The Ohio Statehouse will celebrate Women’s History Month, March 1 to 31, 2014, with tours of the Ladies’ Gallery and a special women’s suffrage movement retrospective presentation at noon March 13 in the Governor Thomas Worthington Center.
Elizabeth Cole Clark from the Harriet Taylor Upton House in Warren will give a talk on the Ohio women’s suffragette movement and Harriet Taylor Upton’s involvement. The Upton House served as the temporary center of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1903 and remained there until 1905 when the headquarters relocated to the Trumbull County Courthouse.
Tours of the Ladies’ Gallery will be offered to Statehouse visitors throughout March. The Ladies’ Gallery pays homage to Ohio’s first six women legislators who paved the way for women in government. The room also honors all women who have served in the Ohio General Assembly.
About the Ladies’ Gallery
After ratification of the 19th to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, women gained the right to vote. Six capable and determined women were elected to the 85th Ohio General Assembly in 1923. Serving in the Ohio House of Representatives were Nettie McKenzie Clapp, Cuyahoga County; Lulu Thomas Gleason, Lucas County; Adelaide Sterling Ott, Mahoning County; and May Martin Van Wye, Hamilton County. Serving in the Ohio Senate were Nettie Bromley Loughead, Hamilton County; and Maude Comstock Waitt, Cuyahoga County.
About Harriet Taylor Upton
Harriet Taylor Upton was born Dec. 17, 1853, in Ravenna, Ohio. At 7 years of age, her family moved to Warren. In 1890, Upton joined the National Women's Suffrage Association. The next year, she began Ohio Women in Convention, a group of women seeking equal societal opportunities, especially the right to vote.
Upton emerged as a leading women’s rights advocate in the early 1890s. In 1894, members of the National Women's Suffrage Association elected Upton treasurer of the organization. It was at Upton's urging that the National Women's Suffrage Association moved its national headquarters to Warren, during this period. Upton also served as president of the “Ohio Womans Suffrage Association” from 1899 to 1908 and from 1911 to 1920.
Upton also was a political player in Ohio. In 1898, she was the first woman elected to the Warren Board of Education. A life-long member of the Republican Party, Upton was the first woman to serve on the Republican National Executive Committee. In 1928, she helped lead the Republican Party's campaign in Ohio by becoming an assistant state campaign manager. Upton also ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 1926.
Upton was a prolific author. Besides writing several children books, she also authored several histories, including “A History of the Western Reserve,” “The Early Presidents,” “Their Wives and Children” and “History of Trumbull County.” Upton died Nov. 2, 1945.