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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

19th Amendment Celebration | June 2020

‘We have been ready for it’ States ratify 19th amendment in August 1920 By Mark Fedder Manistee County Historical Museum Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” However, as anyone can attest, the phrase has never been able to justify itself against the cruelties that were, and still are, inflicted upon people of the nation. In the late summer of 1920, after many years of struggle, women throughout the United States were finally given the right to vote, creating yet another instance in American history in which the phrase that Jefferson once coined could have been changed to say, “all men and women are created equal.” While the topic of equal rights for women has existed since the birth of the United States, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that public outcry became more vocal as various organizations for women’s suffrage were established. During that time leaders in the suffrage movement, such as Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, organized the National Women’s Suffrage Association while activist Lucy Stone founded the American Woman Suffrage Association. These two organizations eventually joined together in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association which attempted to put additional pressure on politicians and the general public by holding more rallies, parades, meetings, etc., around the country. Even with the grassroots efforts of various organizations, the passage of an amendment granting women the right to vote was

never taken seriously by Congress. In order to combat the ignorance they were receiving, suffrage groups began to petition individual states for voting rights which proved successful. By the late 1910s several states had already granted women the right to vote while over 20 states, including Michigan, had allowed partial rights for voting in statewide and local elections. It was during this time in American history that the role of women in society began to change as more women graduated from universities and began to work outside of the home. Additionally, by 1917 the United States had entered World War I and women were called upon to take up the slack left by men off fighting the war. In 1918, an amendment to the Constitution was finally proposed by Congress declaring that no one be denied the right to vote based on their sex. After a number of close votes, the amendment was eventually passed by the House of Representatives in May 1919 and then passed by the Senate in June 1919. However, in order for the amendment to become law, it needed to be ratified by a total of 36 state legislatures. As the months went by, more and more states approved the amendment and on Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th. On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was adopted and women were given the right to vote in every election. In November of 1920, all women across the country were able to cast their

PROVIDING INSIGHT On Aug. 19, 1920, the Manistee News Advocate published a small article on how Manistee women felt about the suffrage amendment. The article provides good insight into the thoughts and minds of women of the time: “What Manistee women think of the suffrage amendment, which became a part of the fundamental law of the United States yesterday with the ratification by Tennessee, the thirty-sixth state, is indicated in the expressions obtained by a member of The News Advocate staff from a few representatives chosen at random from the now ‘equal’ sex. “Apparently the women of Manistee are pleased — very much — so over the matter and their pleasure evidently comes from the fact that they have waited and struggled for constitutional suffrage for so many years. And now that their sex has been given a voice in government affairs, they hope it will ‘make good.’ “Mrs. George C. Austin, 205 Maple Street – ‘It

ballot for the Presidential election between Warren G. Harding (R) and John M. Cox (D). With Harding the victor, results showed an overall 8 million increase in votes compared to the 1916 election. Locally, there was also a surge in votes as the City of Manistee saw a 23 percent increase over the previous Presidential election. In an article reporting on the reasons behind the increase, the Manistee New Advocate concluded that the growth could be attributed to more interest in the candidates, a reduction in a floating population, school children who went house to house to urge citizens to vote, and “Of course the women who must be taken into consideration. Their strength was certainly manifested at the polls, where they more than doubled the usual vote.” After Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment, Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, commented on the perseverance of the women’s suffrage movement. Her conclusion is only a few sentences long but perfectly sums up the decades-long struggle for the simple duty of casting a vote: “For our country and the world, this victory means that this government which purports to be by the people is by the people and not half of them. For women, the suffrage victory means opportunity for more work and added responsibility. It is too belated to come with a shock of surprise. We have been ready for it.”

Mrs. George C. Austin was interviewed by the Manistee News Advocate when the 19th Amendment was passed. "It shows that women will have their own way after a while. They’ve got to have their say sometime. They have waited so many years, anyway, and you know women do love to talk," she said. (Courtesy photo/Manistee County Historical Museum)

Mrs. W.J. Gregory was interviewed by the Manistee News Advocate when the 19th Amendment was passed. "We were expecting it, and I think the women are very much pleased that the amendment has passed, so that now it won’t be a fight from the state to state any longer," she said. (Courtesy photo/Manistee County Historical Museum)

shows that women will have their own way after a while. They’ve got to have their say sometime. They have waited so many years, anyway, and you know women do love to talk.’ “Mrs. W.J. Gregory, Second Street – ‘We were expecting it, and I think the women are very much pleased that the amendment has passed, so that now it won’t be a fight from the state to state any longer. The question now is settled. It has been the dream of women working for the movement during a great many years. We are glad that it is a national affair and not an interstate struggle. Every man I have talked with also believes that the right thing has been done. I spoke with several Illinois gentlemen and they appeared very much pleased over it. The women have not ceased to think that their millennium is coming and now they can vote. We hope they will rise and do the right thing and certainly hope they will come out strong and vote in the primaries this fall.’ “Mrs. P.C. Jensen, 412 Elm Street – ‘I feel that now women have their vote – universal suffrage –

they should do everything in their power to better conditions throughout the country. The women have waited all these years for it and we ought now to do the things we should do. The women ought not to affiliate themselves with any party because we can do more if we are aloof and keep the politicians guessing.’ "Dr. Kathryn M. Bryan, Oak Street – ‘National suffrage for women is a tremendous privilege and also a tremendous responsibility. Women will mostly be found interested where home conditions are affected, such as civic improvements, school laws pertaining to pay for equal work, child labor, and health conditions. Upon these they will be nonpartisan. They will also enter national politics and do their part there with equal vigor and entering one party or the other as their ideas and convictions are embodied in the platforms of either party. They will always retain the woman’s privilege to change their minds.’”


