1895, Carrie Chapman Catt returned to the Hurley opera house to speak on her way to the state convention in Pierre [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), September 12, 1895].

In October 1896 and in October 1898, Anna Simmons spoke at the opera hall in Hurley, as president of the S.D.E.S.A. [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), October 1, 1896, October 27, 1898, and November 3, 1898].

The Opera House in Hurley was built by T.W. Kyte, a member of the suffrage association, on the south side of Center Avenue between Washington and Main Streets. It was used as an opera hall, dance hall, skating rink, and for political gatherings and meetings [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), April 24, 1890 , May 22, 1890; Hurley Historical Association, From Covered Wagon to Compact Car: Hurley, 1883-1983 (Freeman SD: Pine Hill Press, 1983), 55, 62, 266]. I believe it is no longer standing.


Presbyterian Church

In May 1909, Laura Gregg, then an organizer for NAWSA, held a women’s meeting and made an address on “The Moral Side of Suffrage” at the Presbyterian church in Hurley [Turner County Herald (SD), May 27, 1909]. Or M.E. church? [Turner County Herald (SD), June 3, 1909].

Rev. Henrietta Lyman came back to South Dakota from Madison, WI, and made a suffrage speech at the Presbyterian church in Hurley in July 1910 during a tour of Turner County [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), July 21, 1910, July 28, 1910].

Historic image postcard, 1908 from Penny Postcards of Turner County, usgwarchives.net.


Huron, Beadle County

The 1891 state suffrage meeting was held in Huron [Anthony and Harper, History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4 (1902), 558].

On August 17, 1916, the “Golden Flier” tour of Alice Burke and Nell Richardson from New York stopped on Dakota Avenue in downtown Huron, east of First National Bank [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 17, 1916].


Baptist Church

On October 14, 1889, a planning meeting for the 1889 Huron convention was held at the Baptist church. The Rev. Elisha English, who was pastor of the church and an active suffragist, had charge of the meeting, while Helen G. Putnam, Emma S. DeVoe, Mary E. Elson, and Libbie A. Wardall put out the invitation for the meeting [“Page 06 : A Special Meeting,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The Baptist church in Huron was a wood-frame building on the northeast corner of 3rd Street and Kansas Avenue, east of downtown. It had lancet arch windows, an off-center entrance and a short cupola steeple. The Baptist church was demolished between 1904 and 1910. 
Sources: Sanborn Insurance Map Co., Huron (September 1887), sheet 2, (January 1904), image 5, and (December 1910), sheet 5. Historic image: Baptist Church, Huron SD, Beadle County,” stereograph by William E. Snell, Huron, #2009-10-05-014, South Dakota State Archives, Pierre.


Beadle County Courthouse

Susan B. Anthony spoke in Huron at the courthouse for two hours in November 1889, after which she presented the county E.S.A. with a set of the three-volume History of Woman Suffrage of which she was a contributing author/editor [“Page 75 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The Beadle County Equal Suffrage Association held its summer 1890 county convention at the courthouse with 16 precincts represented. DeVoe reported that there were 29 clubs organized in the county. Susan B. Anthony spoke for 20-30 minutes, and Howell spoke for an hour on her and Anthony’s campaign trip and her experience at being denied a place to speak by Germans from Russia immigrants at Tripp [“Page 44 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The second day of the July 1890 state suffrage convention was held at the courthouse in Huron. The special committee dealing with the organization’s leadership crisis convened in the jury rooms while other business was addressed in the court room until the special committee was ready to make its report. The majority of the existing state officers resigned under protest and new officers were elected [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), July 11, 1890; Dakota Ruralist (July 19, 1890), Page 44 : The Convention, Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]. 

Beadle County’s first courthouse was built in 1884, but it was replaced by the current courthouse in 1922 [More postcard images of the courthouse on courthousehistory.com].  Historic photo postcard:  “Courthouse, Huron SD, Beadle County, pub. by H.A. Perriton,” SDSHS, #2015-06-25-325.  


Beadle County Fair

In 1889, Emma Smith DeVoe served as superintendent of Woman’s Day at the Beadle County Fair, aided by Libbie Wardall and Mrs. Thomas. In addition to a baby show and horseback riding contests, she arranged for many suffrage and temperance speakers to address the “densely packed” crowds who had come to see the women’s exhibits. The speakers included DeVoe, Libbie A. Wardall, Alice Pickler, Rev. Helen G. Putnam, Sophia Harden, and Helen Barker, as well as short remarks on equal suffrage from several “brothers-in-law of the W.C.T.U.” Rev. Mr. Barker, Rev. Mr. English, Mr. Langley, Hon. A. Wardall, and A. Page of Broadland. The exhibits and speeches took place in a tent referred to as Floral Hall, with “exhibits included pretty nearly everything in the line of woman’s work, from the dairy up to the studio.” Despite “dust that was driving in blinding clouds by a strong northeast wind,” the crowds were largest that day. [Sources: The Union Signal, November 7, 1889, in “Page 09 : South Dakota — Equal Suffrage Work,” Page 09 : [news clipping: “Woman’s Day”],” Dakota Farmer (Huron SD), November 1889, “Page 66 : Entire Page,” and “Page 67 : Entire Page.” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The Beadle County Agricultural Association had grounds north of the city [The Daily Plainsman (Huron SD), July 20, 1889].

Alternate: Exposition grounds in Huron were marked on the 1887 Sanborn Insurance Map for Huron, but the block was marked as a park in 1892 [September 1887, p.1; October 1892, p.1]. Parts of the block bounded by 5th St, 7th St, Oregon Ave, and California Ave are still parks – Campbell and Winter Parks, but other portions have had housing, the public library, and Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church built on them. The state fairgrounds acquired property west of town in 1905.


Angie Chaffee House, 976 Dakota Ave S

Angie Chaffee hosted a round table meeting for the League of Women Voters with the discussion led by Mrs. E.H. Bryan on school finance and taxation [The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), July 2, 1929]


City Hall

The South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association was first organized during a convention held on October 21, 1889, at the city hall in Huron. The convention elected officers, heard from speakers, took a subscription, and formed committees to solicit support from the Farmers’ Alliance, Knights of Labor, and the W.C.T.U. [“Page 01: Equal Franchise,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Huron’s city hall was located on the second floor of a brick commercial building downtown on Dakota Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets [Sanborn Insurance Co. map, Huron (September 1887), sheet 3].


Congregational Church

Henrietta Lyman spoke on suffrage at the Congregational church in Huron on December 16, 1895, but the attendance was not large because of a snow storm [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), December 19, 1895].

The South Dakota Universal Franchise League held its state convention at the Congregational Church in Huron on November 18-19, 1915 [Mitchell Capital (SD), November 25, 1915]. 

On October 27-28, 1926, the South Dakota League of Women Voters held the luncheons of their convention at the Congregational church. The Wednesday lunch was accompanied by a program with a skit performed by the Huron College League, and Thursday was a “New Voters Birthday Luncheon” [The Discerning Voter 2(2) (September-October 1926), 4].

The Congregational church in Huron is and has been located on the southwest corner of 5th and California [Sanborn Maps, Huron (June 1898), sheet 9, and (October 1916), sheet 12]. The current building for the Congregational church was built in 1919-1922, and it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in November 1974 as part of the Campbell Park Historic District. A vintage postcards website from USGenWeb Archives has an image of the old Congregational Church

The 1922 building. Photographs by author.

DeVoe House, Kansas Street

In the evening after the 1889 Beadle County fair, Emma and John DeVoe hosted a meeting at their home with a group to plan a state convention to organize the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association [The Union Signal, November 7, 1889, in “Page 09 : South Dakota — Equal Suffrage Work,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]. One unsourced note from 2003 I saw indicated it was 347 Kansas St. but it no longer standing.


Gertrude Feige House, 319 Third St SW

The S.D. League of Women Voters’ executive board met in a luncheon at the Feige House before the League’s state meeting in Huron in March, and for a meeting before the state convention in October 1930 [The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), March 6, 1930, October 28, 1930, October 29, 1930].


G.A.R. Hall

In February 1890, Huron suffragists led by the DeVoes held an event at G.A.R. Hall to celebrate the 70th birthday of Susan B. Anthony (in absentia). The event included music and speeches about Anthony and her work. “On the stage hung large lithographs of Miss Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, handsomely draped with national flags.  In front of these, on tables, were handsome bouquets of flowers, and large potted plants that added beauty to the surroundings” [Huron Daily Times (SD), February 17, 1890, “Page 26 : Susan B. Anthony Honored,” andPage 26 : In Honor of Miss Anthony,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10; Leavenworth Times (KS), March 11, 1890].

On February 28, 1890, Beadle County’s convention led by Emma Smith DeVoe was held in G.A.R. Kilpatrick Hall. Attendees brought basket lunches and “ladies” served coffee [“Page 25 : Equal Suffrage: A Convention to be held in Huron on Friday, Feb. 28, 1890,” Huron Times (SD), February 28, 1890 in “Page 25 : Beadle County Equal Suffrage Convention,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

In May 1890, the Huron Equal Suffrage Club met at the G.A.R. Hall “to perfect their local organization and lay plans for future work,” with Matilda Hindman as a guest [Huron Daily Huronite (SD), May 13, 1890; The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), May 13, 1890].

During the first evening of the July 1890 state suffrage convention, a special committee meeting was held at the G.A.R. Hall in Huron to find a resolution for a leadership crisis between the E.S.A.’s executive committee and national suffrage leaders who had come to South Dakota for the campaign. The hall was “well-filled” by the committee, comprised of “a hundred or more” members from each county attending the convention.  The first night they were in session in the G.A.R. Hall until 3 A.M. when the adjourned to reconvene at the courthouse (in a jury room) the next day.  The executive committee eventually chose to resign [Dakota Ruralist (July 19, 1890), Page 44 : The Convention, and “Page 45 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

On December 6, 1892, the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association met in Huron and held their business meeting at the old G.A.R. Hall and their evening event at the Methodist church [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), December 1, 1892].

In 1886, G.A.R. Hall in Huron was at 203 Dakota Ave. That address is marked “barber” on the 1887 Sanborn map and “cigars” in 1892 [Railroad Conductors’ Monthly 3 (January 1886), 5; Sanborn Insurance Co. Map, Huron (September 1887), 3, (October 1892), 3].


Hill’s Block

In June 1890, the new leadership of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association set up headquarters in Room 9 on the second floor of the Hills Block [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), September 26, 1890; “Page 31 : Entire Page,” and Dakota Ruralist (July 19, 1890), Page 44 : The Convention, Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Atlas of Beadle County, South Dakota (Lake Andes SD: E Frank Peterson, 1906), 102.

Marvin Hughitt Hotel

In February 1922, Mamie Pyle announced that the South Dakota League of Women Voters planned to hold its third annual convention at the new Marvin Hughitt Hotel in Huron in April [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), February 18, 1922].

On October 27-28, 1926, the South Dakota League of Women Voters held the banquet of their convention in the Elks Hall at the Marvin Hughitt Hotel with keynote speaker Marguerite Wells of Minnesota. The Hughitt was the convention hotel for attendees as well, though home stays were offered for those who could not afford the hotel [The Discerning Voter 2(2) (September-October 1926), 4]. The 1930 convention was also held at the Hughitt Hotel, with guest of honor Mrs. A.J. McGuire of St. Paul, the fifth region director [The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), October 14, 1930, October 28, 1930, October 29, 1930].

The Hughitt Hotel is a seven-story building in downtown Huron at Dakota Avenue and 4th Street. It was built in 1921 from a design by H.L. Stevens & Co. (Chicago) by the local Elks club, under the management of George W. Tyler. It was named for the president of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad “who has been prominent in the development of the city” [Hotel Monthly 29(337) (April 1921), 34; 29(340) (July 1921), 102; 29(343) (October 1921), 62].


Huron College

In 1917, Helen Guthrie Miller, the NAWSA vice-president, visited South Dakota, including talks at Huron College, who had a chapter of the National College Equal Suffrage League [Nettie Rogers Shuler, ed., The hand book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and proceedings of the Forty-ninth Annual Convention, held at Washington, D.C., December 12-15, inclusive, 1917 (New York: NAWSA, 1917), 72].

On October 27, 1926, the South Dakota League of Women Voters held the mass meeting during their convention at the Huron College auditorium with gubernatorial candidates Gunderson, Bulow, Ayres, and Hipple–expected to be the only time in that election that all the candidates would speak from the same platform. The auditorium had a capacity of 2,000 people [The Discerning Voter 2(2) (September-October 1926), 4]. The LWV held a platform debate with senate and gubanatorial candidates at the Huron college auditorium on October 30, 1930 as well [The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), October 14, 1930, October 29, 1930].

SDSHS Image: Huron College postcard, 2014-12-30-320.


Library Hall

The planning committee of the Huron suffrage club met at library hall in July 1912 to get ready for the state convention [Madison Daily Leader (SD), July 22, 1912]. The South Dakota Universal Franchise League had a business meeting at library hall in December 1912 as well [Huron Daily Huronite (SD), December 14, 1912].

I think “library hall” was probably meeting space in the Carnegie library–many had meeting rooms in their basements. The Carnegie library was at the site of the current library, off 5th St. between California and Dakota Aves. [Sanborn Insurance Co. Map, Huron (October 1916), sheet 12]. Historic image of Huron Carnegie library, SDSHS #2014-12-30-332.


Masonic Building

The headquarters for the South Dakota Universal Franchise League in 1918 were in Rooms 13 and 14 of the Masonic building in Huron [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), March 28, 1918; “BROADSIDE: ISN’T IT TRUE?“ “Broadside: Logic for the business man.” SOUTH DAKOTA UNIVERSAL FRANCHISE LEAGUE. Ann Lewis Women’s Suffrage Collection].  

I found a historic postcard photograph of the building on the Huron Genealogy Trails website for “Other Huron Landmarks.”  Sanborn Fire Insurance map showing the Masonic building, December 1910, sheet 4, Library of Congress.


Methodist Church

On December 6, 1892, the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association met in Huron and held their business meeting at the old G.A.R. Hall and their evening speech by Mrs. M.L. Wells of Tennessee at the Methodist church [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), December 1, 1892].

The Methodist church was located on the northwest corner of 4th and Kansas. It was a wood-frame structure with brick veneer and twin, asymmetrical corner towers. The church buildings is no longer there [Sanborn Insurance Co. Map, Huron (August 1884), sheet 1; (October 1892), sheet 6; “Methodist Church and Parsonage, Huron,” 2014-12-30-316, and “Methodist Church,” 2014-12-30-331, SDSHS].


Opera House

Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the opera house in Huron on April 21, 1890 [The Dakota Ruralist, April 19, 1890 in “Page 28 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe shows skill],” and Woman’s Journal (Boston), May 3, 1890, The Appeal (Aberdeen SD), April 25, 1890, Page 35 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

National campaigner Mary Seymour Howell spoke at the opera house in Huron on the first night of the state suffrage convention in July 1890 [Dakota Ruralist (July 19, 1890), Page 44 : The Convention, Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Later in July, the Independent Party convention was held at the Huron opera house. Among men on the platform, “the stage was occupied by many ladies, wives of prominent members of the party, and leading lights of the Equal Suffrage Association” [The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), July 10, 1890].

In October 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe was the first speaker, speaking on suffrage for half-an-hour, at an Independent political meeting at the Grand opera house in Huron. Julia B. Nelson was also a speaker at the convention [Daily Huronite (SD), October 31, 1890, “Page 46 : Independent Meeting,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1892-1894 (Scrapbook C), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 9; “Page 54 : Flyer: Independent Rally,” and “Page 56 : Program: Independent Rally,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

On September 28, 1910, the South Dakota W.C.T.U.’s 23rd annual convention was held at the opera house in Huron. The program included discussion and addresses on suffrage. Anna Simmons was elected president and Alice Pickler, vice-president [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), September 29, 1910].

“The state W.C.T.U. resolved to boost for the passage of the woman suffrage amendment.  It is presumed that they will do it temperately.”
The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), September 29, 1910.

Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the opera house in Huron on October 29, 1910 [RD08557, Woman suffrage propaganda posters, 1910-1923.  Pyle Papers, USD].

