Birthplace for Equal Suffrage for Women in Florida Marker
In the June 19, 1915 city election, Mrs. Zena M. Dreier was the first woman to cast a ballot in Fellsmere, in all of Florida, and south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The town residents took much pride in this unique woman’s right and urged neighboring municipalities to follow the ‘Fellsmere Way’ to equal suffrage. In 1919, a U.S. Constitutional amendment granted suffrage to women.
Backstory and Context
A historical marker in Fellsmere provides the following information: "The population of Fellsmere is of a high type of intelligence, with lofty ideals and wise execution. Progressive in all things, perhaps no better indication of the fact may be given than the unanimous vote of the town granting unrestricted suffrage to women. Fellsmere Tribune, March 8, 1916. At a February 1915 meeting at the Dixie Theater, Fellsmere citizens accepted the articles of incorporation unanimously. The charter included a unique proposal that women be "granted full and equal privilege for suffrage in municipal elections." Local bills seldom received close scrutiny from legislators, and the equal suffrage provision went unnoticed. In signing the act that created the town of Fellsmere, Governor Park Trammell, in effect, gave women the right to vote in its municipal elections. In the June 19, 1915 city election, Mrs. Zena M. Dreier was the first woman to cast a ballot in Fellsmere, in all of Florida, and south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The town residents took much pride in this unique woman's right, and urged neighboring municipalities to follow the "Fellsmere Way" to equal suffrage. In 1919, a U.S. Constitutional amendment granted suffrage to women. But history will note that Fellsmere led the way."
“Birthplace for Equal Suffrage for Women in Florida Historical Marker.” Historical Marker, 3 Jan. 2020, www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=14303.
This is the Historical Marker Database website. This site is an online catalog of historical information viewed through the filter of roadside and other permanent outdoor markers, monuments, and plaques. It contains photographs, inscription transcriptions, marker locations, maps, additional information and commentary, and links to more information. It goes over the history of this specific marker and explains its importance. It gives names of people involved and what they had to go through to get that marker put there.
Webb, Kristina. “This Small Florida City Let Women Vote 5 Years before 19th Amendment.” The Palm Beach Post, The Palm Beach Post, 9 Nov. 2016, www.palmbeachpost.com/news/this-small-florida-city-let-women-vote-years-before-19th-amendment/aELvajCp9v0moNchfWDsfK/.
This is a news article from the Palm Beach Post that touches on the history of this historical marker. It explains the markers importance to the city and how much they care about it. Then it explains the history behind it and why these women were allowed to vote before anyone else. It also goes on to explain how they plan to protect and preserve the marker for years to come.