June 2020 | 19th Amendment Celebration

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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

19 facts about the 19th Amendment on its 100th anniversary By Dianne Bystrom Karen M. Kedrowski Iowa State University

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(THE CONVERSATION) One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment enfranchised millions of women across the United States following a seven-decade campaign. The struggle to expand voting rights to women resonates today as the country continues to debate who should vote and how. As scholarsofcivic engagement and women's suffrage, we have compiled "19 Things to Know" about this landmark amendment. Together they reveal the strength and determination of the suffrage movement as it battled for this fundamental right of citizenship. 1.Many early suffragists were also abolitionists. They include Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. 2.The first women's rights convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, on July 19-20, 1848. Of the 11 resolutions demanding equality – in the workplace, family and education, for example – only women's right to vote drew opposition before it was approved. Although abolitionists had called for women's voting rights before 1848, suffragists later viewed the convention as launching the U.S. women's suffrage movement. 3.In 1869 the movement split over disagreements about the 15th Amendment, which granted voting rights to African American men but not women. The National Woman Suffrage Association lobbied for a federal amendment, while the American Woman Suffrage Association pursued a state-by-state strategy. Recognizing that a divided movement was hurting their success, the groups merged in 1890 as the National American Woman Suffrage Association, or NAWSA. 4.Suffrage was a mass movement with diverse voices. They included the National Association of Colored Women, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, farmers' organizations and the Women's Trade Union League. Most of these organizations became active in suffrage after the creation of NAWSA. 5.Women's suffrage depended on male supporters, among them state legislators and members of Congress. Only men could vote in state referenda to extend the vote to women. Men did so in Colorado, New York and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, thousands of women opposed suffrage. They thought it would undermine women's influence in the home and family. 6.Several political and social movements during the Progressive Era, 1890-1920, prioritized suffrage. Women realized they needed voting rights to reform child labor laws, promote public health, and prohibit alcohol and prostitution. These suffragists framed their roles, as wives and mothers, as political virtues to

advance a more moral government. 7.Besides the leadership provided by the national women's suffrage associations, hundreds of local and state organizations engaged thousands of volunteers as well. Some of the earliest state associations were organized in Kansas in 1867, Iowa in 1870 and Washington state in 1871. 8.African American women reformers saw suffrage as an important goal. They began forming their own clubs in the 1880s and founded the National Association of Colored Women in 1896. Unlike predominantly white suffrage organizations, the NACW called for other reforms to address the economic, educational and social welfare of African American women and children, such as job training programs, fair wages and child care. 9.Millions of women enjoyed the right to vote before the 19th Amendment was ratified. Women had full voting rights in 15 states and the Alaska territory, and limited suffrage, including voting in presidential elections, in another 12 states before 1920. Their influence helped build momentum for the 19th Amendment. 10.In 1913 Alice Paul organized NAWSA's first women's suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. The police failed to provide the suffragists with adequate protection, and spectators attacked the marchers. Paul formed a rival suffrage organization, the National Woman's Party, in 1916. 11.In a speech titled "The Crisis" at NAWSA's 1916 convention, president Carrie Chapman Catt outlined her "Winning Plan" to focus efforts on a federal amendment while encouraging women to work in their states for the level of suffrage that could be achieved. 12.In 1916 Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, became the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Lawmakers greeted her with a standing ovation when she was introduced in the House of Representatives. A committed suffragist, Rankin voted for the 19th Amendment in 1918. 13.In 1917 the National Woman's Party organized protests outside the White House to pressure President Woodrow Wilson to support women's suffrage. For several months, suffragists protested in silence six days a week. Wilson initially tolerated the demonstrations but later became embarrassed by them. 14.Thirty-three suffragists picketing outside the White House on Nov. 10, 1917, were arrested and jailed. They were fed maggot-infested food, beaten and tortured. The suffragists protested with a hunger strike and were brutally force-fed. They were released after the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals declared their arrests unconstitutional. 15.The Republican Party was viewed as more supportive of women's suffrage than Democrats until 1916, when both parties publicly supported state suffrage.