The Grand Opera House was built in 1885 [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), August 27, 1885]. It was located at mid-block on 3rd Street between Dakota and Wisconsin Avenues.  The opera house was in a commercial building with two street-level storefronts, telegraph offices in the front of the second floor, and central stairs into the theater at the rear of the building, which had a large stage and balcony seating [Sanborn Map, Huron (September 1887), sheet 5, (October 1892), sheet 6; Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), December 26, 1902]. The opera house burned down in 1902 and the Elks built a hall on the site [Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), December 26, 1902; Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), August 28, 1903 ; Atlas of Beadle County, South Dakota (Lake Andes SD: E Frank Peterson, 1906), 100].

In 1906, Huron had a new three-story opera house that was located on Dakota Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets along with a public hall and attached to a public dance hall [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), February 2, 1906]. The new opera house had a larger area of balcony seating and electric footlights on the stage [Sanborn Map Co., Huron (December 1910), sheet 4]. The building block has since been demolished.

Atlas of Beadle County, South Dakota (Lake Andes SD: E Frank Peterson, 1906), 100.

Parish House

On September 15, 1920, a conference to organize a League of Women Voters chapter for the second congressional district was held at the Parish house (the first building east of the post office) [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), September 10, 1920; The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), September 10, 1920].


Mamie Shields Pyle House

Mamie Shields Pyle became involved with the county suffrage movement during the 1910 campaign, and state president in 1911/1912. She remained president through the state victory in 1918, the ratification work for the 19th Amendment, and the first years of the League of Women Voters. When that campaign ended in debt, she closed the headquarters downtown and moved the office to a room upstairs in her home [Pyle to Lewis, December 20, 1918, RA12059, Box 4, Correspondence, 1918, December, Pyle Papers USD].

Visitor info for the Pyle House museum in Huron.  The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Pyle House 1

State Fairgrounds

Suffragists exhibited and lectured from the Women’s Building at the State Fair in Huron in 1910 and 1914. In 1910, “thirty-three speeches in support of the proposition were made in a single day, among the speakers being Mrs. Mary E. Craigie, of Brooklyn; Miss Penfield in charge of state work; Mrs. Thorpe, a member of the campaign committee; Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Sheldon.” In 1914, Antoinette Funk, a NAWSA organizer, came to assist with the campaign [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), September 22, 1910; Lemmon Herald (SD), October 2, 1914].

“Hundreds of large yellow pennants were displayed everywhere, and hundred of men wore smaller ones, or buttons bearing the legend ‘Votes for Women.’ On the east porch of the woman’s building the women kept open office each day, and half a dozen or more were always busy registering names of voters, answering objections to their proposition and enlightening all who desired information.” “Each day from three to half a dozen addresses were delivered by well posted and earnest women”
Lemmon Herald (SD), October 2, 1914.

“I spent the week of the state fair at Huron with Mrs. Pyle and witnessed a wonderful demonstration of activity.  As high as 50,000 people a day were in attendance.  The grounds were covered with yellow banners.  Every prize-winning animal, every racing sulky, automobile and motor cycle carried our pennants.  Twenty thousand yellow badges were given away in one day.  The squaws from the reservation did their native dances waving suffrage banners.  And the snake charmer on the midway carried a Votes For Women pennant while an enormous serpent coiled around her body.  I spoke during the fair four and five times a day and held streets meetings down town in the evening.  When not thus engaged I assisted Mrs. Pyle and her committee in distributing thousands of pieces of literature and was amazed at the eagerness of the people to receive the same.  Mrs. Pyle and myself investigated the fair grounds to see how much was thrown away and found almost none.”
The hand book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and proceedings of the Forty-sixth Annual Convention, held at Nashville, Tennessee, November 12-17, inclusive, 1914 (New York, 1914), 121.

In 1918, the SDUFL and Mamie Pyle campaigned at the state fair and the Corn Palace, finding that many of the men (eligible voters) had little awareness of Amendment E and its implications [Pyle to Schuler, November 1, 1918, RA11625-RA11628, Box 4, Correspondence, 1918, November 1-7, Pyle Papers USD].


Hyde County

In December 1889, Emma Smith DeVoe visited Seeman, McIver, Bramhall, and Ayers schoolhouses on her campaign/organizing tour of Hyde County [Highmore Herald (SD), December 7, 1889, et al. “Page 05 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Ipswich, Edmunds County

The Rink

DeVoe’s scrapbooks included a handbill for her afternoon lecture “at the rink” for the S.D.E.S.A. and had handwritten “Ipswich, Edmons Co.” on the notice [Page 03: [Handbill for DeVoe Lecture],” and Ipswich Gazette (SD), July 24, 1890, “Page 47 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Iroquois, Kingsbury County

Methodist Episcopal church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the M.E. church in Iroquois in June 1890, during her tour of Kingsbury county [The Chief (Iroquois SD), June 17, 1890, “Page 42 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Jerauld County

On September 4, 1890, Julia Nelson of Minnesota spoke for the Jerauld County E.S.A. at the school house No. 4 in Chery Township, 4.5 miles north of Wessington Springs [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), August 29, 1890].


The Marlar Township Equal Suffrage Society organized and met at the Lakeside / Corbin school in May-June 1890 [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), June 13, 1890].


Harmony Friends Church

The Society of Friends Church in Harmony Township (near Wessington Springs) was connected to the careers of suffrage advocates, Reverends S.D. and Abi Huntley (husband and wife).  The church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

Harmony Friends church, National Register photograph, by the author, 2015.

Kimball, Brule County

Methodist Episcopal Church

Julia B. Nelson spoke on suffrage at the M.E. Church in Kimball in June 1890 and afterwards organized a suffrage club [Kimball Graphic (SD), June 6, 1890].

In April 1898, the Kimball Graphic reported that the S.D.E.S.A. planned to host an oratory contest at the M.E. Church in Kimball with a program of music accompanying the recitations by H.W. Miner, C.J. Maynard, A.S. Stuyer, A.D. Ward, and Lewis Walker, followed by an oyster supper given by the Ladies Aid [Kimball Graphic (SD), March 26, 1898].

On two evenings in October 1898, Ida Crouch-Hazlett spoke on suffrage at the Methodist church in Kimball [Kimball Graphic (SD), October 7, 1898].

The Methodist church in Kimball was wood frame building with a double gable on the facade and a bell tower on the slope of the roof [Photo in Echoes of the Past: Kimball, 1880-1980 (1980), 11].


Opera House

Susan B. Anthony spoke to a crowded audience at the opera house in Kimball in May 1890 on a Sunday night; and according to a local news editor, “appropriated the Lords day to expound her political doctrines to the Kimballites” [Kimball Graphic (SD), May 16, 1890, May 23, 1890].

Anna Howard Shaw spoke at Smith’s opera house in Kimball in September 1890. According to the Kimball Graphic‘s editor, an opponent of suffrage, Shaw was “probably the most fluent lady speaker who ever appeared before a Kimball audience, and it is a pity she shouldn’t have a better theme to expend her talent on than woman suffrage” [Kimball Graphic (SD), August 29, 1890; September 5, 1890].

Carrie Lane Chapman spoke on suffrage at the opera house in Kimball on October 6 [Kimball Graphic (SD), September 19, 1890].

Smith’s Opera House was built by Jacob Hammel and was located on the second floor of a commercial building on the southeast corner of Main and 2nd Streets. It was dedicated on July 4, 1884 [Kimball Graphic (SD), April 11, 1884, June 27, 1884 ; Sanborn (December 1893), sheet 1, (January 1899), sheet 1].


Kingsbury County

In February 1890, during her tour of Beadle County, Emma Smith DeVoe also spoke at the church in Osceola, Kingsbury County. She had an audience of about 130 [Osceola Items, February 21, 1890 “Page 25 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe lectures at Osceola],” and Iroquois Times (SD), February 7, 1890 in “Page 26 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe lectures 2/7/1890],” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

On September 12, 1910, a W.C.T.U. woman from Mitchell spoke at the Drakola school house, the Independent editor suspected she would speak on suffrage [Kingsbury County Independent (DeSmet SD), September 9, 1910].


Esmond

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at the M.E. church at Esmond (adjacent to the township hall) in June 1890. A female quartette from Esmond accompanied DeVoe on her campaign through the western side of the county [“Page 42 : Entire Page,” and DeSmet Leader (SD), June 21, 1890, “Page 42 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The local equal suffrage club was one of the community groups that met in the township hall in Esmond.  The hall was listed in the National Register of Historic Places with the nearby Methodist Episcopal church in 2006, link to the nomination here.


Lake County

General William H.H. Beadle spoke on suffrage at the Boyd school in Summitt Township on Saturday, October 18, 1890 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 16, 1890; Mary Kay Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign in 1890,” South Dakota History (1975), 407].

Julia B. Nelson of Minnesota spoke on suffrage on August 19, 1890 at Crow school [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 11, 1890].

The Lake County UFL held rallies in Junius and the Antelope school house No. 1 with speeches by Alice Daly, R.S. Westaby, and Dr. Daniels, as well as songs and readings [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 12, 1916].


Clarno School House

On February 19, 1902, a debate program on the question of suffrage was held at the Clarno school house [Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 25, 1902].

In November 1910, Miss Stoner of Wyoming spoke on suffrage “to a large and interested audience in the Clarno school house last Friday evening” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 10, 1910].


Lake Madison Chautauqua

The W.C.T.U. day of the Lake Madison Chautauqua in July 1893, included talks by Emma Cranmer on the need for the ballot to meet “the battles of the future in all kinds of reform,” by Isabella Webb Parks of Atlanta on the W.C.T.U.’s suffrage work, by Joseph Cook on “No Sex, No Shirks, No Simpletons in Suffrage” that also promoted educational tests and compulsory voting [Madison Daily Leader (SD), July 15, 1893]. Libbie Wardall had failed that year to get the Chautauqua or the state fair to schedule a Woman’s Day apart from the W.C.T.U.’s day [Harriet Taylor Upton, Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, held in Washington, D.C., January 16, 17, 18, 19, 1893 (Washington DC) 1893), 148].

At the 1894 Chautauqua, Cranmer gave the main address for W.C.T.U. Day as its state president during which she “made an eloquent plea for woman suffrage.” The day also included a School of Methods that “discussed suffrage question today and mapped out more active and effective work in this line.  [Women] are going to exercise all the rights they are now conceded besides learning how much more they are entitled to by law which they are not conceded” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), July 11, 1894, July 18, 1894, July 20, 1894].

In 1895, the Lake Madison Chautauqua had an Equal Suffrage Day on July 16th. John and Alice Pickler appeared on the platform, and Alice led the meeting. Dr. E.L. Parks of Atlanta, Georgia, also appeared as a speaker — “Mrs. Pickler told of the part equal suffrage played in the great women’s council at Washington last winter, the Major gave some very potent reasons why he thought women entitled to the ballot and Dr. Parks told of the hold the question was beginning to take on the leading ladies of the south.” [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), June 20, 1895; Madison Daily Leader (SD), July 17, 1895].

In 1897, speakers for equal suffrage day included Anna Simmons, Emma Cranmer, and Prof. McClenon speaking in the W.C.T.U. tent and at the auditorium [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 30, 1897, July 1, 1897].

Anna Simmons —
“Enfranchised ignorance, stupidity and prejudice denies to intelligent women her rights.  Tramps can vote taxes, but women cannot protect themselves by the ballot.  It is charged that equal suffrage would make trouble in families.  Would it make anymore trouble than drink does?”

Emma Cranmer —
“The opposition to woman suffrage was the result of ignorance, stupidity and prejudice.  Religious prejudice was the hardest to overcome, but she was pleased to say that scarcely a minister in South Dakota was opposed to the franchise for women.  Prejudice was fast giving way… South Dakota owes much to her pioneer women and should stand by them next November…  Remember the cranks of 50 years ago are the heroes of today.  The cranks of today will be heroes 50 years hence.”
Madison Daily Leader (SD), July 1, 1897.

In June 1910, Rev. Dr. J.W. Taylor of Aberdeen lectured for Suffrage Day at the Lake Madison Chautauqua. He “gave his lecture in the auditorium yesterday at 3 in the afternoon, and delighted his audience with the humor and pathos that marked the delivery of arguments or rather facts that were unanswerable” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 28, 1910, June 30, 1910].

In 1914, Marion H. Drake was a key speaker for W.C.T.U. Day at the Lake Madison Chautauqua. A suffrage parade brought her from the hotel to the auditorium. The day also included “a voiceless speech” (some kind of mime performance?), talks by Anna Simmons on the history of suffrage amendments in South Dakota, Luella Ramsey on “The Outlook for Woman Suffrage,” Alice Pickler on the work plan of the W.C.T.U. franchise department, and Mrs. E.C. Lundquist, Carrie Allbee, and Flora Mitchell on the suffrage work in their districts of the state [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 17, 1914, June 25, 1914, June 26, 1914].


Lake Preston, Kingsbury County

Congregational church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Congregational church in Lake Preston on June 12, 1890 [Lake Preston Times (SD), June 13, 1890, “Page 42 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Lead, Lawrence County

In April 1916, the Lead Equal Suffrage League met in the sun parlor of the Recreation building to elect officers for the year. The president elected was Mrs. J.H. Martin, succeeding Werdna Kellar [Lead Daily Call (SD), April 17, 1916].

In August 1916, Elsie Benedict spoke on suffrage and passed the hat during a “flying squadron” campaign stop from a car at Main & Bleeker Streets (“Dickinson’s corner”) and at the Grier monument in front of the Recreation Building.  “At 8 o’clock the call of a bugle attracted hundreds of men to Dickinson’s corner, and when they reached there they saw something which Lead has seldom seen–a young woman with a wonderful voice, asking the voters of South Dakota to vote for the enfranchisement of women this fall” [Lead Daily Call (SD), August 8, 1916; Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), August 9, 1916].  “If she had no other quality than sincerity, this alone would accomplish much in promoting the cause she advocates” [Lead Daily Call (SD), August 9, 1916].  

Lead Daily Call (SD), August 8, 1916.

Historic image, SDSHS: Unveiling of the Thomas J. Grier Monument in front of the Homestake Opera House, #2009-10-19-014.


Assembly Hall

On November 2, 1910, Anna Howard Shaw spoke at Assembly Hall in Lead as part of her two-week campaign tour just before the 1910 election [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), November 2, 1910].

As part of the “flying squadron” campaign tours, Effie McCollum Jones spoke at the Assembly Hall in the evening of August 8, and Rose Bower played cornet [Lead Daily Call (SD), August 9, 1916].

In November 1916, anti-suffragist Lucy Price spoke in Lead at the Assembly Hall against the pending suffrage amendment [Lead Daily Call (SD), November 2, 1916].


Blackston House

In November 1916, a reception was given to Emma Smith DeVoe at the Blackston house in Lead when she came with the Flying Squadron [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), November 4, 1916].


Homestake Opera House

Catherine Waugh McCulloch and Jane Addams of Chicago each spoke at the opera house / recreation building in October 1914. For Addams’ lecture on October 15th, Lead women offered tours of the building to women coming from the Federation of Women’s Clubs meeting being held in Deadwood [Doughty,  “The Suffrage Movement in Lawrence County,” 655; Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), October 15, 1914, October 16, 1914, October 21, 1914; Lead Daily Call (SD), October 20, 1914, October 23, 1914; Weekly Pioneer Times Mining Review (Deadwood, SD), October 22, 1914]. 

In April 1916, the Equal Suffrage League in Lead held an organizational meeting in the sun parlors of the Recreation building [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), April 15, 1916].

As part of the “flying squadron” campaign tours, Effie McCollum Jones spoke at the Homestake theater in the afternoon of August 8, and Rose Bower played cornet [Lead Daily Call (SD), August 8, 1916August 9, 1916].


Mrs. M.L. Johnson House, 121 S. Galena St.

Catherine Waugh McCulloch was given a reception by the Lead Equal Suffrrage League at the home of Mrs. M.L. Johnson before her lectures at the Methodist church and Homestake opera house [Lead Daily Call (SD), October 20, 1914; Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), October 21, 1914].


Methodist Episcopal church

Emma Smith DeVoe lectured at the M.E. Church in Lead in May 1890 and organized a local suffrage society [The Belt Daily Herald (Lead City SD), May 8, 1890, and Lead City, May 8, 1890, “Page 33 : Entire Page,” Daily Tribune (Lead City SD), May 8, 1890, Page 35 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Susan B. Anthony and Rev. Anna Shaw spoke at the M.E. Church in November 1890 [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), November 2, 1890].

