West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail
Work in Progress
Lenna Lowe was born in Basnettville in 1878, married Ellis Yost in 1899, and moved to Morgantown in 1905. Yost campaigned for temperance and the right to vote for women within West Virginia, serving as president of both West Virginia’s Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association. Lenna Lowe Yost was a driving forece behind West Virginia’s ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. In addition, she worked closely with the state’s Republican Party and advocated female education in West Virginia. In both politics and reform, Yost achieved many “firsts” for women at the national and state levels.
This building was constructed in 1919 in the Neoclassical Revival style, which was popular for public buildings in the early 1900s. The idea behind the community center was to create a place that could provide a recreation alternative to saloons and could offer educational programs to alleviate the conditions that drove people to drink. Several notable West Virginians were involved in the temperance and women's suffrage movements, including suffragist Lenna Lowe Yost. An extraordinarily intelligent organizer, Yost dedicated her adult life to pursuing a variety of causes including a successful campaign that led West Virginia to be among the states that ratified the 19th Amendment. In addition to promoting equal political rights for women, she labored on behalf of temperance. Her activist work extended past the borders of the state of West Virginia; she worked in the nation's capital and even served as a delegate in international temperance conventions.