Congress approved the 19th Amendment in 1919 with bipartisan support: 83% percent of Republicans in the House and 82% in the Senate, and 53% of Democrats in the House and 54% in the Senate. Some Democrats from the South opposed voting rights for African American women. 16.Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters on Feb. 14, 1920, at the NAWSA convention. Tennessee became the final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment six months later. 17.Some 500,000 African American women could vote in states where their male counterparts were enfranchised, according to the 1920 U.S. Census. But in the South, African American men and women remained disenfranchised through state-imposed literacy tests, poll taxes and violence. African American women continued the fight for voting rights. In 1920 Mary McLeod Bethune of Florida led voter registration drives while risking racist attacks. Fannie Lou Hamer of Mississippi organized African American voter registration efforts in the South in the early

1960s. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory voting barriers adopted in many Southern states after the Civil War. 18.Some 10 million women voted in 1920, a turnout rate of 36%, compared to 68% for men. Women voter turnout rates have gradually increased and exceeded male turnout rates since 1980, when 61.9% of women voted compared to 61.5% of men. In 2016, 63.3% of women voted compared to 59.3% of men. 19.In January Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, following Nevada, in 2017; and Illinois, in 2018. The ERA was first introduced to Congress in 1923, approved in 1972 and ratified by 35 out of constitutionally required 38 states by 1974. The recent resurgence of women's activism has refocused attention on gender equality issues, including the ERA, which supporters argue is needed to protect women's rights. Although the U.S. House voted in February to remove the original deadline set by Congress and pave the way for its final approval, no action is expected in the Senate this year.

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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

19th Amendment Celebration | June 2020

Local teachers talk 19th Amendment in the classroom By Robert Myers Staff Writer

leading up to the amendment. “We talk about the fact that just like any political topic, now or then, there was definitely not a consensus,” Crocker said. “There were a lot of The 19th Amendment may be people on both sides of the argument, marking its 100th anniversary this both men and women … I think that summer, but in schools around the area and across the country, teachers is an important topic to bring up just because it’s important to conand students celebrate it on annual sider everyone’s viewpoints, even for basis. something as significant as the right According to Dave Jackson, who to vote.” teaches history at Frankfort High Crocker added that it is interestSchool, women’s suffrage is not ing to discuss the role misinformation something that just comes up one has changed and how opinions have or two days of the school year. It is changed over the years. a recurring theme throughout the “If people had accurate informahistory of the United States leading tion, would they have felt that way? up to women receiving the right to There were certainly people who vote in 1920. made the argument that if women “One of the first people we talk were allowed to participate, they about that actually had something would become hysterical,” Crocker to say about it was actually Abigail said. “We talk about a lot of the misAdams,” Jackson said. “When John Adams was going to work on the Dec- conceptions of the time that probably scared people away from thinking it laration of Independence, one of the was a good idea initially.” last things she said to him in a letter As a fun example of the sigbefore that vote was ‘Don’t forget the nificance of the 19th Amendment, ladies.’” Crocker said he has done mock As part of teaching about womelections and polling in the classroom en’s suffrage, Jackson gives students a timeline of 25 events in the nation’s to demonstrate how the added female history and asks them to choose three perspective can impact results. “Those tend to be the most imthat are most significant. pactful activities,” Crocker said. “We end up talking about all 25 Both teachers talk about the great as the kids are looking through them names of the women’s suffrage moveand trying to figure out what was goment, individuals such as Susan B. ing on when,” Jackson said. “We talk Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and about what was or wasn’t important. We have a couple days of real empha- Ida Wells, but there are many other women who bear merit for inclusion sis (on the 19th Amendment), but it Jeannette Rankin was the first women to hold federal office, winning election to serve Montana really is a little bit here and a little bit in those conversations. in the United States House of Representatives in 1916 and again in 1940. (Courtesy photo) One such individual was Jeanthere over the course of a month.” nette Rankin, who was the first The final and perhaps most women to hold federal office, winsignificant event came in the from of ning election to serve Montana in the World War I. United States House of Representa“One of the questions I ask kids tives in 1916 and again in 1940. in class is: ‘Why 1920? What made it “We actually had women who happen at that point?’” Jackson said. were serving in Congress before “What they usually come up with is women had the right to vote,” Jackit had a lot to do with the women in son said. “We talk about her being World War I. They weren’t quite to the level of Rosie the Riveter in World a pathfinder and a pioneer in that whole area, and the kids are always War II, but you had a lot of women who were taking care of family farms, fascinated by her.” Jackson has also spent time and some of them were working in talking to students about other influthe war industries.” Joshua Crocker, who teaches his- ential women of the area, including tory at Benzie Central, said he enjoys individuals with local connections, such as Gwen Frostic and Harriet talking to students about the debate Quimby.

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June 2020 | 19th Amendment Celebration

MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

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Michigan women win the vote By Jane Purkis For the Record Patriot The 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” There are some important dates leading up to this amendment being enacted in Michigan. In 1855 petitions were first submitted to the Michigan legislature to include women’s suffrage. They were again presented at every session for 58 years where the issue was tabled or ignored. The Michigan State Woman Suffrage Association (MSWSA) was formed in 1870 with Mary Lathrop as president. Over the next 47 years, many prominent women came to Michigan to try to influence the legislators and explain to Michigan voters the importance of women suffrage, including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw (originally from Big Rapids,) and Sylvia Pankhurst (daughter of the militant English suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst). In 1881 a woman was allowed to vote in school elections if she paid taxes in that district. 1885 saw the formation of another group advocating for suffrage, the Michigan Equal Suffrage Association (MESA). This group advocated women voting in all municipal elections, which was turned down in 1889. In 1908, Michigan was writing a new constitution. Many groups spoke to include votes for women in the document including: the State Grange, the Maccabees, the Detroit Garment Workers, MSWSA, MESA, the State Women’s Press Association, the Michigan Federation of Labor, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and several women’s clubs. Gov. Fred Warner even attended but in the end it was voted down. In 1912, Gov. Chase Osborn (R) a strong supporter of suffrage, called a special session of the legislature and the bill passed both the House and Senate by a landslide. Now both sides began to lobby voters and the amendment looked like it would become law. But fraud caused by the liquor interests (they were worried women would support prohibition) and probably both political