The W.C.T.U. district held their convention in August 1909 at the Methodist church in Lead. Part of the program included the chair for legislation and franchise, Nina D. Pettigrew, speaking on “Woman Suffrage” [Lead Daily Call (SD), August 16, 1909].

Catherine Waugh McCulloch spoke at the Methodist church in October 1914 [Lead Daily Call (SD), October 20, 1914, October 23, 1914; Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), October 21, 1914; Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914; Jean McLeod Doughty,  “The Suffrage Movement in Lawrence County,” In Some History of Lawrence County (Deadwood: Lawrence County Historical Society, 1981), 655].  

Historic map, Library of Congress: 1891 Sanborn Map, page 4; 1915 Sanborn Map, page 3. The current Trinity United Methodist Church in Lead has a 1933 building with a 1956 addition [SD SHPO records; cornerstones on the church].


Miners’ Union Hall

Susan B. Anthony and Rev. Anna Shaw spoke at the Lead Miners’ Union hall in November 1890 [Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times (SD), November 2, 1890].  

Historic images: John I. Sanford, Black Hills Souvenir: A Pictorial and Historic Description of the Black Hills (Denver CO: Williamson-Haffner Engraving Co., 1902), 165; colorized postcard of Lead, SDSHS, #2008-06-17-024.


Opera House

On October 14 1909, Helen LaReine Baker of Spokane, Washington spoke on suffrage at the opera house “between the first and second picture shows.  She made some very good arguments in favor of her theme.  Among others was the belief that the mothers of the country ought to have a voice in the making of the juvenile laws” [Lead Daily Call (SD), October 15, 1909].


Salvation Army Hall

Ida Crouch-Hazlett spoke on suffrage in Lead on May 7, 1898 at the Salvation army hall [Lead Daily Call (SD), May 7, 1898].


Scenic Theater

On October 14 1909, Helen LaReine Baker of Spokane, Washington came to Lead. “After speaking at the opera house, Mrs. Baker went to the Scenic theatre where she gave an interesting address. Mrs. Baker is a pleasing speaker and made friends for the cause which she espouses” [Lead Daily Call (SD), October 15, 1909].


Lebanon, Potter County

Congregational Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at the Congregational church in Lebanon in April 1890 [Lebanon Observer, “Page 30 : Equal Suffrage,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Lemmon, Perkins County

Club Rooms

The Suffrage League of Lemmon met in Club Rooms during the 1914 campaign [Lemmon Herald (SD), July 3, 1914, July 10, 1914].


Presbyterian Church

Sena Wallace came from Kansas City, KS, to speak in Lemmon on temperance and at the Presbyterian church on suffrage. The event reportedly had a low turnout [Lemmon Herald (SD), June 5, 1914].


Quammen’s Hall / Lodge Hall

Susie Bird, northwest district president for the SD Universal Franchise League spoke at Quammen’s Hall in Lemmon on June 19, 1914 [Lemmon Herald (SD), June 12, 1914]. The event program also included piano selections by Mrs. E.J. Morris. Afterwards, a local suffrage league was formed with officers Mrs. C.N. Cooper, Mrs. G.E. Lemmon, and Mrs. S.W. Huntington and fourteen members [Lemmon Herald (SD), June 26, 1914].

Rose Bower spoke at the lodge hall, before spending a week speaking “at several inland points in Perkins county” [Lemmon Herald (SD), July 17, 1914, July 24, 1914].

Quammen’s Hall was the Odd Fellows’ lodge hall in the upper floor of the Quammen block on Main Street [The State-Line Herald (North Lemmon, ND), October 16, 1908].


Letcher, Davison County

Methodist Episcopal Church

In July 8-10, 1902, the Fourth District W.C.T.U. convention held at the M.E. church in Letcher included a paper on Equal Suffrage by Anna Thompson of Mitchell [Mitchell Capital (SD), July 18, 1902].


Lincoln County

In October 11-15, 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe went on a lecture tour to the Slack school, Worthing, the Pleasant View school, the Pioneer school, and the Millbrook school in Brooklyn Township. At Millbrook school, she spoke for two hours, and her talk was “well advertised and the attendance was very large, the school house, which is one of the largest in the township, being packed full” [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), October 3, 1890; October 10, 1890; October 24, 1890, October 31, 1890].

Later that month, Nettie C. Hall came and lectured at the Stoner school on October 26, 1890, in Pioneer, Millbrook, Mt. Zion, at a school three miles north of Pleasant View, Mays school, Kinsley school, Kirley school, and concluding the tour at Springdale on November 3rd [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), October 31, 1890].


Madison, Lake County

Egan Avenue

In October 1916, during her campaign around Lake County, Maud McCreery of Green Bay, Wisconsin, twice spoke on suffrage on Egan Avenue & Fifth Street near the Dakota State Bank building — “Despite a breeze which was too chilly for comfort, a considerable number of men and women heard Mrs. McCreery’s address, given from an automobile drawn up to the curb line” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 28, 1916, October 31, 1916, November 4, 1916].

In Madison, organizers Stadie, Watkins, Peshakova, and Pidgeon held open-air addresses “at the bank corner” downtown where “an interested crowd of citizens, which included many women and a large farmer contingent, gathered at the corner of Egan avenue and Center street Saturday evening to listen to addresses on the citizenship bill and the suffrage amendment.” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 15, 1918, August 17, 1918, August 19, 1918].


Baptist church

The Reverend Anna Shaw gave a lecture on suffrage at the Baptist church in Madison on the evening of April 19, 1890 before speaking at a mass rally at the opera house the following evening [Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 19, 1890; Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 399].  Shaw spoke there again in 1910 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 7, 1910].  

In May 1910, Anna R. Simmons spoke on suffrage at the Baptist church in Madison for the local suffrage club. She was then serving as an organizer/lecturer for the national W.C.T.U. [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 3, 1910, May 4, 1910, May 6, 1910, May 7, 1910].

“That church, now designated as First Baptist, had been built in 1889 and was probably an impressive meeting place.” [Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 399]. Historic image of the Baptist church in Madison: #2009-11-30-009, SDSHS.


Central High School

The Lake County Universal Franchise League held several meetings and rallies in the auditorium of the high school in Madison [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 8, 1916June 10, 1916, June 12, 1916, August 21, 1916, and August 29, 1916].  The Lake County League of Women Voters held regular meetings in the high school from 1919 to 1922 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 8, 1919, November 30, 1921, December 2, 1921, December 16, 1921, December 20, 1921, February 9, 1922, March 9, 1922, March 10, 1922, April 7, 1922].  

Historic images: SDSHS, #2009-12-02-006; in winter, #2009-12-02-005.


Commercial Club

In April 1916, the Civic and Child Welfare Club met in the Commercial club parlors to hear from SDUFL vice-president May P. Ghrist. Afterwards Ghrist met with the club’s franchise committee, and they formed the Lake County U.F.L. [Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 5, 1916].


Frudenfeld House

In August 1918, local suffragists held a porch meeting with organizer Gertrude Watkins at the home of Mrs. H.H. Frudenfeld about planning a “house to house city canvass in the interest of the state suffrage amendment and citizenship bill” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 5, 1918, August 6, 1918].


Lake County Courthouse

Suffragist Henry Blackwell spoke at the courthouse in Madison on September 24, 1890, but the talk was reportedly “very slimly attended” because “the citizens of Madison were pretty thoroughly fed on equal suffrage doctrine last week” during Shaw and Fessenden’s addresses at the state WCTU convention at the opera house [Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 407; Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 24, 1890, September 25, 1890]. 

Anna A. Maley, a Women’s Committee leader for the National Socialist Party, spoke at the courthouse in Madison on militia bill, and “equal suffrage from a socialist standpoint will also be discussed.  Something new and of special interest to women” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 17, 1910].

On October 24, 1916, anti-suffragists Lucy Price of Cleveland and Ethel Jacobsen of Pierre spoke in the courtroom of the Lake County Courthouse in Madison [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 21, 1916, October 23, 1916, October 24, 1916, October 25, 1916].

The courthouse was built in 1884; it is no longer extant [Date block on historic image, #2012-06-12-311, SDSHS].  Historic images: colorized postcard, #2015-04-14-312, SDSHS.


Lake Herman

Suffrage campaigners Susan B. Anthony and Mary Seymour Howell attended the Farmers’ Alliance rally/picnic held in the grove on the eastern shore of Lake Herman in July 1890 and Anthony made an address [Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 403].  

Lake Herman is now a state park, learn more here.


Library Park

On August 4, 1918, organizer Gertrude Watkins spoke on the citizenship bill “making a strong appeal to the audience in behalf of the suffrage movement” at a union service held on the Library park lawn [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 3, 1918, August 5, 1918].


Mrs. R.C. McAllister House

In May 1910, the Madison equal suffrage club met at the home of Mrs. R.C. McAllister [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 23, 1910; Page 4, Bulletin – votes for women, c1910, RA08435, Pyle Papers, USD].


McClenon House

The W.C.T.U. held a meeting at the home of Mrs. McClenon where the program was a debate on suffrage [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 2, 1894].

W.H. Dempster called a meeting of the equal suffrage club to revive the local suffrage campaign work, held at the residence of Superintendent McClenon [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 24, 1898].


Methodist Episcopal church

Matilda Hindman, General William H.H. Beadle and C.H. Dye spoke at the church about suffrage during the 1890 campaign [Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 400, 407; Ross-Nazzal, Winning the West for Women (2011), 53].

Several church leaders and members were involved in the suffrage movement including Reverend C.E. and Rebecca Hager, and newspaper editor F.L. Mease [Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 392].

The local Political Equality Club held its convention at the M.E. Church in October 1897 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 28, 1897 and October 30, 1897].

In September 1898, Rev. L.E. Keith spoke on suffrage at the M.E. church [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 29, 1898, October 6, 1898].

In October 1898, Julia Mills Dunn, the president of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association spoke at the M.E. church in Madison [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 29, 1898, October 6, 1898].

In May 1909, Lena Morrow Lewis of California spoke at the M.E. church in Madison on suffrage and prohibition “from a socialist standpoint” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 10, 1909].

In June 1910, Anna Ursin lectured in Norwegian on suffrage at the Methodist church in Madison [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 20, 1910].

In March 1916, Lillian Mitchner came to speak for the Civic and Child Welfare Club on temperance and suffrage at the Normal school auditorium and the Methodist church [Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 25, 1916, March 27, 1916].

In September 1916, the South Dakota W.C.T.U. held their state conference at the Methodist Episcopal church in Madison. Anna Simmons spoke on suffrage, and the delegates discussed their plan of work for the pending amendment [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 21, 1916].

On the afternoon of August 4, 1918, organizer Gertrude Watkins was scheduled to meet with local women in the Methodist church club rooms [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 3, 1918, August 5, 1918].

Historic image of the Methodist church in Madison c1920 (I don’t know when it was built…): #2014-12-31-310, SDSHS.


Norwegian Lutheran Church

In October 1898, Ulrikka F. Bruun spoke on suffrage at the Norwegian church [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 18, 1898, October 19, 1898].


Opera House

Reverend Anna Shaw gave an address on suffrage at the opera house in Madison on the evening of April 20, 1890.  A choir opened the meeting with hymns, an invocation was given, then Shaw spoke for 85 minutes on the equality of women in the sight of God and on the competency of women, especially in comparison to immigrant men like “the Russians and Hollanders of South Dakota.”  One estimate of the audience was 500 people, including “nearly all the students” of the local normal school, and “the churches throughout the city were closed for the occasion” so people could attend Shaw’s address [Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 19, 1890, April 21, 1890, May 5, 1890].

Helen Gougar spoke at the opera house in June 1890 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 28, 1890; Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 399-401, 403].

Susan B. Anthony and Mary Seymour Howell spoke at the opera house in Madison for “a genuine equal suffrage love feast” on Friday-Saturday, June 27-28, 1890. Anthony spoke the first evening, and Howell spoke in the afternoon and evening on the second day [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 27, 1890]. Anthony’s talk was “fairly well attended, notwithstanding the sultriness of the evening and the fact that a large proportion of our citizens were pretty well worn out from attending the several picnics at the lakes during the day.” During her two-hour speech, she received a telegram reporting that suffrage had been retained by Wyoming as they became a state, and she “was for a time so ‘rattled’ that she could scarcely contain herself” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 28, 1890].  Howell recounted that “before she could finish reading the great audience was on its feet, cheering and waving handkerchiefs and fans. After the enthusiasm had subsided Miss Anthony made a short but wonderful speech. The very tones of her voice had changed; there were ringing notes of gladness and tender ones of thankfulness. It was the first great victory of her forty years of work. She spoke as one inspired, while the audience listened for every word, some cheering, others weeping” [Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” 404]. The musical trio Bartlett, Stacy and Gilbert and a short talk by Howell concluded the first evening [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 28, 1890]. On Saturday evening, Howell spoke on “The Dawn of the Twentieth Century” for two hours, and Bartlett, Stacy and Gilbert provided additional music [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 30, 1890].

The state W.C.T.U. convention was held in the opera house in Madison in September 1890. They heard from Susan S. Fessenden of Boston, the national WCTU superintendent of franchise, Anna Howard Shaw from NAWSA (and Fessenden’s predecessor in that position), and the state report on legislation and petition from Philena Johnson. On Sunday, there were “suffrage or temperance meetings held somewhere in the city all day.” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 19, 1890, September 22, 1890].

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke on suffrage at the opera house on the evening of October 2, 1890. It was reported that DeVoe had “witty illustrations” but “little different from those of the half dozen others who came before her” (the city having been inundated with suffrage campaigners recently) [The Sentinel (Madison SD), October 3, 1890, “Page 52 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10; Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 3, 1890].

Page 58 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10.

In November 1890, Rev. Olympia Brown and Matilda Hindman spoke at an equal suffrage meeting at the opera house in Madison [Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 4, 1890].

In October 1898, Mary Elizabeth Lease spoke at the Madison opera house on political reform generally, and “in closing she made a strong appeal in favor of equal suffrage” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 6, 1898].

The same month Prof. William H. Dempster spoke on suffrage for a W.C.T.U. and Political Equality club event at opera house [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 26, 1897, October 31, 1898].

In 1910, a Union meeting of churches was held at the opera house in Madison to promote county option (prohibition) and suffrage [Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 7, 1910].

On February 17, 1914, at the Farmers Short Course held at the opera house in Madison, part of the evening’s entertainment was a debate on suffrage between representatives from the high school and the Strivers Debating Club from the State Normal School (a teachers’ college) [Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 11, 1914February 18, 1914; Anemone yearbook, 1914/1915, 51; and 52].

The Madison Opera House on the October 1891 Sanborn Fire Insurance Co. map, sheet 1, and January 1914, sheet 9. See an image in Jennings, “Lake County Woman Suffrage Campaign,” on p.405.


Presbyterian Church

The Lake County political equality club was organized after the county suffrage convention hosted by Anna R. Simmons (Huron) at the Presbyterian church in Madison on May 6th and 7th, 1897 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 1, 1897May 5, 1897; May 6, 1897May 8, 1897]. The convention also featured an address by Rev. J.C. Hubbell, a paper by Mrs. Roberts, an address by Mrs. Metcalf “as to whether the working woman needs suffrage,” and an address by Mrs. Rae on “whether the ballot would benefit the taxpaying woman” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 5, 1917].

The Lake County suffrage convention was held at the Presbyterian church in Madison in November 1897 with national speakers Laura Gregg, Laura A. Johns, and Rev. Henrietta G. Moore [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 23, 1897November 10, 1897; November 11, 1897November 22, 1897].

In September 1899, the state suffrage association and the W.C.T.U. held their annual meeting at Madison’s Presbyterian church with speakers Philena E. Johnson and Rev. Edwin Brown (of the Presbyterian church in Wolsey) [ Mitchell Capital (SD), September 1, 1899; Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 5, 1899].

The local Equal Suffrage club held a symposium there on March 29, 1910 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 22, 1910; March 28, 1910March 29, 1910; March 30, 1910].  

Historic image: Presbyterian Church, postcard, SDSHS, 2009-12-10-004.

Photo by author, October 2019.

State Normal School / Dakota State University

In March 1916, Lillian Mitchner came to speak for the Civic and Child Welfare Club on temperance and suffrage at the Normal school auditorium and the Methodist church. At the school meeting, the club also appointed a committee on universal franchise [Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 25, 1916, March 27, 1916, March 29, 1916].

In 1916, the Lake County UFL met several times in Room 11 of the Normal School’s West Wing building [Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 17, 1916, May 15, 1916, May 27, 1916, December 6, 1916].

