100 Years Ago: Poems and Prose Of Women’s Suffrage

The desire to vote was a passionate topic among women for many decades. It was not a surprise to discover that volumes of poetry and prose were composed with suffrage as the theme. For this article, I have selected a variety of poetry, from more than one artist, along with an interesting article of newspaper headlines, pre-suffrage, during suffrage and post-suffrage (today). Continue reading

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100 Years Ago: Anti-Suffrage New Hampshire Women

Offering prizes for best answer if women should be allowed to vote.

Today and with our current mindset, I know it is difficult to grasp that some women in New Hampshire did not want any women to have the right to vote in local and national elections. They did exist, but seemingly in lower numbers than the pro-suffrage women.

I’ve seen it written that many of these so-called “anti-suffrage” women were well-off, either by a marriage to a wealthy, prominent man, or by having money and prestige in their own right. It is implied that they did not want their “lesser” female counterparts to rise in influence.  Several newspaper stories of the time, if they can be completely believed, paint the anti-suffrage women as rich, privileged females not wanting to share their societal prestige, and feeling that equal voting rights would lessen their ability to influence. It would be unfair to state this is always true, though my research does seem to point to it being mostly true. Continue reading

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August 2020: Celebrating a Women’s Suffrage Anniversary in New Hampshire

Collage of New Hampshire’s more famous suffragists. Copyright by J.W. Brown.

A special celebration of suffrage is approaching (actually two)!  One hundred years ago, on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote was finally ratified (meaning resolutions were passed by the required 36 State legislatures to accept it). Then the resolution was presented to the President of the United States (Woodrow Wilson) for his assent and approval.

Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby issued a proclamation declaring the 19th Amendment ratified and part of the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, protecting American women’s right to vote.

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New Hampshire Missing Places: Daniel Webster Airways, Merrimack

Photo of Mattie (Kilborn) Webster, the compiler of Merrimack’s Bicentennial history, with her granddaughters, Janice and Kathleen. (One being the blog editor) from the 1960s. Colorized.

During the Town of Merrimack’s Bicentennial Celebration, my grandmother, Mattie (Kilborn) Webster helped to research, write, and also to compile the stories of others, for the historical presentations on 30 June 1946.   She kept a notebook, and in cursive handwriting collected a particular story that was written by Arnold Sidney Butler, one of New Hampshire’s pioneer aviators. The topic was Daniel Webster Airways.

Butler ran that business from about 1946 into the 1950s. He moved to Florida where he started another business, and Merrimack’s only airport was sold to Sanders Associates, Inc, New Hampshire’s largest electronics industry in the 1970s. Today it is BAE Systems. Continue reading

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Poultry Farmer, Civic Leader, Oldest Citizen and “Pioneer Woman”: Mary Augusta (Parker) Stowell of Merrimack New Hampshire (1871-1972)

Mary (Parker) Stowell

It seems that the history books are full of stories about how men built the towns and cities of New Hampshire, and yet these places had as many, if not more, women who contributed equally, if sometimes differently. Such was Mary (Parker) Stowell.

Why do I call her a “Pioneer Woman” when in fact the town of Merrimack was already quite developed by the time she arrived there, and she did not discover any great cure f9r disease nor discover some new piece of machinery? What she did do to earn that title, was to know a great deal about how women survived in hard times, how to do much with little–and then she shared her knowledge. Continue reading

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