party heads forced a second election and again the women’s vote lost. “Women likely to be given ballot,” a headline in The State Journal read on March 13, 1917. “Unless something unforeseen happens, a bill giving the women of Michigan the right to vote for presidential elections will be passed by the Michigan legislature, and a constitutional amendment to be submitted at the general election in 1918 for universal suffrage will also be ratified.” It was being adopted in more and more states and suddenly seemed the thing to do. In May, Gov. Sleeper (R) signed the bill with smiling women looking on. Supporters had until November of 1918 to aggressively campaign for the cause. Finally, after nearly three quarters of a century, Michigan women had a victory. Meanwhile, members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, under the leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt and the National Woman’s Party, (the more aggressive organization) under the leadership of Alice Paul had been working since 1878 on the national level for a suffrage amendment. On Jan. 10, 1918, it passed in the U. S. House by one vote and 18 months later on June 4, 1919, passed in the U.S. Senate. So now the real lobbying had to begin. To become an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 36 state legislatures must vote yes. This time Michigan was ready. During a special session on June On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge 10, Michigan became the third state to Colby. (Courtesy photo) officially ratify the 19th Amendment. In a show of overwhelming support, the all-male legislature voted unanimously for its ratification. The national task took 14 months. Within the first three months 17 states were in the “yes” column, then the pace slowed and by the end of 1919 there were only 22. By spring of 1920, the count had finally risen to 35, one more to go, but then came a sting of rejections. So by August it came down to Tennessee which voted for the amendment on Aug. 18. Rep. Harry Burn cast one of the deciding votes at the request of his mother. On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. On Nov. 3, 1920 – election day, about 10 million women went to the polls. Jane Purkis is a local historian and volunteer at the Benzie Area Historical Museum.

We are honored to serve you as elected women of Manistee County Rachel Nelson Manistee County treasurer 231-723-3173 MaryLynn Wrzesinski Manistee County register of DeeDs 231-723-2145

Dr. Anna Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the League of Women Voters, lead an estimated 20,000 supporters in a women's suffrage march on New York's Fifth Ave. in 1915 . (AP Photo)

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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

19th Amendment Celebration | June 2020

Women were hired seasonally and during World War II by the nursery to do the work that had previously been reserved for men. Pictured, Chittenden Nursery staff in 1960 create layers of seedlings on paper and moss to prepare for shipping. (Courtesy photo/U.S. Forest Service's Huron-Manistee National Forest Historic Photograph Collection)

A Chittenden Nursery employee prunes roots of young jack pines May 23, 1954. Women were hired seasonally and during World War II by the nursery to do the work that had previously been reserved for men. (Courtesy photo/U.S. Forest Service's Huron-Manistee National Forest Historic Photograph Collection)

Chittenden Nursery staff roll seedlings covered in moss into bundles for shipping on Oct. 5, 1960. (Courtesy photo/U.S. Forest Service's Huron-Manistee National Forest Historic Photograph Collection)

Former Wellston tree nursery turned to women to staff operations through WWII, beyond By Arielle Breen Staff Writer

This Oct. 10, 1960 photo shows a Chittenden Nursery employee spreading moss over the roots of trees. The moss was used to help the roots maintain moisture in shipping. (Courtesy photo/U.S. Forest Service's Huron-Manistee National Forest Historic Photograph Collection)