In 1918, a meeting of the Civic and Child Welfare Club in the training school auditorium at the Normal School was arranged by Alice Lorraine Daly who invited Maria McMahon, a national campaigner working in South Dakota, to speak about her experience working on the campaigns in New York and the federal suffrage amendment [Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 12, 1918, February 14, 1918].

On March 11, 1918, the Lake County UFL meet in the library of the west wing building to plan petition drive work [Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 8, 1918, March 9, 1918, March 12, 1918].


Milbank, Grant County

In September 1918, organizers Maria McMahon and Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon went to the Milbank fair where local women Mrs. Kirk and Mrs. E.O. Church had arranged for an Amendment E booth. McMahon and Pidgeon “emphasized the necessity of Americanizing the vote this critical time by requiring voters to be citizens, and by enfranchising the patriotic women who wish to perform this additional service to their country” [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), September 27, 1918].


Congregational church

On August 28, 1890, Rev. Helen Putnam of Jamestown, N.D. spoke at the Congregational church in Milbank [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), August 22, 1890].

In 1910, Rose Bower spoke on suffrage at the Congregational church in Milbank and also accompanied singing during the event with her cornet. “Her presentation of the question discussed was given in a wholesome and unobjectionable manner” [Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), February 4, 1910].  

In August 1914, Marion H. Drake of Chicago spoke for a W.C.T.U. event at the Congregational church in Milbank when their scheduled speaker, Mary Harris Armor of Atlanta, had to cancel [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), August 21, 1914, August 28, 1914].

The First Congregational Church of Milbank was built in 1883 and designed by James P. Niblo of New York. In 1906, the interior was substantially remodeled. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

From the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, 2014.


Grant County Courthouse

On November 5-6, 1897, Laura Johns and Henrietta Moore were featured speakers on suffrage at the courthouse in Milbank [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), November 5, 1897].

On February 2, 1918, organizer Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon addressed an afternoon meeting of the local Red Cross at the Grant County Courthouse about suffrage saying: “Since war began women realize that suffrage, always a right, has now become a necessary duty, to support the battle for democracy which is being fought by our men in the trenches, women must have votes” [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), February 1, 1918, February 8, 1918].


Methodist Episcopal church

The Grant County Equal Suffrage Association held their county convention on August 1, 1890 at the M.E. church with outside speaker Matilda Hindman [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), August 8, 1890].

Anna R. Simmons, then president of the S.D.E.S.A., spoke on suffrage at the M.E. church in Milbank for a “good sized audience” [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), May 8, 1896, May 29, 1896, June 5, 1896].

In January 1910, Rose Bower was scheduled to speak and perform (whistling & cornet) for a suffrage meeting at the M.E. church [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), January 21, 1910].


Mitchell, Davison County

Baptist Church

Olympia Brown spoke at the Baptist church in Mitchell while in the city for the state suffrage convention in August 1890 [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 29, 1890].

The South Dakota W.C.T.U. held its tenth annual convention at the Baptist church in Mitchell, and the program included Emma Cranmer who spoke on suffrage [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 30, 1898].

In September 1910, B.O. Aylesworth spoke on suffrage at the Baptist church in Mitchell [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 15, 1910].

The Baptist church was on the southeast corner of E 3rd St and Langdon Ave [Sanborn Insurance Co. Map (May 1898), sheet 6; (September 1909), sheet 7].


Bidwell House, 405 W Second Ave

Lizzie Bidwell hosted Mitchell suffrage club meetings at her home in May 1916 and September 1917 [Mitchell Capital (SD), May 18, 1916, September 13, 1917].

The Bidwell House, built of concrete block, was designed by Sioux Falls architect Joseph Schwarz in 1908 and is still standing [Sanborn Fire Insurance Co., Mitchell, Davison County SD (March 1914), image 9; Improvement Bulletin 37 (September 12, 1908), 20].

Bidwell House (ignore the address in the corner):


Burr Block

On election day of November 1890, “the ladies served free lunches to voters during the day at the reading room and in the Burr block” [Mitchell Capital (SD), November 7, 1890].


Carnegie Library

The Mitchell League of Women Voters, newly established in 1919, will hold meetings over the lunch hour monthly on the last Thursdays [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), June 12, 1919, June 26, 1919; Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 24, 1919]. 

On September 7, 1920, a conference to organize a League of Women Voters chapter for the first congressional district was held at Library hall in Mitchell [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), September 2, 1920].

The Mitchell Carnegie Library (DV00400096) was built in 1902 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Mitchell Historic Commercial District in 1974.

Mitchell Carnegie Library entrance, June 1, 2014.
From the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, Pierre.


Cassem House, 305 N. Rowley / 200 W 3rd

Dora Cassem served as president of the Mitchell Woman Suffrage club and chair of the county suffrage campaign in 1918 [Mitchell Capital (SD), March 30, 1916; Pyle to county chairs, January 28, 1918, RD07614, correspondence 1918-01, Pyle papers USD].  She was also very active with the local and district WCTU, serving as president of one or the other from 1908 to 1914 [Mitchell Capital (SD), March 28, 1902 to September 30, 1915].  Dora Krom came to Mitchell in 1879 and married Oscar Edwin Cassem [“Oscar E. Cassem,” Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium… of South Dakota (Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1899), 780-781; “Dora Krom Cassem,” Find-a-Grave.com]. 

The Cassem House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 as part of the Mitchell West Central Residential Historic District–the nomination does not mention Dora’s contributions to the suffrage movement or the WCTU.


City Hall

In January 1910, Quincy Lee Morrow, secretary of the S.D. Prohibition party, spoke at city hall in Mitchell and endorsed suffrage “as an easy solution of the liquor question” [Mitchell Capital (SD), January 27, 1910].

In October 1910, Mary E. Craigie of New York arranged a local symposium on the suffrage amendment that was held at the city hall in Mitchell. It opened with prayer by Rev. E.M. Jeffers and musical performance by the Hager family. Speakers included Craigie, Mayor Hitchcock, C.D. Hardy, A.T. Downey, C.F. Tym, Dr. J.S. Hoagland, and Lauritz Miller [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 6, 1910].

In early September 1914, Anna Howard Shaw spoke in the auditorium of Mitchell City Hall. Welcome addresses were made before her speech by Dr. E.F. Schwab (pastor of the Congregational church in Mitchell), Rev. Henry Snyder (pastor of local Presbyterian), and Rev. Rober Lincoln Kelley (pastor of First Baptist) [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 3, 1914, September 10, 1914].

Later in September 1914, the W.C.T.U. state convention was held in the auditorium of the city hall in Mitchell. During the convention, the state headquarters reported spending $1,500 on suffrage literature, letters, lectures, and other forms of campaign propaganda. Alice Pickler and Anna Simmons led sessions of discussion on the suffrage campaign and district presidents made reports on the suffrage campaign in their regions.  Discussion concluded with singing two songs, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “We’re Out for Equal Suffrage.” The W.C.T.U. also held a Votes for Women parade in Mitchell during the convention, organized by Ruby Jackson of Ipswich [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 17, 1914, page 2, page 6.

In August-November 1914, the Mitchell suffrage league met in the rest room of city hall [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 13, 1914, September 24, 1914, November 12, 1914].

Mitchell’s Political Economy Club met in the auditorium, rest room, or court room of city hall in January and March 1916 [Mitchell Capital (SD), January 13, 1916; March 16, 1916, March 30, 1916].

In October 1916, Mary Baird Bryan spoke for suffrage at the city hall auditorium on Saturday night to a large audience. The event was presided over by Dora E. Cassem and featured a quartet of singers before Bryan was introduced by Myra Weller. After Bryan’s speech, twelve girls entered the auditorium to give her flowers. The girls were dressed in white dresses with yellow ribbons to represent the suffrage states, with one draped in black that was removed to represent the hope of South Dakota passing its suffrage amendment. The event concluded with more music and an address by Mrs. W.S. Hill, and it was followed by a public reception [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 12, 1916].

In March, April, and June 1917 and February 1918, the Mitchell suffrage club met in the rest room at city hall [Mitchell Capital (SD), March 8, 1917, April 5, 1917, June 14, 1917, February 7, 1918].

City hall was a grand stone building with Neoclassical style pediments and columns, built in 1903 and designed by Sioux Falls architect Wallace L. Dow. The auditorium had a stage, wood-framed proscenium arch, and balcony seating. It had been located on the northeast corner of 2nd Avenue and Rowley Street but was demolished in 1960 [“City Hall Mitchell SD Davison County,” postcard, Scallin Bros., 1906, #2014-12-06-312, State Archives; Photograph of Dakota Wesleyan University cast photo of Pinafore in 1931, featured in “Back in Time,” Mitchell Daily Republic (SD), July 10, 2017; Sanborn Map Co., Mitchell (March 1914), image 6; City of Mitchell Historic District Walking Tour, Mitchell Historic Preservation Commission, 2017].


Congregational Church

In May 1903, the program of the Davison County W.C.T.U. convention included a paper on franchise given by Lulu Pickler-Frad [Mitchell Capital (SD), May 1, 1903, May 8, 1903].


Corn Palace

In October 1910, suffragists exhibited at the Corn Palace festival “holding meetings and distributing literature.  The working forces were added to today by the arrival of Miss Emilie Gardner, of England, who will be in the state until election day” [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), October 6, 1910; Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), October 6, 1910].

In 1918, the SDUFL and Mamie Pyle campaigned at the state fair and the Corn Palace, finding that many of the men (eligible voters) had little awareness of Amendment E and its implications [Pyle to Schuler, November 1, 1918, RA11625-RA11628, Box 4, Correspondence, 1918, November 1-7, Pyle Papers USD].


Davison County Courthouse

Mrs. Wells of Tennessee spoke on suffrage and the need of it “to aid in overthrowing wrong and in upbuilding right” at the Davison County Courthouse for the W.C.T.U. [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 12, 1888].

Anna Howard Shaw spoke to “a fair audience” at the courthouse in Mitchell on Wednesday evening, April 16, 1890 [Mitchell Capital (SD), April 18, 1890].

The Davison County suffrage convention was held on May 20-21, 1890 at the courthouse, with Susan B. Anthony speaking before a “large audience” the first evening and Mary Seymour Howell speaking the following night when “seating capacity of the court room was taxed to its utmost” [Mitchell Capital (SD), May 23, 1890, pg 1; pg 4].

Helen Gougar of Kansas gave two lectures on suffrage at the courthouse in Mitchell on Saturday-Sunday, June 14-15, 1890. On Saturday, she was introduced by Rev. A.W. Adkinson. The local newspaper reported: “The speaker is a lady of imposing appearance, bearing in her countenance the imprint of determination and aggressiveness.  She possesses an excellent voice, and talks rapidly but very distinctly…. Her arguments were good and brought out clearly, each one brought to a climax in that somewhat scathing sarcasm of which she is master.  Her lecture fairly bristled with independent ideas and patriotic sentiments…. ‘Disenfranchisement is a mark of degredation; we are getting tired of being classed with the criminals and idiots of the country.'” On Sunday, she spoke about her observations from working in Wyoming and Kansas [Mitchell Capital (SD), June 6, 1890, June 20, 1890].

Rev. J.T. McCrary of Pittsburg, a prohibition advocate, spoke on suffrage to a small audience at the courthouse in Mitchell in July 1890 [Includes quotes from his speech, Mitchell Capital (SD), July 4, 1890].

The business meeting in the last session of the August 1890 state suffrage convention was held at the courthouse in Mitchell [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 29, 1890; Wessington Springs Herald (SD), September 19, 1890; “Page 51 : 1890 South Dakota Equal Suffrage Mass Convention program,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]. Father Robert W. Haire also spoke for two hours at the courthouse while in the city for the suffrage convention [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 29, 1890; Daily Gazette (Mitchell SD), August 25, 1890, and Dakota Ruralist, August 16, 1890, “Page 57 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The state suffrage convention in Sept/Oct 1897 was held at the Davison County Courthouse [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 24, 1897 and October 1, 1897]. 

On November 17. 1897, the Davison County suffrage association held its county convention at the courthouse with speakers Laura Gregg and Henrietta Moore [Mitchell Capital (SD), November 12, 1897, pg. 3, pg. 7, November 19, 1897].

In July 1898, the Davison County equal suffrage club held its convention at the courthouse. The small group made plans to coordinate speakers for school houses around the county and elected delegates to the state convention [Mitchell Capital (SD), July 15, 1898].

In October 1898, Mrs. W. Winslow Crannell of Albany spoke against suffrage at the courthouse in Mitchell during a tour of the state [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 14, 1898].

In December 1902, the local W.C.T.U. held a debate event that “was expected to be shown that the Indians and negroes of the state were more eligible to vote than the woman.” The details given in the news article demonstrate racist and prejudiced sentiments of the white progressives who were there. The debate lasted an hour and a half and the negative won 31 votes to 8. According to the article, suffragists there who were there speaking for the affirmative sounded sarcastic.  The article’s author commented that there was “a great deal of fun mixed in.  The question was not debated in a serious manner in hardly any instance…. It was a very enjoyable affair” [Mitchell Capital (SD), December 12, 1902, pg. 1, pg. 4].

In January 1910, state suffrage president Lydia B. Johnson of Fort Pierre spoke on suffrage at the Mitchell courthouse. Reports indicated only a small audience but strong arguments “which the supporters of the movement believe will have weight with the men when they come to vote next fall” [Mitchell Capital (SD), January 27, 1910].

General Rosalie Jones spoke from the courthouse steps when she stopped in Mitchell in August 1914 [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 6, 1914]. From the subsequent newspaper report, “mounted a real soap box on the steps of the court house and appealed in a sparklingly witty manner to an audience of over 500 voters to help carry the suffrage amendment through” [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), August 14, 1914]. “Her gown was of modish cut, her hat of Dame Fashion’s latest dictate, and her voice well-modulated and cultured… Instead of a political harangue of abuse and a desire for sympathy, Miss Jones gave a succinct presentation of her reasons for asking for the ballot.” Of the reportedly-large audience, “sympathizers of the movement were easily distinguishable by the yellow flowers they wore.” Jones was introduced by Rev. Henry Snyder of the Presbyterian church, sold photographs of herself, and took a $13 collection for the S.D. campaign [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 13, 1914].

Mary Maguire Thomas of White Lake gave a suffrage lecture at the courthouse in late August 1914 for the Mitchell Universal Franchise League [Mitchell Capital (SD), September 24, 1914, pg. 3, pg. 5].

The first Davison County Courthouse building was built in 1883. The current courthouse building dates to 1937.  Historic images: #2015-03-31-301 and #2015-04-15-307, SDSHS.


East Side Park

In 1920, the Mitchell League of Women Voters planned a suffrage jubilee for the ratification of the 19th Amendment, including a children’s pageant “depicting the fight for suffrage” with thirty-six girls representing the ratifying states.  It was planned by Mrs. P.H. Kelley, Laura Lindley, Margaret Swift, and Myra Pepper Weller and held in East Side Park [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), August 26, 1920; Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 7, 1920]. 

East Side Park was and is located between 3rd and 4th Avenues between North Winsor and Mentzer Streets.  Eastside Park: on Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from September 1923, sheet 23, Library of Congress; and on Google maps.


Elks Hall

On April 8, 1918, the Mitchell Suffrage Club met for an afternoon meeting in the Elks hall with organizer Maria McMahon to elect officers [Mitchell Capital (SD), April 11, 1918].

In September 1919, Myra Weller and the Davison County League of Women Voters held a luncheon with presidential candidate Leonard Wood in the Elks dining room. Wood spoke on “The Influence of Women in World Affairs Today” [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), September 26, 1919].


First Presbyterian Church

In April 1914, the Mitchell Universal Franchise League was organized at the First Presbyterian Church. Edith M. Fitch came to make an address at the meeting on “the growth of the woman suffrage movement” and the pending amendment [Mitchell Capital (SD), April 30, 1914].


Hadley House

In March 1898, the local equal suffrage club met at the home of A.E. Hadley [Mitchell Capital (SD), March 18, 1898].


Hotel Widman

The Hotel Widman was headquarters for the state League of Women Voters convention in Mitchell in October 1925 [The Discerning Voter 1(3) (October 1925), 4].


Haynes and McEwan House

The Mitchell equal suffrage society held a party at the home of Mrs. J. Haynes and Mrs. E.O. McEwan with 125 people, a musical program, an address by local president Mrs. A.E. Hadley, and supper [Mitchell Capital (SD), February 4, 1898].


Methodist Church

Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the Methodist church in Mitchell in late August 1890 while in town for the state suffrage convention [Mitchell Capital (SD), August 29, 1890].

The Fourth District WCTU convention in May 1909 was held at the Methodist church in Mitchell — “the pulpit was very neatly decorated with a large bow of white ribbon and the national colors, while the picture of Francis Willard and Neal Dow, both former leaders in the temperance work, and that of Abraham Lincoln occupied prominent places back of the pulpit.” The convention began with “a roll call on suffrage, in which the various delegates arose and expressed their views on the success of woman’s suffrage” [Mitchell Capital (SD), May 6, 1909].

During a livestock sale event, one of the program options was an address at the Methodist church on “The Girl Who Can.” All Mitchell citizens were invited and no admission charged. Myra Weller gave a short address on the Political Economy club’s attitude to suffrage question [Mitchell Capital (SD), February 3, 1916].

The First United Methodist Church building at 310 N. Rowley St. in Mitchell is a two-story Richardsonian Romanesque style church built in 1907 using rough-cut and coursed purple and pink-colored Sioux quartzite masonry. The congregation was originally formed in 1882. A low-profile single-story addition was built to the north in about 1978 [Mitchell Historic Commercial District, National Register of Historic Places nomination 2013].

First United Methodist Church, Mitchell, from the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Mitchell Historic Commercial District.


Odd Fellows Hall

In January 1910, the county Prohibition party conference was held at Odd Fellows Hall. The convention was presided over by Quincy Lee Morrow who had endorsed suffrage, and the program included an address by S.D.E.S.A. president Lydia Johnson [Mitchell Capital (SD), January 27, 1910, pg. 3, pg. 10].


Charles G. and Elizabeth C. Rathbun House

In November 1889, a meeting was held with Susan B. Anthony at the home of Elizabeth C. Rathbun about organizing an equal suffrage association for the county [Mitchell Capital (SD), November 22, 1889].


Reading Room

On election day of November 1890, “the ladies served free lunches to voters during the day at the reading room and in the Burr block” [Mitchell Capital (SD), November 7, 1890].


Rink Opera House

The state suffrage convention in Mitchell in August 25-26, 1890 was held at the Rink Opera House, the same location that the state Republican convention was going to be held in subsequent days [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 8, 1890; Wessington Springs Herald (SD), August 15, 1890, September 12, 1890; “Page 31 : Entire Page,” and “Page 48 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

The Rink Opera House was a roller skating rink owned by Benjamin Davis that was remodeled for an opera house before 1886. Further improvements and decorations were added in time for the state Republican convention in August 1890. The Rink burned down in August 1894 [Mitchell Capital (SD), January 22, 1886, August 10, 1894, August 10, 1900; Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (August 1884), sheet 2; (September 1887), sheet 3; (October 1891), sheet 3].


Weller House, 408 W. Fourth Ave.

In February 1917, Myra P. Weller hosted a luncheon Suffrage club meeting at her home where they enrolled members for the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and appointed delegates to the city federation [Mitchell Capital (SD), February 8, 1917, February 15, 1917].

In November 1917, Weller hosted a meeting for the suffrage club to meet Mabel Vernon and Jane Pincus, organizers for the National Woman’s Party (formerly the Congressional Union). Vernon and Pincus spoke on their experience picketing the White House and suffrage as an example of democracy to set for other nations given the global war conditions [Mitchell Capital (SD), November 1, 1917, pg. 4, pg. 5, November 8, 1917].

In March 1918, Weller hosted a suffrage club meeting with organizer Maria McMahon on the subject of “Training for Citizenship” [Mitchell Capital (SD), March 7, 1918].

Frank Weller built his house on W. Fourth before 1891, when he built an addition. There were improvements reported in 1895 [Mitchell Capital (SD), April 24, 1891, April 5, 1895].


Mobridge, Walworth County

Norwegian Lutheran Church

On September 28, 1910, Rev. J.W. Taylor, the Methodist pastor in Aberdeen, spoke on suffrage at the Norwegian church in Mobridge [Mobridge News (SD), September 9, 1910, September 16, 1910, September 30, 1910].

The Norwegian church in Mobridge was built in about 1907 [The Improvement Bulletin 36 (April 4, 1908), 29].

Image of colorized postcard print of Norwegian Lutheran Church at Mobridge S.D., c.1910, Nasjonalbiblioteket / National Library of Norway, via Flickr.


United Church

On a Friday night, May 22, 1914 at the United church, Sena Hartzell Wallace delivered a lecture on suffrage and temperance, for the franchise department of the state WCTU. No fee was charged, but an offering taken to cover expenses. The local newspaper promoted the talk — “Mobridge ought to crowd the church to the limit of its seating capacity.” [Mobridge News (SD), May 15, 1914].


Mt. Vernon, Davison County

Ida Crouch-Hazlett spoke on suffrage in October 1898. She was described as a “forcible and logical speaker… will be the occasion of much talk and much thought by both men and women.  We believe that much good has been accomplished by her coming here” [Mitchell Capital (SD), October 7, 1898].


Newell, Butte County

Methodist Church

On June 25, 1916, Mrs. Pettigrew “the famous women’s suffrage lecturer” spoke at the Methodist church in Newell on “Pure Democracy” [Newell Reclamation News (SD), June 22, 1916, June 29, 1916].

Theatorium

A suffrage rally was held at the Theatorium in Newell on Thursday evening, October 29 with speeches by Nina Pettigrew and Thomas Wall.  Music was provided by the Newell orchestra and vocal selections given by Mrs. O.E. Farnham, Prof. Lang, Mrs. Wilkinson and Mrs. Wagoner [“Then ‘n Now,” Rapid City Journal (SD), October 28, 2014].


Oelrichs, Fall River County

Methodist Episcopal Church

Emma Smith DeVoe lectured at the M.E. Church in Oelrichs on May 25, 1890 [Fall River County Republican (Oelrichs SD), May 24, 1890, “Page 34 : Entire Page,” and The Advocate (Oelrichs SD), May 31, 1890, “Page 37 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Onida, Sully County

House of Mrs. B.B. Cole

The Onida Equal Suffrage Society scheduled a meeting at the home of Mrs. B.B. Cole in May 1891 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), May 9, 1891].


Onida School

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke for the WCTU and SDESA at the Onida public school “and at an early hour sitting room was at a premium” during her week in Sully County in 1890 and organized an Onida E.S.A. [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), April 19, 1890].

The local association held meetings in the school house in June 1890 and held a suffrage contest event (typically oratory) on October 14, 1890 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), June 21, 1890, October 11, 1890, October 18, 1890].

In August 1890, Major McKallum of Huron spoke on suffrage at the school on a Wednesday evening–“His effort was a fairly good one and elicited considerable applause at different times.  The major is something of a speaker but did not show himself to have made a very deep study of the question but he has the quality of being in earnest at any rate” [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), August 16, 1890].

The Onida Equal Suffrage club held meetings at the schoolhouse in Onida in 1891 and 1893 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), January 24, 1891, January 31, 1891, March 21, 1891, August 11, 1893]. John and Alice Pickler spoke at the meeting on October 6, 1891 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), October 3, 1891].


Sully County Courthouse

Henry B. Blackwell of Boston spoke on suffrage at the Sully County Courthouse in September 1890 and a “well-attended” social dance was held at the courthouse “at the close of the Equal Suffrage meeting” [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), September 6, 1890].

Susan B. Anthony spoke at the courthouse in Onida on October 9, 1890 – “early in the forenoon teams began arriving, drawing heavy loads of enthusiastic workers in the cause, and with them also came many that are yet indifferent and also a sprinkling of its voters who think that the conditions of the sexes are now about as they should be… Onida was full to overflowing of Sully county citizens and a large majority of them were decorated with the yellow ribbon.” Okobojo and Onida Brass Bands provided music for occassion [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), September 27, 1890; October 4, 1890].

The Onida Equal Suffrage Association met at the courthouse on May 5, 1891 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), May 9, 1891].

On October 7, 1893, the Onida Equal Suffrage Club held a “mask and basket social” at the courthouse to raise funds to sent to the Colorado suffrage campaign; several committees worked on the event under the direction of Mrs. M.J. Pease [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), September 29, 1893; October 13, 1893].


Philip, Haakon County

Aldrich House

After Rev. Katherine Powell of Custer met with a group of women at the home of Eva Rood to start the organization of a franchise league in Philip, the organization was finalized at a meeting at Clara Aldrich’s home [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914, page 3; Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), July 30, 1914].

Grand Opera House

In April 1910, Lydia Johnson, the state president of the Equal Suffrage Association, came to Philip from Fort Pierre to speak at the opera house and encourage the organization of a local suffrage club [Bad River News (Philip SD), April 14, 1910].

A suffrage rally was held by the new Philip suffrage club in May 1910 at the opera house in Philip. It was presided over by Mrs. Dr. Ince and featured a speech by Dr. F.H. Borst who was called upon with short notice to fill in for others who couldn’t attend [Bad River News (Philip SD), May 26, 1910; Page 4, Bulletin – votes for women, c1910, RA08435, Pyle Papers, USD].

On August 9, 1910, Rev. J.W. Taylor of Aberdeen spoke on suffrage at the Grand Opera House. The meeting closed with “parodies on popular songs” by “a group of young ladies” [Philip Weekly Review (SD), August 4, 1910, August 11, 1910].

On September 25, 1914, the Philip equal franchise club held a talk on the suffrage amendment by Rev. O.E. Tell of the Presbyterian church in Philip at the opera house [Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), September 17, 1914]. On October 31, the local franchise club held an “entertainment” at the opera house with a talk by a local suffragist, the Hon. Alvin Waggoner [Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), October 29, 1914; November 12, 1914].

On September 4, 1916, the suffrage committee in Philip hosted national W.C.T.U. lecturer Lora S. LaMance. She spoke for a women’s meeting at the house in the afternoon at 2:30pm, a street meeting from an auto at 7:15pm, and a public rally at the opera house in the evening at 8pm [Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), August 31, 1916].

In November 1916, a local rally was held at the opera house with music by the Philip high school’s glee club, readings, and speeches on prohibition as well as “Woman Suffrage” by attorney O.K. Whitney and “Why Women Should Vote” by attorney Alvin Waggoner [Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), November 2, 1916].

Historic image of Grand Opera House in Philip, by Gustav Johnson, #2013-06-24-303, SDSHS State Archives, Pierre.


Labor Union Hall

The Philip Suffrage Club hosted an address by Dr. Barton O. Aylesworth of Colorado in June 1910 [Bad River News (SD), June 16, 1910].


Methodist Church

Nellie A. Douglass gave an address to the local equality league at the Methodist Church in Philip in 1910 [Lisa R. Lindell, “‘Awake to all the needs of our day’: Early Women Lawyers in South Dakota,” South Dakota History 42 (3) (Fall 2012), 221].  Fola LaFollette of Wisconsin spoke on suffrage there on July 18, 1910 [Bad River News (SD), July 14, 1910]. Historic image: Gustav Johnson, “Methodist church,” #2013-05-17-306.


Presbyterian Church

Rev. Katherine Powell of Custer spoke at the Presbyterian church on suffrage and met with a group of women at the home of Eva Rood to start the organization of a franchise league in Philip [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914, page 3; Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), July 30, 1914].


Rood House

Rev. Katherine Powell of Custer spoke at the Presbyterian church on suffrage and met with a group of women at the home of Eva Rood to start the organization of a franchise league in Philip. There was unfortunately a low attendance because of poor weather, but the league eventually grew to 45 members [Woman’s West of the River Suffrage Number, Rapid City Daily Journal (SD), October 26, 1914, page 3; Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), July 30, 1914]. Rood also hosted at least one other meeting of the local league at her home in September [Philip Weekly Review and Bad River News (SD), September 10, 1914].


Pierre, Hughes County

Carnegie Library

A suffrage meeting was held at the library in 1918 [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), April 4, 1918].  

Historic photos, SDSHS: 1909, 2014-10-29-345, 2010-02-09-009, 2010-02-05-0162014-10-29-3462014-10-29-357, colorized postcard with county courthouse 2014-10-29-347.


Congregational Church

A musical program and address on “Equal Suffrage” by Rev. Henrietta Lyman was given as “an entertainment” by the local Political Equality club at the Congregational church in Pierre on Friday, December 27, 1895 [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), December 19, 1895].  

Historic photos, SDSHS: 2014-10-29-3092014-10-30-323.


Governor Vessey House

Helen LaReine Baker visited South Dakota in October 1909. While in Pierre, she was given a reception at the home of Governor and Mrs. R.S. Vessey [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 21, 1909; Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), October 29, 1909; The Enterprise (Harlem MT), October 13, 1909; Bismarck Daily Tribune (ND), October 13, 1909]. In the 1910 census for Pierre, the Vesseys were recorded living at 528 Euclid Ave.


Grace Methodist Episcopal Church

When Emma Smith DeVoe arrived in Pierre on Wednesday, April 19, 1890, no local speaking arrangements had been made, but that afternoon she gave a short address “to quite a few people hastily gathered at this impromptu meeting at Grace church” despite “disagreeable” weather, and DeVoe organized an East Pierre suffrage association [Pierre Daily Free Press (SD), April 18, 1890, “Page 30 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe in Pierre],” and April 20, 1890, “Page 30 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe in East Pierre],” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Grand Opera House

Fola LaFollette of Wisconsin spoke on suffrage at the opera house in Pierre in July 1910 “to a large and appreciative audience.” During her stay in the town, she spent part of day on the western side of the Missouri River with Mrs. Lavery and Mrs. Johnson visiting the bison herd–one of the earliest private efforts to conserve bison as a species started in rural areas around Fort Pierre [Philip Weekly Review (SD), July 14, 1910].

On October 25, 1914, Catherine Waugh McCulloch spoke at the Opera house in Pierre on her way to campaign n the Black Hills. Suffragists from Fort Pierre arranged for a special train so they could cross the river for the lecture [Pierre Weekly Free Press (SD), October 15, 1914, October 29, 1914; Lemmon Herald (SD), November 6, 1914 et al.; Doughty, “The Suffrage Movement in Lawrence County,” 655].

In 1916, anti-suffragist Lucy Price spoke at the Grand Opera House while Elsie Benedict held a counter-rally from an automobile on the street corner in front of Straight’s Drug store where “she loudly attacked the anti-suffragists’s views” [Schuler, Pierre Since 1910, 219; Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 2, 1916; Forest City Press (SD), November 8, 1916].

The Grand Opera House was built in 1906 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in February 1983 as part of the Upper Pierre Street District [SD SHPO records, HU00200002]. It is currently used as a community theater.


High School

While in Pierre for the state suffrage convention, Laura Gregg of Kansas spoke and Rose Bower gave a whistling musical solo during the opening exercises at the high school [Pierre Daily Free Press (SD), September 26, 1907].


John E. and Ruth B. Hipple House

The Hipple family were in the business of publishing, and Ruth Hipple worked for the suffrage movement as pro bono editor of the South Dakota Messenger during the 1913-1914 campaign and continued on to coordinate press work for the state association through 1918 and for the League of Women Voters through 1921.  Other suffragists also stayed there when they visited Pierre. 

The 1913 Hipple House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.  Click for more on Ruth Hipple and her house in Pierre through a National Park Service travel itinerary website.


Hughes County Courthouse

In the midst of leadership strife, Lydia B. Johnson issued a call for the campaign committee to meet at the Hughes County Courthouse on the evening of June 30, 1910.  Pierre was selected for its mid-state location that would permit members from both sides of the state equal opportunity to attend the meeting.  However, members of the executive “committee of five” objected to the general campaign committee being called to do work they had already begun [Call for meeting, RD06698, Correspondence 1910-06, Breeden papers, USD-Richardson Collection].


Karcher-Sahr House

Sahr was involved with writing and publishing the South Dakota Messenger during the 1914 campaign. 

In January 1919, Marguerite Karcher Sahr was sworn in as reading clerk in the state Senate, one of the first three women to hold appointed positions in the capitol building after the suffrage amendment was enacted.

The house of Marguerite Karcher Sahr was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.


Locke Hotel

Marietta Bones came to Pierre at the same time as her campaign rival Susan Anthony, and Bones was given a reception at the Locke hotel on October 15, 1890 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 16, 1890, pg 1, pg 2].