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effort between the CCC and the U.S. Forest Service. The nursery had trees like jack pine, red pine, white pine, blue spruce, cedar and black locust. Some of the early leaders of the “The forest service was running sustainable forestry movement were it, the CCC was providing the human women working in Wellston to distrib- power to build the nursery and the ute millions of tree saplings around buildings, to plant the trees to harvest the nation. the trees,” she explained. Amanda Campbell, archaeologist According to a historical compiwith the U.S. Forest Service, said the lation by former U.S. Forest Service former Chittenden Nursery, located at employee, Ken Arbogast, the refor1070 Nursery Road in Wellston, was estation efforts had four purposes: the largest nursery in the Great Lakes stabilization of communities, timber region. production, recreation and watershed The nursery mainly shipped seed- protection. lings throughout Michigan, Indiana, Arbogast’s compiled history shows Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Minnethat Chittenden had the capacity to sota. And even though these states had produce 50 million seedlings per year nurseries, Chittenden was the biggest, and part of that was in an effort to reshe said. plant trees for the Manistee National The nursery was created to help Forest that laid bare. with replanting efforts after areas But then the CCC was impacted by were extensively logged. World War II when men went abroad “In northern Michigan after it to join the war efforts. was heavily logged and timbered Campbell pointed out that the through those early days, it just sort nursery’s stance on hiring women of looked like a wasteland,” Campbell changed through the years after World said. “The west side of the state really War II and other historical events that looked like it was in rough shape. impacted the region and nation. That’s the Manistee side of the Man“What we saw was (that) it was istee National Forest.” essentially female workers (who came She said the Huron side of the into the workforce),” Campbell said. Huron-Manistee National Forest was According to Arbogast’s writing, designated a national forest. “With the onset of WWII and a draft, “The Manistee side was a puran increase in jobs nationwide, and chase, if you will, of land that had decrease in eligible men for the probeen overused, really exposed and it gram, the CCC program was disbandwas sort of barren," Campbell said. ed.” After the Great Depression of The nursery’s 1951 annual report the 1930s spurred the creation of the stated that the nursery struggled to Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) meet its labor needs. work program that centered on “Sufficient labor was available environmental jobs for unemployed during the fall season to meet the men and unmarried men, Chittenden nursery needs, but by spring the army, Nursery was developed. old age and other employment had According to the Forest History reduced the number of men available Society, Chittenden started in 1934. and we were unable to get sufficient Campbell said it then produced men to meet our needs. We were millions of tree seedlings as a joint unable to employ sufficient women


June 2020 | 19th Amendment Celebration

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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

Women were hired seasonally and during World War II by Chittenden Nursery to do the work that had previously been reserved for men. (Courtesy photo/U.S. Forest Service's Huron-Manistee National Forest Historic Photograph Collection)

to meet our needs until late in the season when a few plants employing women closed down for a short period,” reads part of the report. “The prospects for this coming season are not very bright especially as to obtaining sufficient men. It may be necessary to obtain a crew of high school boys and girls to work on Saturdays in order to keep the nursery work on schedule.” It continued to be an issue the next year with “the nursery staff placing women into jobs previously considered jobs more suitable to men.” Archived photos from the time

show a staff of women trimming tree roots and prepping seedlings for shipping by rolling bundles of the young trees swathed in moss to help maintain moisture during transport. The nursery also struggled with other problems such as tree diseases, uncooperative weather and later a decline in demand. Chittenden was in operation until 1973 and closed production due to decreased demand for seedlings. Campbell said some of the originally planted tree stands can still be found today in the Manistee National Forest near Wellston.

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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

19th Amendment Celebration | June 2020

The League of Women Voters (LWV) Manistee County has held events to help young voters register for the first time, which included a viewing of “Iron Jawed Angels," a film about the last 10 years of the suffrage movement prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment. (File photo)

Suffrage movement a lesson for young voters BY DYLAN SAVELA Sports Editor Voting is a right as an American and a rite of passage into adulthood. The League of Women Voters (LWV) Manistee County feels strongly about both accounts, and over the years the group has encouraged young adults, as they reach voting age, to join in on the country’s political process. In that pursuit, from 2017-19 the League has even organized voter registration events at the Vogue Theatre, during which seniors from high schools across Manistee County registered to vote for the first time. "Democracy is not a spectator sport," said Linda Albee of the LWV in a past interview. "If you want to make something happen, you've got to do it. "The League feels engaging young people in the democratic process is very important and probably isn't emphasized enough." The Vogue became the perfect venue for such an event, considering the perfect primer for becoming a voter is an education on the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. A free viewing of “Iron Jawed Angels," a film about the last 10 years of the suffrage movement prior to the

passage of the 19th Amendment, gave first-time voters a sense of how precious that right truly is. "It's a real powerful film," Albee said. "These women put their life on the line to secure the right to vote in this country. ... I think that was quite an eyeopener for the students. "When you engage in the democratic process at a young age, hopefully it'll be a lifelong commitment," she added. "It's almost like a rite of passage: You get your driver's license, you graduate high school, you become a full participant in our democracy by being a voter.” Albee added that casting an informed vote is just as important. "Of course that's our other mission," Albee said. "Not only getting people out to vote, but making sure they are informed at the ballot box.” The League of Women Voters encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League is strictly nonpartisan, neither endorsing candidates nor supporting political parties. Membership is open to men and Young voters register for the first time during a past event held by the League of Women women of all ages. Voters (LWV) Manistee County. (File photo)

Notable women who helped shape history Women continue to blaze trails in the 21st century, influencing world events, politics and businesses near and far. In the United States, more women were elected to Congress in 2018 than in any other point in history. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman to hold a seat in the House of Representatives, and today there are 110 women serving in Congress. And such progress is not exclusive to the United States. The World Economic Forum says 56 of the 146 nations studied have had a female head of government in the past 50 years. Females have also grown in their high-priority roles in the business sec-

tor. In 2017, Fortune magazine reported there were 32 female CEOs leading companies such as General Motors, PepsiCo and Lockheed Martin. Throughout history, many women have made notable impacts in their communities and on society. The following are just a handful of women whose accomplishments are worthy of celebration. • Millicent Farrett Fawcett: This powerful leader campaigned for women's suffrage in 1866 at the tender age of 22, leading the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. Her goal was realized 61 years later. • Marie Sklodowska Curie: This Polish-born scientist founded a new