The Rink

When Emma Smith DeVoe arrived in Pierre, no speaking arrangements had been made but after she spoke at the Methodist church in East Pierre, quick arrangements were made for her to speak at the Rink and a “fair audience” came to hear her [Page 30 : To Pierre Ladies,” and Pierre Daily Free Press (SD), April 21, 1890, “Page 30 : Equal Suffrage,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the Rink hall to a “crowded house” on April 23 and a male quartette arranged for by Frank Lillibridge provided music for the event [Pierre Daily Free Press (SD), April 21, 1890, “Page 30 : Equal Suffrage,” and The Woman’s Tribune (Beatrice NE), May 10, 1890, “Page 33 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


St. Charles Hotel

The Pierre Political Equality Club gave a reception for legislators and their spouses at the St. Charles Hotel the night before the Senate vote on the suffrage bill. With about 500 guests, it was “the social event of the season after the Inaugural Reception and Ball.” The hotel ballroom was decorated with southern smilax, yellow narcissi, and lights shaded with yellow chrysanthemums. Musical entertainment by Minneapolis soprano Kathleen Hard Bibb, included a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner [Schuler, Pierre since 1910, 220].


State Capitol

Other than legislative sessions (because suffragists were at all of them from 1890 to 1919)

In September 1907, the S.D.E.S.A. convention was held in the House of Representatives chambers in Pierre, with key speaker Laura Gregg of Kansas [Pierre Daily Free Press (SD), September 12, 1907, September 19, 1907] [I don’t know if the old or new building… I suspect old.]

“The galleries were filled when the vote was taken.”
Mobridge News (SD), March 3, 1911.

In February 1919, the final session of the state meeting of suffragists, now woman voters, was held in the hall of the House of Representatives [The Woman Citizen 3 (February 15, 1919), 779].

On December 3, 1919, the night that the state legislature was in special session to ratify the 19th Amendment, the legislature had to wait a certain amount of time between steps in the ratification. The Hughes County League of Women Voters held a reception in the Capitol rotunda, whereby “the hours of waiting for the one minute after session were thus very pleasantly filled” [The Woman Citizen 4(22) (December 20, 1919), 608-609].


Charles and Elinor Whiting House

Elinor Whiting was involved with the Pierre Political Equality Club, the Hughes County Universal Franchise League, and the state organization in various capacities from 1910 to 1918.  Charles Whiting, a justice of the state supreme court, made suffrage campaign speeches in 1918, including an address to the state convention held in the state House in January 1919.

Charles and Eleanor Whiting’s house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Pierre Hill Residential Historic District in 1998.


Riverside Cemetery:


Potter County

Mrs. A.M. Starks spoke on suffrage at the Artichoke school house in Potter County on August 1, 1890 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), July 26, 1890].


Rapid City, Pennington County

Baptist church

Rose Bower spoke on suffrage from the pulpit at the Baptist church in Rapid City [Black Hills Union and Western Stock Review (Rapid City SD), August 12, 1910].


Congregational Church

In May 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Congregational church in Rapid City to a modest audience and organized an equal suffrage club [Rapid City Republican (SD), May 23, 1890, “Page 34 : Entire Page,” Rapid City, May 23, 1890, and The Daily Journal (Rapid City SD), May 23, 1890, “Page 35 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

In November 1898, Lena Morrow spoke in Rapid City first at the Presbyterian church for a “good audience” and then for a larger audience at the Congregational church during her tour of the Black Hills [Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), November 4, 1898]. Historic image: postcard by E.D. McNamara, SDSHS #2007-12-11-031.


Derthick’s Opera House

Anna Howard Shaw gave an address on suffrage at the Derthick’s opera house in Rapid City [Black Hills Union and Western Stock Review (Rapid City SD), October 28, 1910].  

Article about remodeling Derthick’s Auditorium into an opera house, Rapid City Journal (SD), February 4, 1908.   The opera house was located on “Kansas City Street near Fifth” [South Dakota State School of Mines, Pahasapa Quarterly 1(4) (June 1912), 51; Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Rapid City, Pennington County, SD (October 1909), sheet 7, (November 1915), sheet 8]. Photo in: Brenna Moloney, Rapid City Downtown Area Survey (April 12, 1917), 22.


Library Hall

Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw both appeared at the Library Hall in Rapid City in October 1890 for a Sunday evening meeting to which the editor of the Black Hills Union encouraged readers to “Send your husbands and brothers” [Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), October 23, 1890, October 30, 1890].

In July 1910, Fola LaFollette of Wisconsin gave an address at Library Hall on “How the Votes Were Won” during a speaking tour of the Black Hills, and Dr. Barton O. Aylesworth of Colorado also spoke there that September [Black Hills Union and Western Stock Review (Rapid City SD), July 8, 1910, September 23, 1910].

Library Hall was a wood-frame building with a stage and was located on the corner of 6th and Kansas City Streets [Sanborn Fire Insurance Co., Map for Rapid City, Pennington County SD (August 1891), sheet 5]. It was built for and housed the 500-volume collection of the city’s library. It held many social, entertainment, and political events for the Rapid City community as well [“Rapid City Public Library,” South Dakota Library Bulletin 15(3) (September 1929), 41]. When Rapid City constructed its Carnegie Library on the same site in 1915, the hall was demolished [Adrienne Merola Kerst, Jean Oleson-Kessloff, and Patrick D. Roseland, Rapid City: Historic Downtown Architecture (Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2007), 51].


Methodist Church

Rev. J.W. Taylor of Aberdeen spoke on suffrage to a union church meeting at the Methodist church on a Sunday evening in August 1910 [Black Hills Union and Western Stock Review (Rapid City SD), August 12, 1910]. The old Methodist church building is visible on this collage image of four Rapid City churches [SDSHS #2007-12-11-004].


Presbyterian Church

In November 1898, Lena Morrow spoke in Rapid City first at the Presbyterian church for a “good audience” and then for a larger audience at the Congregational church during her tour of the Black Hills [Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), November 4, 1898]. Historic image: postcard by E.D. McNamara, SDSHS #2007-12-11-032.


Free Reading Room

In May 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Congregational church in Rapid City and met the next afternoon with interested supporters at the Free Reading Room [Rapid City Republican (SD), May 23, 1890, “Page 34 : Entire Page,” Rapid City, May 23, 1890, and The Daily Journal (Rapid City SD), May 23, 1890, “Page 35 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

A library association and reading room was organized in Rapid City in 1880 {I don’t know if this might refer to Library Hall} [Press and Daily Dakotaian (Yankton SD), September 17, 1880, October 7, 1880]. A “temperance reading room” was opened in Rapid City in 1886 where the [Prohibition] Enforcement League and other groups met {Given that the WCTU president introduced DeVoe, this might be the reading room referred to.} [Press and Daily Dakotaian (Yankton SD), October 16, 1886; Black Hills Union (Rapid City SD), April 25, 1890, July 31, 1891].


Redfield, Spink County

Methodist Episcopal Church

Emma DeVoe spoke at the Methodist Episcopal church in Redfield in March 1890. The event also included music performances [Page 01: Equal Suffrage Meeting,” Redfield Journal (SD), March 14, 1890 in “Page 27 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe lectures at church],” and Dakota Dispatch (Redfield SD), March 15, 1890 in “Page 27 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe lectures, sings],” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]. The church was a one-story wood-frame building on the northwest corner of Burns & Holmes (2nd & 7th??, there’s still a church on that corner…) [Sanborn Insurance Co. Map for Redfield (1892), p.2].

Spink County Courthouse

After the SD Federation of Women’s Clubs meeting in Aberdeen, a roster of suffrage speakers were scheduled to speak at the Spink County Courthouse in Redfield the next day, October 22, 1910. The evening meeting was called to order by Mayor W.A. Morris and started with an invocation prayer by Rev. O.I. Rousch and music. Speakers included M.W. Moriarty (the Redfield city attorney), Prof. B.A. Green, Rev. Stephen Butcher, Prof. C.E. Evans, Hon. S.W. Clark (the attorney general), state ESA president Lydia B. Johnson, Peter Norbeck, and Mary E. Craigie of NYC [“Citizens Meeting at the Court House, Redfield, South Dakota,” JK1881 .N357 sec. XVI, no. 3-9 NAWSA Coll series: Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911; Scrapbook 9 (1910-1911), Library of Congress].

The first Spink County Courthouse was designed and built by George H. Pew in 1887. It is no longer extant. The current courthouse building was constructed in 1926-1927 [Spink County Courthouse, on courthousehistory.com; Photo of old cornerstone on Flickr by courthouselover; Carolyn Torma, “Building Diversity: A Photographic Survey of South Dakota Architecture, 1913-1940,” South Dakota History (1989), 182].

Photographs of the 1887 courthouse in the South Dakota State Archives: #2011-07-08-307, #2015-04-09-335, #2010-06-03-006.

Roberts County

In 1909, there was a debate at the Wist school house on “Equal Suffrage” (part of a regular debate event schedule) between Knut Helgeson and M. Thompson of Ortley—“Helgeson won on the affirmative” [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), April 23, 1909].


Methodist Church, Corona

Rose Bower spoke at the Methodist church in Corona on suffrage for the WCTU [Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), January 28, 1910].


Sanborn County

Pearl Methodist Episcopal Church, Floyd Township

Susan B. Anthony spoke on suffrage and prohibition at the Pearl M.E. Church in 1891 (Anthony was in SD in 1890…) [History timeline with the pulpit of the Pearl Methodist Episcopal Church, in the Collections of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, information from DWU Libraries staff].

The Pearl M.E. congregation was organized in about 1884. In their first year or so, they built a sod church in northwestern Sanborn Co. in Floyd Township until converting a wood-frame building for their use in about 1892, but across the county line— in Pearl Creek Township in Beadle County. The congregation was on the “Cavour Circuit” for ministerial service. The church closed in 1928 but former members bought it in 1946 and renovated it for active use again in 1958. The church closed again in 1974 and was taken down in 1992. In 1967, a cement marker was dedicated at the site of the sod church [Timeline, Collections of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, DWU, Mitchell].

A photo of the sod church was taken in about 1887 and sold to raise funds for building improvements. Copies are in the DWU materials and a Summer 1945 issue The Middle Border Bulletin 5(1) from the Friends of the Middle Border in Mitchell.

Ruskin Park, Forestburg

On the Fourth of July 1918, Mamie Pyle and Maria McMahon arranged with Ruskin Park owner Senator R.E. Dowdell “to make an aeroplane flight and distribute literature, were on hand but the big passenger car was incapacitated and unable to make the flight.  A smaller plane beautifully decorated, made a flight with suffrage pennants and streamers flying in the breeze, above 25,000 persons gathered on the grounds.  In the evening Mrs. McMahon spoke from the grand stand” [“South Dakota’s Citizenship Measure,” The Woman Citizen 3 (1918), 158].

Ruskin Park was created in 1902 to be Chautauqua grounds. It had a hotel, lunchroom, race track and grandstand, baseball field, an auditorium tent, theater, cabins, and later a golf course and dance hall. It closed in 1967 [Chris Mueller, “Ruskin Park remembered for decades of fun,” Mitchell Daily Republic (SD), July 8, 2013; “‘Playground of the Prairie’ memorialized with historic marker,” Sanborn Weekly Journal (Woonsocket, SD) July 12, 2013; HABS/HAER Ruskin Park Photographs, 1999, SD State Archives; Ruskin Park, Historical Marker Database].

Photos from SD Digital Archives: Ruskin Park Cottage, 2009-07-28-032; by Ethel Allen: Spectators Watching Racing in Ruskin Park, 2019-05-30-318; Racing in Ruskin Park, 2019-05-30-316; Racecars in Ruskin Park, 2019-05-30-317.


Scotland, Bon Homme County

Brown House

In July 1918, Ida Stadie came to Scotland to meet with local women to organize a local campaign committee for the suffrage amendment. They met at the home of Mrs. Guy Brown [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), July 11, 1918].


Kaye House

When Anna Simmons came to Scotland to campaign for suffrage in October 1914, she held an afternoon parlor meeting with local women at the home of Rev. John Kaye and spoke at the Methodist church that evening [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), October 22, 1914].


Methodist Church

On October 12, 1910, Mrs. A.C. Zehner, a national lecturer, was scheduled to speak on suffrage at the M.E. Church [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), October 6, 1910].

When Anna Simmons came to Scotland to campaign for suffrage in October 1914, she held an afternoon parlor meeting with local women at the home of Rev. John Kaye and spoke at the Methodist church that evening [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), October 22, 1914].


Selby, Walworth County

Methodist Church

In May 1914, Jean Wilkinson, the secretary of the W.C.T.U.’s franchise department (for state or district?) spoke on suffrage at the Methodist Church in Selby [Mobridge News (SD), May 15, 1914].


Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County

127 ½ S Phillips Ave

According to a “Votes for Women” bulletin printed by the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association in the spring of c1910, they had an office in the building at 127 ½ S Phillips Ave, above the O.C. Cadwell & Co. music store [Page 1, Bulletin – votes for women, c1910, RA08427, Pyle Papers USD; Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), September 15, 1923; 1910 Sioux Falls City Directory, p73].  The Sioux Falls suffrage club paid for the rooms as their state contribution [Page 2, Bulletin – votes for women, c1910, RA08427, Pyle Papers USD].  Comparing current online maps to the Sanborn Fire Insurance map for 1908, the building is no longer standing.


Baptist Church

In October 1897, Henrietta Moore and Carrie Chapman Catt spoke at the invitation of the local suffrage club at the Baptist church in Sioux Falls [Old Courthouse Museum, Sioux Falls, The Bottle and the Ballot exhibit].


Mary Brown House

In 1897, Simmons and Cranmer spoke at an afternoon parlor meeting at the home of Mary Brown and an evening meeting at the Unitarian church. They organized a local Equal Suffrage club under president Dr. Mary T. Lowry [OCM The Bottle and the Ballot exhibit].


Carpenter House

The Ladies History Club in Sioux Falls met at the house of Mrs. O.A. Carpenter in November 1909 to honor Anna Howard Shaw and Rachel Foster Avery who had come to town to address the state suffrage convention, as well as for state suffrage president Lydia B. Johnson and organizer Perle Penfield that NAWSA had sent to South Dakota. “The spacious rooms were taxed to their utmost capacity to accommodate the large number of club members and friends assembled” [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), November 3, 1909]. In the 1910 census, Orrin A. and Henrietta L. Carpenter lived at 129 S. Minnesota Ave. which would have been at/near the northwest corner of Minnesota and 10th, but it is now commercial property [Sanborn Insurance Map, Sioux Falls (November 1911), sheet 18].


Cataract Hotel

The evening reception and speeches on the first night of the 1909 state suffrage convention and the campaign committee meeting after the convention were held in the parlors of the Cataract Hotel [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), October 28, 1909; Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), November 6, 1909Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), November 12, 1909; Mobridge News (SD), November 12, 1909].  

The Minnehaha Equal Franchise League met in the Cataract parlors in March 1915 [Argus Leader (Sioux Falls SD), March 6, 1915].

On April 20-22, 1916, Catt came to South Dakota as president of NAWSA to meet with the state board in Sioux Falls [The Oakes Times (ND), April 13, 1916; Hannah J. Patterson, ed., The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Proceedings of the Forty-Eighth Annual Convention held at Atlantic City, N.J., September 4-10 inclusive, 1916 (New York, 1916), 112]. The Minnehaha County Franchise League held a luncheon in honor of Catt’s visit. The crowd included “one hundred and twenty men and women prominent in the city and state.” The tables were decorated with “graceful branches of daffodils.” Catt and Alice Lorraine Daly of Madison made “informal addresses” for the reception. Other attendees of note include league president Belle Leavitt and former president Mrs. Clark; SDUFL officers: Mamie Pyle, May Ghrist, Elinor Whiting, and Nina Pettigrew; L.M. Gibbs the secretary of the Sioux Falls Commercial Club; and Dr. Harlan president of Sioux Falls College [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), April 22, 1916].

In 1920, the state convention of the South Dakota League of Women Voters was held at the Cataract Hotel on March 19-20.  Meetings were held in the ballroom.  Belle Leavitt made local arrangements [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), March 11, 1921].

In January 1922, the Minnehaha County LWV held its annual meeting at the Cataract hotel with primary speakers Gladys Pyle, Belle Leavitt, and Ella Crawford [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), January 11, 1922]. On February 17, 1922, the Minnehaha League of Women Voters held a reception and banquet at the Cataract Hotel for the visit of national LWV president, Maud Wood Park. Gov. McMaster made the welcoming address and Mamie Payle was a speaker as well [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), February 17, 1922, February 18, 1922].

In 1923-1925, the Minnehaha League of Women Voters continued to hold their major meetings at the Cataract Hotel [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), January 11, 1923; September 15, 1923, March 12, 1925].

The Cataract Hotel was on the corner of W. 9th Street and N. Phillips Avenue and a landmark of the city’s social and business life [Sanborn, Sioux Falls (May 1916), sheet 10]. Though the business dated to 1871, the building used by the 1909 convention had been completed in 1901 [Gary D. Olson and Erik L. Olson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota: A Pictorial History (Norfolk VA: The Donning Company, 1985[2003]), 13]. It was designed by prominent local architect Joseph Schwarz and structured with fireproof measures gaining popularity in the early twentieth century [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), September 7, 1900; Eric Renshaw, “Looking Back: Cataract Hotel gone too soon,” Argus Leader (Sioux Falls SD), May 31, 2014].  The five-story Commercial Style brick building took up the full space of five city lots along Phillips Avenue, from the street to the alley.  It had retail spaces on the first floor and a porte-cochere centered on the south façade along 9th Street for hotel guests [“Cataract House, 101 North Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls SD, Minnehaha County,” postcard, #2010-06-22-022, South Dakota State Archives, Pierre]. Its parlors were used by many notable gatherings, including a banquet given when former president Theodore Roosevelt visited Sioux Falls in 1910 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 2, 1910, September 3, 1910; Mitchell Capital (SD), September 8, 1910]. It stood until 1974 when urban renewal clearance approaches were applied to several blocks of downtown Sioux Falls [Renshaw, “Looking Back“]. Historic image: SDSHS, Cataract House, 101 S Phillips Ave, #2010-06-23-015, #2010-06-22-022.


The Cedars, 432 W 9th St., Hunter’s Grove

The home of Lorena King Fairbank.


Chamber of Commerce

In December 1924, the Minnehaha League of Women Voters held their annual meeting at the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), December 11, 1924].


Christiana House

The Sioux Falls suffrage committee held a fundraising rummage sale at the old Christiana house on the west side of Philips Avenue between 11th and 12th [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 1, 1910].

The Christiana boarding house on Sanborn Insurance Maps, Sioux Falls (1891), sheet 13; (1896), sheet 13; (1908), sheet 10.


City Auditorium

When the Methodist church proved to small for those who had come to hear Anna Howard Shaw speak at the end of the 1909 state suffrage convention, an overflow meeting was held in the city auditorium that was run by Rachel Foster Avery and Perle Penfield. Shaw was brought over from the Methodist church when she was finished there to speak at the auditorium as well [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), November 6, 1909; Mitchell Capital (SD), November 11, 1909; The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), November 11, 1909].

On October 23, 1916, anti-suffragists Price, Bronson, and Jacobsen spoke at the Sioux Falls auditorium [Deutscher Herold (Sioux Falls SD), October 19, 1916; Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), October 20, 1916].

The auditorium was on the corner of W. 9th Street and N. Dakota Avenue–the present location of the 1936 city hall building. It had been designed by Wallace L. Dow and built in six months in time for a meeting of the National Buttermakers’ Association, which had agreed to hold its 1899 convention in Sioux Falls [Gary D. Olson and Erik L. Olson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota: A Pictorial History (Norfolk VA: The Donning Company, 1985[2003]), 70]. Historic images: SDSHS #2015-07-01-302; Siouxland Heritage Museums #2010.006.00031.


Colonial Theatre

In a suffrage campaign, the Sioux Falls committee showed “a suffrage picture” at the Colonial theatre; “Even the men became interested then, though many of them doubted the conditions which were shown. An investigation by them, however; proved that the pictures were authentic, and that there was a greater need even than we women in the middle west had realised for our voters to help the women of the east and south who were handicapped by unfair laws” [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), September 15, 1923].

The Colonial Theater at 120 W. 10th St. “was designed by Sioux Falls native Henry J. Schwartz and built by A.K. Pay in 1915.” It was remodeled in 1926 into the Egyptian Theater and was later demolished in 1963 [Brian Gevik, “Sioux Falls Theaters, From Stage to Screen,” SD Public Broadcasting, November 27, 2017].


Fantle Brothers Store

In May 1926, the Minnehaha League of Women Voters had charge of the sales at Fantle Bros., presumably as a fundraiser [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), May 13, 1926].


First Methodist Church

The November 1909 state suffrage convention was held primarily at the First Methodist Church in Sioux Falls. The crowd for the Friday evening speech by Anna Howard Shaw filled the auditorium, parlor, and vestibule, and was so large that an overflow gathering was arranged for the city auditorium [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), November 3, 1909, November 5, 1909, November 6, 1909; Mitchell Capital (SD), November 11, 1909; The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), November 11, 1909; Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), November 12, 1909; Mobridge News (SD), November 12, 1909; 42nd Annual Report of the NAWSA Convention (New York: NAWSA, 1910), 145].  

On June 29, 1916, the first session of the SDUFL convention was held at the First Methodist Church in Sioux Falls [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 29, 1916].

Historic images, Siouxland Heritage Museums: First Methodist Episcopal Church, #2010.006.00088, color postcard #2010.006.00089, sanctuary/altar/organ #2011.061.00028


Greeley-McCrossan Building, 11th & Phillips

During the June 1916 SDUFL convention, an office in the Boyce-Greeley Building was obtained for the use of the convention delegates and the local franchise league [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 29, 1916].


Labor Hall

Dr. Barton O. Aylesworth of Colorado spoke on “Votes for Women and How it Works” at Labor Hall in Sioux Falls on June 11, 1910 [Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), June 10, 1910, June 11, 1910].


Lakotah Building (Lacotah Block) 122-126 N Phillips Ave.

The campaign headquarters of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association for 1910 was located in the Lakotah building in Sioux Falls [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), September 8, 1910; Black Hills Daily Register (Lead, SD), September 10, 1910; Sioux Falls City Directory (Sioux Falls SD: Polk-Avery Directory Co., 1910), 170].  Sanborn Fire Insurance map from 1908 showing the Lacotah block, sheet 6 (link), via the Library of Congress.


Lutheran Normal School (Augustana University)

On October 27, 1909, while in town for the state convention, NAWSA vice-president Rachel Foster Avery spoke on “Woman’s Suffrage” for about 800 male and female students and faculty of the Lutheran Normal School [Lutheran Normal School Mirror 12(3) (December 1909), 59; Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), November 3, 1909].

In 1908, the Lutheran Normal School campus included a main classroom and administration building, a women’s dormitory, and a men’s dormitory (shown below: the Main building on the left). The campus was and is located at the southwest corner of 29th and Summit. Old Main was dedicated in 1889 [Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Sioux Falls (August 1908), sheet 29; Augustana College Historic Buildings, National Register of Historic Places nomination, March 1977].

Lutheran Normal School Mirror (May 1900), cover.
Old Main and East Hall (the women’s dormitory historically) at Augustana University, photograph by author 2018.

McCrossan House, 117 N. Duluth Ave.

In October 1909, Perle Penfield was the featured speaker at the Sioux Falls equal suffrage club meeting at the McCrossan house. She spoke on “pure food, pure water and citizenship in general” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 18, 1909]. The McCrossan House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Cathedral Historic District (SHPO ID: MH00600115).


New theater (?)

Helen LaReine Baker of Spokane visited Sioux Falls in October 1909 during her tour of the state. After the first act of “Charley’s Aunt,” “an exquisitely gowned, auburn-haired woman arose from her seat in a box and addressed the audience on ‘votes for women’… bore the frank gaze of the assembled crowd quietly and confidently” [“Page 141 : They Gasp at Mrs. Baker: Spokane Woman Gives Theater Audience Surprise,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 6/19/1910-9/30/1910 (Scrapbook K), Primarily Washington].


Opera House

In April 1898, the S.D.E.S.A. held a meeting at the opera house in Sioux Falls with addresses/attendees including Adelaide Ballard (president of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association), Mary E. Collson, Mrs. George W. King, Mrs. Osgood, Clara Richey, Rev. G.M. House, and Ida Crouch-Hazlett [Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, vol. 3 (1915), 791; The name Adelaide from Egge “When We Get to Voting,” 169-170].

In 1910, the Sioux Falls Votes for Women committee put on the play “How the Vote was Won” at the opera house in Sioux Falls, under the direction of elocutionist Agnes Donahoe [Page 3, Bulletin – votes for women, c1910, RA08439, Pyle Papers, USD].


Peck Block

On August 26, 1924, the Women’s Progressive Club met at the Farmer-Labor hall on the third floor of the Peck building to hear from Sara Green of Kansas City MO on the responsibility of women as voters [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), August 26, 1924].


Pettigrew & Tate Building

According to the 1994 National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Sioux Falls Downtown Historic District, the National Women’s Council “a suffrage movement” had city HQ in the Pettigrew & Tate Building at the end of the first decade of the 1900’s.


Quaker Tea Room

Meetings to organize a state chapter of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage were held at the Quaker Tea Room in Sioux Falls on January 13, 1917 [Mitchell Capital (SD), January 18, 1917].


Reformed Church

Emma Smith DeVoe was scheduled to speak at the Reformed church in Sioux Falls on her way to speak at Wall Lake [Sioux Falls Journal (SD), October 11, 1890, “Page 53 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Unitarian Church

In 1897, Simmons and Cranmer spoke at an afternoon parlor meeting at the home of Mary Brown and an evening meeting at the Unitarian church. They organized a local Equal Suffrage club under president Dr. Mary T. Lowry [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), July 2, 1897].


Wilkes House

Rev. Eliza Tupper Wilkes was South Dakota delegate to the national suffrage conventions in 1884 and 1886, and she was elected president of the Minnehaha County Equal Suffrage Club in November 1889.  She was also a Unitarian minister and involved in the temperance movement.  The Wilkes House on Prairie Avenue was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Cathedral Historic District in 1974.  There is a historical marker about Wilkes near the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.


Woman’s Alliance Assembly Room

In early January 1919, the Minnehaha County Franchise League met in the Woman’s Alliance assembly room, where they elected officers and reviewed their work of the past year [Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), January 9, 1919].


Y.M.C.A. Block, Commercial Club rooms

In October 1909, an equal suffrage meeting was held in the rooms of Commercial club in the Y.M.C.A. block. Attendees heard an address by Rachel Foster Avery, vice-president of NAWSA, who talked on suffrage work globally, and remarks by Ex-Governor Hoch of Kansas “who is a strong suffragist, happened to be in the city and he dropped in on the suffragist meeting” in which he “outlined the improvements in the municipal conditions of Kansas since women had been given the privilege of voting at municipal elections” [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 23, 1909].


Sisseton, Roberts County

Roberts County Courthouse

Lena Morrow Lewis spoke at the courthouse in Sisseton on May 6 and 7, 1909 on suffrage “from a socialist standpoint,” and Anna Maley, a Socialist party organizer, was scheduled to speak on suffrage at the courthouse on October 29 and 30, 1910 [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), April 30, 1909, October 21, 1910].

The Roberts County Suffrage Association formed at a meeting held at the Roberts County Courthouse, and they continued meeting at the courthouse [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), September 1, 1916, September 22, 1916]. Also in September 1916, Mary L. Geffs came to Sisseton to speak on “Suffrage from a Socialist viewpoint… On the street if weather permits, otherwise in the court house” [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), September 15, 1916, September 22, 1916; American Socialist (September 23, 1916), 4].

The Roberts County Courthouse was built in 1902 from a design by (C.W.) Buechner & Jacobson [SD SHPO records, RO00000145]. Historic image: SDSHS #2015-04-09-333.

Photograph by the author, 2018.

Methodist Episcopal Church

In April 1914, the W.C.T.U. district convention was held at the Methodist church in Sisseton and the convention program dedicated much of its time to suffrage, including several readings and an oratory contest [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), April 3, 1914, April 10, 1914]. Photograph in Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), July 22, 1910.


New Grand theater

During the 1914 the W.C.T.U. district convention in Sisseton held an oratory contest on the subject of suffrage was held at the New Grand [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), April 10, 1914].


Opera House

In February 1910, a mass meeting on prohibition held at the opera house included a talk by Una L. Moore of Goodwill Mission for the suffrage amendment [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), February 11, 1910].

In August 1914, Marion H. Drake of Chicago spoke on suffrage at the opera house in Sisseton during her tour in South Dakota [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), August 28, 1914].

On October 25, 1916, the suffrage club in Sisseton sponsored an evening’s entertainment at the Opera House with the performance of two plays “Back of the Ballot” and “How the Vote was Won” interspersed with musical performances [Sisseton Weekly Standard (SD), October 20, 1916].


Spearfish, Lawrence County

Methodist Church

Emma Smith DeVoe lectured to a large audience at the Methodist church in Spearfish, despite short notice and poor weather [Spearfish Register (SD), May 17, 1890, and The Daily Bulletin (Spearfish SD), May 13, 1890, “Page 34 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

A new Methodist church in Spearfish was dedicated in October 1890 [Kimball Graphic (SD), October 17, 1890].


Spink County

During her March 1890 campaign tour through Spink County, Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Methodist Episcopal churches in Redfield, Mellette, Northville, and Frankfort, the G.A.R. Hall in Athol, and the Congregational church in Ashton [Redfield Journal (SD), March 14, 1890 in “Page 27 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe lectures at church],” and Dakota Dispatch (Redfield SD), March 15, 1890 in “Page 27 : [news clipping: Emma Smith DeVoe lectures, sings],” “Page 27 : Among the Workers,” “Page 27 : Understands Her Subject,” “Page 27 : A Pleasing Speaker,” Spink County Leader (Ashton SD), March 20, 1890 in “Page 27 : Women’s Suffrage,” Frankfort Advocate (SD), March 17, 1890 in “Page 28 : County Convention,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Sturgis, Meade County

City Hall

Mary Seymour Howell spoke on suffrage at Sturgis’ city hall “to a packed house” in late July 1890 [Sturgis Advertiser (SD), July 31, 1890].

City hall with fire department and county jail on the Sturgis, Sanborn Insurance Map, July 1891, image 1.


Methodist Episcopal Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke in Sturgis at the M.E. Church during her May 1890 tour of the Black Hills “organizing local committees in every town she visits” [Sturgis Advertiser (SD), May 15, 1890; and in Page 35 : Entire Page,” and Sturgis Weekly Record (SD), May 19, 1890, “Page 36 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Methodist Church at Sturgis on Sanborn Insurance Map for July 1891, image 2.


Opera House

Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw spoke in Sturgis at the opera house in October 1890 [Sturgis Advertiser (SD), October 23, 1890, October 30, 1890].


Presbyterian Church

Helen Barker spoke on suffrage in August 1890 at the Presbyterian church in Sturgis [Sturgis Advertiser (SD), August 14, 1890].


Sully County

In April 1890, Emma Smith DeVoe toured in Sully County, meeting with groups and organizing associations at the Goddard school house, the Okobojo school house, the Onida school house, and Milford school house No. 2 [“Page 30 : [news clipping : D.F. Sweetland organizes Equal Suffrage Society],” “Page 32 : Entire Page,” and The Woman’s Tribune, April 26, 1890, “Page 36 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Mrs. A.M. Starks organized a suffrage club at the Lane school house in Pearl Township in early June 1890 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), June 7, 1890]


Mrs. A.M. Starks spoke on the suffrage question at the Edgar school house in Milford Township on the evening of June 29, 1890 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), June 21, 1890].


In August 12-21 1890, Alice Pickler campaigned extensively around Sully County, including stops at the Turley school starting on August 12, the McNamara school in Norfolk, the Brayton school, the Goddard school, the Carson school, the Lewiston school, the Brooking school, the Howard school, as well as Onida and Okobojo [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), August 23, 1890].


A “Union Suffrage” meeting of the Brayton and Norfolk clubs was scheduled at the Richard’s school house on October 4, 1890 [Sully County Watchman (Onida SD), September 20, 1890].