science of radioactivity, which would have a sizable impact on the treatment of cancer. Curie also was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. • Ruth Law: Despite Orville Wright refusing to teach her to fly, Law learned to be a pilot in the early 20th century. At 28, she beat the cross-country flight record with a 590-mile flight from Chicago to Hornell, N.Y., and later inspired Amelia Earhart. • Ada Lovelace: This gifted mathematician is considered to be the first computer programmer in the early days of computers. • Valentina Tereshkova: In June 1963, cosmonaut Tereshkova became

the first woman in space. Despite a lack of formal flight training, Tereshkova was selected for the space program due to her skills as an amateur parachutist. • Oprah Winfrey: Winfrey's rise from poverty to the status of household name and billionaire mogul is a true rags-to-riches story. • Nancy Pelosi: Congresswoman Pelosi became the first and thus far only female to serve as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She is the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history. These are just a handful of the many influential women who have shaped history.


June 2020 | 19th Amendment Celebration

MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

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What the 19th Amendment means to our readers By Kyle Kotecki Staff Writer The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation,” thereby finally giving women the right to vote. In honor of the 100th anniversary of this landmark in gender equality, we reached out to our readers to ask what the 19th Amendment means them. Below are some responses:

“I think about women who lived over 100 years ago. They had neither great personal power nor the chance to develop their skills and passions. Wealthy women had more opportunities, but not unless their husbands allowed their activities. Adult women had few choices besides marriage and children or a few socially acceptable jobs usually paying much less than those SWENSON of men. Often they were unable to own land or to sign documents, even if they were widowed heads of households. Their minor sons had more legal rights than they. The passage of the 19th Amendment meant that all (well, at least white) women could vote in the U.S. The sacred ballot would represent her values and not those of her husband. Women had the chance to work for more equality in many areas of life. Her choices were eventually greatly expanded. “Four western states actually passed laws granting voting rights long before the national amendment. According to articles I’ve read, Michigan too, considered granting suffrage to women much earlier than 1920. In fact, a state act was passed allowing taxpaying women the right to vote in school elections in the mid-1860s. Here in Manistee, Susan B. Anthony herself spoke to a growing movement to support suffrage in December of 1879! By 1883, our county had 3,000 signatures on a petition to the state legislature to allow municipal voting for women. I am happy to know that Manistee County has had some forward thinkers with regards to women’s rights. I hope that the people of this county will continue to seek equality for all, and I am thankful for the toil and long-suffering of those who paved the way for me to have my say at the ballot box and to be treated as an equal under law.” — Nanci Swenson

"The 19th Amendment means to me that all ELIGIBLE AMERICAN CITIZENS have a voice in our government. The struggle for that voice, for women, was a couple of thousand years in the development. There was progress, in bits and pieces, for women beginning with Abigail Adams’ request to John Adams in 1776 to "remember the ladies: as they drafted the Declaration of Independence. ECKHOUT Over the next 150 years women organized and marched for the right to vote, but by the end of the 1800s, the impact was barely palpable. I think about what passion and renewed personal efforts it took till the amendment was signed in 1920. "I remember the first time I voted! It was a powerful feeling knowing my voting "privilege" would let me "speak" my choice for the best candidate. In the succeeding decades, the powers to manipulate votes became much more malevolently evident. "What does voting still mean to me today — certainly not just a privilege to speak? As most of us know, the voting process is now heavily manipulated. My voting, now more than ever before, is so important as to wipe away my misgivings, any hints of apathy, making me more determined, knowing that my one vote is counted with the others who are determined to be heard and we will be heard, and one by one!" — Debbra Eckhout

“With equality comes responsibility! The 19th Amendment was a good thing because all citizens should have equal opportunity, regardless of gender. “However, what many have ignored is that citizens’ rights come with responsibilities, too! Just because you have a “right” does not mean that you are free to abuse others, just to prove ZARING you have the right to do so. “In tribal country, we are taught to listen respectfully to all of our citizens. We are also taught that when we speak, we should do so thoughtfully and with the good of all our people in mind — not just ourselves. We try to speak and listen with respect to all. “The 19th Amendment to the Constitution has, upon occasion, been weaponized as a means to gain undeserved power over others. Sad. The idea of the 19th was excellent, the execution has not always been good.” — Glenn Zaring

“It is hard to imagine not being able to vote. It seems like such a basic right. Yet 100 years ago women did not have that privilege. It took almost a century of protests, agitation and legal actions by many brave like Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (just to name a few). But after decades of protest The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution finally ROWLEY granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage. The amendment was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. “My paternal grandmother would have been 26 in 1920, her first time to vote. I wonder how she prepared. Did she study the candidates or the issues? Did she and her girlfriends have discussions about politics? Was she really excited to vote for the first time? It is not something I ever considered asking her about. Now I wish I had. “My parents instilled in us that voting is an important part of being a good citizen. It is a cornerstone of our democracy. When I vote, I think of my Grandma and all of the women before me who fought for this right, this privilege, this responsibility. I am grateful for their perseverance.” — Roxanne Rowley

“The 19th Amendment means that I have a voice in my government! It’s a precious right and responsibility, not “given” to women by the male legislators at the time, but the result of a 70-year struggle by brave, dedicated women who wanted to ensure that every citizen, regardless of sex, had the right to vote. There were powerful forces — political, corporate BEHRING and ideological — opposing women’s suffrage. It was a social, cultural and moral debate. The women who launched the effort to achieve the vote were dead by the time it was achieved; the women who secured the final success weren’t born when the struggle began. “The lessons of the women’s suffrage struggle deeply influenced later American social justice and advocacy movements. The organizing methods developed by the suffragists, as well as their use of nonviolent protests and civil disobedience, became a model for civil rights groups that came later. And the original movement led to the formation of the League of Women Voters with its mission of nonpartisan voter education and issue advocacy. Our local Manistee County League is part of the national organization which is still active and “making democracy work” as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.” — Nancy Behring


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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

19th Amendment Celebration | June 2020

Manistee County clerk Elvera Dedricksen is pictured with Lenore Verheek. Dedricksen was one of the longest serving clerks in the history of the county.

Manistee County's first female clerk ushered in a new era for voting By KEN GRABOWSKI Associate Editor Manistee County Clerk Jill Nowak can't help but smile and think "oh how the times have changed" as she looks at a decade's old picture that adorns the wall of her office in the Manistee County Courthouse and Government Center Building. The picture is from 1915 when all the county clerks in Michigan gathered in Lansing for their annual meeting. What sticks out in the photograph is the fact that all the clerks pictured are men, during an era just prior to the passing of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Manistee's Gus Papenguth, who was the county clerk at the time serving the first year in the office, was in the photograph. When Nowak attends the annual meetings now, a glance around the room offers a much different perspective. "Right now out of the 83 counties in Michigan only about a dozen of the clerks are men," said Nowak. One of the main tasks of a county clerks is handling elections. Nowak said the clerk's position has become a job that has been dominated by women in the past several decades both in Manistee and around the state. "It is was always men in the early years and that picture in our office here really shows it," said Nowak. "That picture was given to (former county clerk) Marilyn Kliber, who received it from a vendor one time and she left it here when she retired." Nowak said something most people don't realize is you have to go back 80 years to find a man who served as county clerk — R.E. Foster served from 1933-42. The last four clerks have all be women since 1942. The one who had

the longest tenure during that time was Elvera Dedrickson who served in that capacity for 29 years from 1943 until 1972. However, before the 19th Amendment was adopted, it was a male dominated position. The first clerk in 1867 was Edward C. Lewis who held the position until 1880; he was followed by nine men. The string was finally broken when a young 35-year-old widow with three children by the name of Ada Sandgren tossed her hat into the ring in 1930 against incumbent John Kruse, who had held the position since 1921. It was 10 years since women won the right to vote, and with a strong female group of voters, Sandgren surprised the incumbent at the polls. Manistee County Historical Museum executive director Mark Fedder said the time was just right for the first female clerk. Sandgren's husband Tennys had passed away shortly before she decided to make the run for the office. "In 1921, Ada married Tennys Sandgren and together the couple would go on to have three children," said Fedder. "As such, daily life continued for the Sandgren family until the spring of 1930. In April of that year, Tennys, suffering from a serious illness and was admitted to the hospital at Ann Arbor where he passed away following surgery. He was only 34." That left Ada not knowing what to do to support her children in a time when the Great Depression was settling in on the people of Manistee County and the whole United States. Fedder said an advertisement in the 1930 edition of the Manistee News Advocate announced that Sandgren was about to enter the race. "Months went by and, probably attempting to figure out just how she

A woman passes out leaflets during a mid-day rally comemmorating the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, Aug. 26, 1970, in Chicago, Ill., at the Civic Center. The gathering was sponsored by the National Organization for Women. (AP Photo/Jim Palmer)


June 2020 | 19th Amendment Celebration

MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

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This 1915 picture of the Michigan Association of County Clerks hangs in the Manistee County Clerks Office and was taken just prior to the passing of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. All of the people pictured in this photo are men; today only about 12 clerks from the 83 Michigan counties are men. The number of women in that position which handles voting has grown a great deal over the years.

was going to raise her children, an announcement was made in an advertisement published in the Manistee News Advocate on Oct. 30, 1930 proclaiming Ada’s run on the Democratic ticket for the office of County Clerk," said Fedder. In that advertisement Sandgren spoke out like a true politician of the time stating her reasons for seeking the office. “To the Voters of Manistee County: “Your attention is being called to the election, November 4th by the Democratic Candidate for County Clerk, ADA J. SANDGREN. “I am a taxpayer, am fully qualified to hold the position of County Clerk and am desirous of securing the same, as I am a widow with three children, ages 9, 8, and 6. “Prior to marriage, I taught six years in Manistee County. But being financially unable to complete my education to resume teaching, I seek the above mentioned position, and ask for your support. “Efficient, courteous and reliable service will be given to all if I am elected. “Kindly consider this very carefully and on November 4, graciously cast your vote for “Yours very truly, “Ada J. Sandgren” Fedder said that although most traditionalists at the time weren't giving Sandgren much of a chance of winning and what ensued surprised everyone. "During this particular election, Ada would be going up against the cur-