Tilford, Meade County

Methodist Episcopal Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke and organized a suffrage club at the M.E. Church in Tilford in May 1890, though there was not a large audience “owing to a mistake in the date of her appointment” [Tilford, May 23, 1890 “Page 35 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Turner County

Emma Smith DeVoe campaigned in Turner County, speaking at the John Lease school on September 4, 1890, at Buchanan school house in Spring Valley on the 5th, at Hurley on the 6th, and at Norway school house No. 3 on the 7th [“Page 53 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

In July 1910, on her campaign tour of the county, Henrietta Lyman spoke on suffrage at the Davis Methodist Episcopal Church [Turner County Herald (Hurley SD), July 28, 1910].


Tyndall, Bon Homme County

Grand Central Hotel

In May 1897, a Bon Homme County Equal Suffrage Convention was scheduled to be held in the Grand Central Hotel [Maxine K. Schuurmans, One Hundred Years of Tyndall: A Centennial History (Tyndall Centennial Committee, 1979), 78].


Union County

Matilda Hindman of Pittsburgh, PA, spoke in Elk Point on April 21, 1890, then visited Richland, the Edwards school house in Virginia Township, Alcester, and Beresford in the week following [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), April 9, 1890].

Richland Church

On November 1, 1910, there was a mass meeting held at Richland Church on the subjects of prohibition, county option, and suffrage [Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), October 27, 1910].


Vermillion, Clay County

In 1917, Helen Guthrie Miller came to South Dakota and gave counter-rallies in several cities following the tour of anti-suffragists Lucy Price and Minnie Bronson. In Vermillion, she spoke at a “picture show” where they had spoken the previous day, and spoke at the Methodist Church, and the State University [Nettie Rogers Shuler, ed., The hand book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and proceedings of the Forty-ninth Annual Convention, held at Washington, D.C., December 12-15, inclusive, 1917 (New York: NAWSA, 1917), 72].

Bluff View Cemetery:


Warner, Brown County

Methodist Episcopal church

Emma Smith DeVoe gave an evening lecture at the M.E. church, the largest in the town, on July 21 or 24, 1890 [“Page 44 : Entire Page,” and Warner Sun (SD), July 25, 1890, “Page 47 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Cook House / Hall

Emma Smith DeVoe held an afternoon meeting for fifty local women on July 21 or 24, 1890 in Warner, hosted by Mrs. M.J. Cook, before an evening lecture at the largest church in the town [“Page 44 : Entire Page,” and Warner Sun (SD), July 18, 1890, “Page 47 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10]. About the banquet given by Cook, “DeVoe writes… They all said it was the very first time in all their lives that a banquet had been prepared for them.  They had prepared many banquets for men, but this was a new order of business” [Woman’s Tribune, August 16, 1890, “Page 48 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Watertown, Codington County

Corner of Kemp & Maple

In November 1916, touring anti-suffragists with Ethel Jacobsen of Pierre spoke at Goss hall in Watertown. Suffragist Elsie Benedict of Denver posted herself to speak nearby at the corner of Kemp & Maple and “suffrage pennants were visible everywhere within a radius of a block” [Saturday News (Watertown SD), November 2, 1916].


Carnegie Library

Meetings of the Watertown suffrage league were held at the library in 1914-1916, often in the basement “rest room” (lounge/multipurpose room) [Saturday News (Watertown SD), May 14, 1914, June 11, 1914July 2, 1914, August 10, 1916, October 1, 1914, August 10, 1916, October 26, 1916, November 9, 1916].  Historic image, SDSHS: #2010-07-15-020.


Codington County Courthouse

General Rosalie Jones of New York spoke in August 1914 from the bandstand on the grounds of the Codington County Courthouse during her South Dakota tour [Saturday News (Watertown SD), August 6, 1914, August 13, 1914].

Marion H. Drake of Chicago spoke at the courthouse square in Watertown later that same month [Saturday News (Watertown SD), August 20, 1914; August 27, 1914]. Drake was introduced by Judge I.H. Myers before “a very attentive audience” and talked on many subjects starting with the history of the movement in past.  Regarding the fitness of women to weigh in on laws regarding children and women, specifically child labor laws, education, and factory labor regulations, it was reported that she said that “the women have an advantage over the men, for they have come into closer relationship with the children and have a better comprehension of the conditions surrounding the factories where girls are largely employed” [Saturday News (Watertown SD), August 27, 1914].

On September 7, 1914, Anna Howard Shaw also spoke at the courthouse square in Watertown, and afterwards at the Congregational church [Saturday News (Watertown SD), September 10, 1914].

The Codington County Courthouse was located in the center of the square between 1st and 2nd Ave SE and S. Maple and S. Broadway Streets, just southeast of downtown [Sanborn Map, Watertown (July 1915), image 11]. The courthouse had been built in 1883 from a design by Charles A. Dunham of Iowa [Codington County on courthousehistory.com]. It was replaced by a new building in the same location in 1929 [Carolyn Torma, “Building Diversity: A Photographic Survey of South Dakota Architecture, 1913-1940,” South Dakota History (1989), 164].

The courthouse grounds had open lawn with scattered deciduous trees and sidewalks leading into the square from each street corner [“Courthouse, Watertown SD, Codington County,” postcard, 1907, #2014-12-12-303; “Courthouse, Watertown SD, Codington County,” by Carl Charles Gray, postcard, #2015-01-15-326, “Courthouse, Watertown SD, Codington County,” by St. Paul Souvenir Company, postcard, #2015-01-16-309, State Archives]. The bandstand was positioned on the grounds along Broadway Street and had an octagonal, domed roof with a tall flagstaff [“Court House Square, Watertown, So. Dak.” Penny Postcards from South Dakota, USGenWeb Archives]. It was also used for musical performances, other political speeches, and local celebrations for Memorial Day and Labor Day [Saturday News (Watertown SD), May 22, 1908, June 11, 1909, May 2, 1912, June 6, 1912, February 26, 1914, August 12, 1915, August 31, 1916; May 29, 1919].


Congregational Church

On September 7, 1914, Anna Howard Shaw spoke at the courthouse square in Watertown, and afterwards at the Congregational church [Saturday News (Watertown SD), September 10, 1914].


Goss Hall (opera house)

In October 1916, Mary Baird Bryan of Nebraska spoke “to a large audience” — “equal suffragists fired their biggest gun, so far as noted speakers are concerned” [Saturday News (Watertown SD), October 12, 1916].

In November 1916, touring anti-suffragists with Ethel Jacobsen of Pierre spoke at Goss hall in Watertown. Suffragist Elsie Benedict of Denver posted herself to speak nearby at the corner of Kemp & Maple and “suffrage pennants were visible everywhere within a radius of a block” [Saturday News (Watertown SD), November 2, 1916].


Kampeska Hotel

National organizer Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon was headquartered at the Kampeska Hotel in Watertown while doing campaign work in the region [McMahon, 1918?, RA12088, Box 4, Correspondence, 1918, December, Pyle Papers USD; Saturday News (Watertown SD), April 4, 1918, May 30, 1918].

The Kampeska House Hotel, at E. 1st Ave. N., was first built in 1878 for C.C. Wiley who had first settled in Codington County in 1877 [Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, vol. 4 (1915), 387; Will Robinson, “Some Pioneers of the Upper Sioux,” SD Historical Collections 7 (1914), 550, note 11; Hanson and Hoheisel, Watertown and Codington County, South Dakota (2002), 25]. The hotel had a series of additions and remodeling, that resulted in a three-story building with a Commercial style facade. In 1912, manager F.P. Snyder made substantial additions to the hotel, including a multi-story marble porch and interior remodeling [Saturday News (Watertown SD), June 13, 1912, September 12, 1912]. It was a popular hotel for conventions and banquets. The hotel was demolished in 1966 [Hanson and Hoheisel, Watertown and Codington County, South Dakota (2002), 25]. An image of the Kampeska Hotel, c.1913, via Wikimedia Commons. The Kampeska Hotel on Sanborn fire insurance maps, (1884), image 2; (1888), image 2; (1892), image 2; (1898), image 3; (1904), image 4; (1915), image 4; (1923), image 5.


Lake Kampeska country club

On September 10, 1921, the Codington County League of Women Voters opened its fall-winter with a meeting at the Lake Kampeska country club [The Herald-Advance (Milbank SD), September 16, 1921].


Lincoln Hotel

Mamie Pyle and May Billinghurst met with twenty-six women at the Lincoln Hotel in Watertown to raise interest in starting a local suffrage league [Saturday News (Watertown SD), May 14, 1914].  

On June 3-4, 1918, the SDUFL held a School of Methods in Watertown at the Lincoln Hotel with instruction for suffragists in the area on organization and Amendment E. After the school, a banquet was held with leaders of war work organizations at the hotel [Saturday News (Watertown SD), May 30, 1918].

The Lincoln Hotel was built in 1912 with a substantial addition to the north in 1920. It had a lobby, dining room, billiards and bowling alley, a retail space, and the Metropolitan Theater at its core [Sanborn Fire Insurance Map (July 1915), image 4; (November 1923), image 5]. It was demolished in 1972 [Historic image, #2016-06-10-339, SDSHS].


Webster, Day County

Commercial Club rooms

At the Flying Squadron’s stop in Webster, their attendance was expected to be small because of extensive rain, so Jones, Benedict, and DeVoe changed their meeting from the opera house to the Commercial Club rooms, saving them $10 and “a small crowd will feel more enthusiastic in a small room than in a large one” [Jones to Pyle, August 21, 1916, RA07469RA07470, Box 1, Correspondence, 1910, April – 1916, December, Pyle Papers, USD].


Wentworth, Lake County

Presbyterian church

Anna Simmons made an address at the Presbyterian church in Wentworth in May 1897 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 5, 1897].  

Image: Two churches in Wentworth (including First Presbyterian Church), 1994, Vernell Johnson, SDSHS, 2015-08-05-310.


Wessington Springs, Jerauld County

Jerauld County Courthouse

In November 1889, Sophia Harden, the organizer for Jerauld County, met with a group at the courthouse in Wessington Springs to form an equal suffrage association [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), November 29, 1889, December 6, 1889].

On September 13, 1890, Matilda Hindman of California was the featured speaker at Jerauld County E.S.A.’s second convention of the year, held at the Methodist church in Wessington Springs. The county’s Farmers’ Alliance had scheduled their convention for the same time, so the suffrage attendance was small, but the Alliance invited Hindman to speak at their meeting at the courthouse.  The suffrage convention adjourned to the courthouse for the afternoon, and Hindman made a second speech in the evening at the church [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), September 19, 1890].

The next week on September 18th, Henry Blackwell of Boston came to speak on suffrage at the courthouse [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), August 29, 1890, September 12, 1890].

In November 1890–shortly before the election, Rev. Abi Huntley of Wessington Springs spoke on suffrage at the courthouse [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), October 31, 1890].

The county’s first court house was a simple two-story frame building with a cross-gable roof with a flagstaff at the peak, a small entry vestibule on the façade, and little ornamentation [Dunham, History of Jerauld County (1909), 333].  It was built on a hill in town in 1885 by local carpenter Sam Marlenee [Dunham, History of Jerauld County (1909), 130, 393]. The county built a new courthouse building in 1930. Historic images of the first courthouse: SDSHS #2010-07-29-003; 2015-01-16-316; 2015-04-14-325.


Methodist Church

On December 22, 1885, the Jerauld County W.C.T.U.’s franchise department held exercises at the M.E. Church in Wessington Springs, with an address by Sophia Harden, a reading by LoElla Blank, and music [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), December 18, 1885].

On September 13, 1890, Matilda Hindman was the featured speaker at Jerauld County E.S.A.’s second convention of the year, held at the Methodist church in Wessington Springs. The county’s Farmers’ Alliance had scheduled their convention for the same time, so the suffrage attendance was small, but the Alliance invited Hindman to speak at their meeting at the courthouse.  The suffrage convention adjourned to the courthouse for the afternoon, and Hindman made a second speech in the evening at the church [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), September 19, 1890].

The first Methodist church in Wessington Springs was built in 1883. The congregation erected a new building in 1902 and sold the old building to another church, which moved it to a new site in 1904 [Dunham, History of Jerauld County (1909), 278].


Chapel, Wessington Springs Seminary (Methodist)

The Jerald County Equal Suffrage Association met in the Seminary chapel. The news announcement advertised: “Turn out whether you are a believer or not” [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), December 6, 1889, December 13, 1889].

The Jerauld County Equal Suffrage Convention with Susan B. Anthony was held at Seminary Chapel, upon arrangement by faculty Professor and Clara Freeland.  It was decorated with flags, banners, flowers and ferns. Among the banner mottoes were “Taxation without representation is tyranny,” “Equality before the Law,” “In 37 states the mother has no control of her child,” and “Only idiots, paupers, criminals, insane, Chinese and women cannot vote” [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), May 16, 1890].

On November 25, 1890 (after the big 1890 election), a group led by Clara Freeland and Mrs. C.M. Spears, with speaker Nettie C. Hall, held a mass meeting in the seminary chapel to re-organize the Jerauld County Equal Suffrage Association and elect officers in anticipation of petitioning the next legislature for a suffrage amendment [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), November 21, 1890, December 5, 1890].


Whitewood, Lawrence County

Presbyterian Church

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the Presbyterian church in Whitewood in May 1890 [The Plain Dealer (Whitewood SD), May 17, 1890, “Page 35 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Wolsey, Brown County

Emma Smith DeVoe lectured for the suffrage club in Wolsey in July 1890 “in the hall” [Wolsey Journal, August 1, 1890, and Dakota Ruralist, August 9, 1890, “Page 48 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].


Woonsocket, Sanborn County

Sanborn County Courthouse

In May 1890, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Hindman spoke at the courthouse in Woonsocket and organized a local equal club. For Anthony’s talk, the courthouse was “densely crowded… many people being unable to obtain entrance” [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), May 23, 1890]. The current courthouse building was built in 1908.


Worthing, Lincoln County

School house

Emma Smith DeVoe spoke at the school house in Worthing on October 12, 1890 [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), October 24, 1890].

At the school house in Worthing on October 15, 1890, there was a meeting ‘of Independents, suffragists, and old party-ers’ ” that kept the inner walls of the school house red hot till after midnight.” The event included a talk by Carrie Lane Chapman as well [Dakota Farmers’ Leader (Canton SD), October 24, 1890].


Yankton, Yankton County

Congregational Church

Alice M.A. Pickler reported on franchise at the Congregational Church in Yankton in 1889 during the W.C.T.U. meeting that closed the territorial organization and created new Unions for North and South Dakota [Kingsbury/Smith, History of Dakota Territory, vol. 2 (1915), 1579].

Emma Smith DeVoe was scheduled to speak in Yankton at the Congregational church on November 3, 1890 [Yankton Press & Dakotan (SD), November 3, 1890, “Page 58 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].

Dr. Anna Howard Shaw spoke on suffrage in 1914 at the Congregational Church in Yankton [Sara Egge, “How Midwestern Suffragists Won the Vote by Attacking Immigrants.” Smithsonian Magazine online, September 17, 2018].  

Historical image, SDSHS: #2014-12-06-3162010-08-12-006.


Methodist Episcopal Church

In 1887, at a WCTU convention at the M.E. church, Helen Barker, the president of the Dakota Territory WCTU, in speaking about women’s suffrage “alluded to the discussion of woman suffrage by the legislators at Bismarck last fall, saying that it was a disgrace to Dakota, and that she heard more sentimental nonsense about the ‘sweet, dear, beautiful women of Dakota’ than she supposed Dakota men were capable of giving.” [Press and Daily Dakotaian (Yankton SD), April 27, 1887].

Historical image of facade, SDSHS #2010-08-12-005.
On Sanborn Insurance Map, Yankton (1886), Image 3.


Opera House

On October 25, 1916, three anti-suffragists held rally at the opera house in Yankton. Elsie Benedict of Colorado “urged ‘votes for women’ on a street corner, half a block away, and drew an immense crowd.” She had sent stenographers into the opera house to record the arguments of the Antis, so that Benedict could address them point-by-point on the street afterwards. According to a press report, she “received enthusiastic applause” after each point [The Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), October 26, 1916].

The only opera house I see on the June 1916 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for the city of Yankton (sheet 8) is the Yankton New Theatre at 322 Walnut. Built in 1902, the building is still extant but was substantially remodeled in about 1950 with a metal-panel Art Moderne facade. It’s currently named the Lewis and Clark Theater, and is a community theater performance space. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as part of the Yankton Historic Commercial District. A photo from 2008 on the South Dakota SHPO Flickr page. A 1987 image from the SD State Archives: #2011-08-09-301.