rent county clerk John D. Kruse, who was running on the Republican ticket and had held the position for 10 years," said Fedder. "From a glance it probably seemed as if Kruse would probably win again, but something surprising happened ... he didn’t." He said a real sign of the times showed in the headline and the story that followed as it was unheard of that a female would be taking over the county clerk position, handling the voting just a mere 11 years after woman were able to vote. "The headline read '10-Year Tenure is Ended by Woman, Mrs. A. Sandgren'," said Fedder. A previous article published in the News Advocate read: “With the exception of county clerk John D. Kruse, whose regime of a decade was abruptly ended by a woman, Ada J. Sandgren, a widow caring for three small children, the entire Republican ticket was elected to office in Manistee County yesterday by a comfortable margin, despite a more or less concerted campaign by the several Democratic candidates. Kruse, who, during his 10-year reign, held the office of vice-president and president of the state clerk’s association, and brought the convention to Manistee four years ago, was defeated by a majority of 721 votes, garnering a total of 2,223 votes in city and county to Ms. Sandgren’s 2,944." Fedder said Sandgren had a short time in the office, but she broke a long standing tradition of men controlling the county clerk's office and paved the way for many more female clerks to

follow. It was the perfect way to show that women had arrived when it came to voting and the election process. "Ada Sandgren served only one term as the county clerk of Manistee. In 1931, she married John L. Anderson, assistant postmaster, and for the next 25 plus years the couple raised their family until John’s passing in 1957," said Fedder. "Throughout the rest of her life, Ada was active in various church and women’s groups throughout Manistee and continued on until reaching the age of 94. On September 24, 1989, Ada Anderson, passed away with the distinction of being the first female county clerk of Manistee." However, what Sandgren left behind was being a trailblazer in the women's movement to vote and set the course for decades to come.

Thirty five-year-old Ada Sandgren, who was a widowed mother of three children, became the first female in Manistee County to be elected county clerk, which handles the duties of elections. Sandgren was elected to the position just 10 years after the 19th Amendment was approved.

Morton Salt

Manistee County Clerks 1867 — 1880: Edward C. Lewis 1881 — 1882: A. 0. Ward 1883 — 1888: J. P. Baxter 1889 — 1890: P. Paulsen 1891 — 1892: Will A. Waite 1893 — 1894: C.D. Stanley 1895 — 1898: Chas Nickum 1899 — 1910: Albert Erickson 1911 — 1914: Walter Quinlen 1915 — 1920: Gus Papenguth 1921 — 1930: John Kruse 1931-32: Ada Sandgren (Ada Anderson) 1933 — 1942: R. E. Foster 1943 — 1972: Elvera Dedrickson also Elvera Hawkins 1973 — 1984: Emily Iverson 1985 —1997: Dorlene Schudlich resigned 9/1/97 1997 — 2011: Marilyn I. Kliber 2012 —present: Jill Nowak

180 Sixth St. Manistee, MI

mortonsalt.com


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MANISTEE NEWS ADVOCATE | BENZIE COUNTY RECORD PATRIOT

19th Amendment Celebration | June 2020

Erin Preston wears period clothing a she stands in front of the rah State Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers recognized the 150th anniversary of Utah granting women the right to vote. A Utah woman, Seraph Young, cast the first ballot under a women's suffrage law days after the 1870 law was passed. Utah was also the second state to extend the right to vote to women after Wyoming.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

In this Aug. 30, 2005 file photo, Elizabeth Eckford, center, removes a veil from a statue of herself as Melba Pattillo Beals, left, Dr. Terrence Roberts, right, and other members of the Little Rock Nine participate on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock. A proposal on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, to erect a memorial to Ohio women who fought for voting rights would add the Statehouse to a small group of state capitols with monuments to actual female figures from U.S. history. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Former Governor of New York Alfred E. Smith, welcomes Carrie Chapman Catt, women's suffrage leader, on her triumphal return from Tennessee, last state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, in New York, Aug. 27, 1920. Miss Catt carries a bouquet of blue and yellow flowers, colors of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association. (AP Photo)

In this Sept. 7, 2019 photo, visitors look at items marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, at the State Capitol in Raleigh, NC. The exhibit titled, "She Changed the World: NC Women Breaking Barriers", will tour other North Carolina locations next year. (AP Photo/Martha Waggoner)

Signs appear over the heads of a crowd of about 1,500 people, as many men as women, who assembled at New York's City Hall Park for a lunch hour rally in support of the women's movement, Aug. 26, 1970. The rally coincided with the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. (AP Photo/ John Rooney)

In this undated photo, made available by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, shows the first version of a women's suffrage bill that went to a committee on insane asylums. The exhibit titled, "She Changed the World: NC Women Breaking Barriers", will tour other North Carolina locations next year. (North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources via AP)

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100th Anniversary 19th Amendment  

100th Anniversary 19th Amendment  

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