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West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail

Zone 5 of 10: Grafton and Kingwood

You are vieweing item 21 of 40 in this tour.

After a visit in 1895 by the National American Woman Suffrage Association, a combination of nine different local clubs came together to form the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association in Grafton, West Virginia. An organization criticized by Carrie Chapman herself would come to be one of the states largest influencers in the passing of the 19th Amendment.


West Virginia Suffrage Association

Newspaper, Font, Publication, Material property

"A State Convention Called for Grafton, on the 25th and 26th Inst." Wheeling Register, November 20, 1895

Newspaper, Font, Publication, Handwriting

Henrietta G. Moore

Forehead, Hair, Cheek, Eyebrow

Mary Garrett Hay

Eyebrow, Jaw, Art, Vintage clothing

Lenna Lowe Yost

Jaw, Flash photography, Monochrome, Monochrome photography

Jessie G. Manley of Fairmont, WV was the first president of the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association

Forehead, Head, Hairstyle, Eyebrow

Wheeling Majority, August 10, 1916

Publication, Font, Paper product, Paper

The Fairmont West Virginian, January 15, 1913

Newspaper, Font, Rectangle, Circle

The Fairmont West Virginian, November 19, 1915

Newspaper, Publication, Font, News

The Wheeling Intelligencer, May 1, 1916

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Material property

The Daily Telegram, November 21, 1916

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Newsprint

The Wheeling Intelligencer, April 3, 1919.

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Material property

The Fairmont West Virginian, March 17, 1920

Publication, Newspaper, Font, Newsprint

The West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association's (WVESA) connection to Grafton, West Virginia is that it was born there on November 29, 1895 out of a conference held in the Taylor County courthouse by the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

The National American Woman Suffrage Association's goal by having this conference was to reach those under-represented areas that supported the women's suffrage movement. The WVESA worked alongside other groups in the state of West Virginia to promote women's suffrage. Most notably the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the state chapter of the General Federation of Women's Club's, and those clubs affiliated with the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs.

Those important women involved in the WVESA were Mary Garrett Hay and Henrietta G. Moore, those ladies responsible for scoping out the Taylor County courthouse as a potential conference space and then calling for the meeting on November 25-26, 1895.[1]

As the WVESA expanded and grew to other parts of the state, Lenna Lowe Yost of Morgantown, WV, already highly prominent in the women's suffrage movement within West Virginia, took on the role as vice president of the organization in 1915-1916 and thus made headquarters in Morgantown. The organization's acting President Cora/Cara Ebert, soon retired due to poor health and the lady in charge of literature for the organization, Dr. Irene Bullard of Charleston, WV, left as well, leaving Ms. Yost to assume responsibility and further cement the organization's headquarters in Morgantown.

Of the important actions the organization took they "supported resolutions protesting discrimination against women applying for civil service jobs."[2] The organization involved itself in community kitchens, Red Cross work, collected books for soldiers with the rise of WWI, wrote to their local senators, and even offered classes to train girls in auto repairing and how to drive ambulances. As WWI progressed many women involved in the WVESA balanced both the war effort and the fight for suffrage.

1.Wikipedia, "West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association," Accessed Dec. 13, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_Equal_Suffrage_Association.

2.West Virginia State Museum, "Chapter Five: We Will Not Cease to Ask for the Ballot," Accessed Dec. 13, 2021, https://wvstatemuseumed.wv.gov/chapter-five.html.

Chapter Four: The 1916 State Referendum, West Virginia State Museum. Accessed November 19th 2021. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage4.html

Mary Garrett Hay, Wikipedia. Accessed November 19th 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Garrett_Hay#/media/File:Mary_Garrett_Hay.jpg.

Henrietta G. Moore A woman of the century (page 526 crop) , Wikisource. Accessed November 19th 2021. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Woman_of_the_Century/Henrietta_G._Moore#/media/File:HENRIETTA_G._MOORE_A_woman_of_the_century_(page_526_crop).jpg.

"Chapter Five: We Will Not Cease to Ask for the Ballot", West Virginia State Museum. Accessed December 13th 2021. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage5.html

"Yost, Jones, and Brown Led Fight for Suffrage in West Virginia, West Virginia Public Broadcasting. September 3rd 2020. Accessed December 13th 2021. https://www.wvpublic.org/radio/2020-09-03/yost-jones-and-brown-led-fight-for-suffrage-in-west-virginia.

Effland, Anne Wallace. THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT IN WEST VIRGINIA, 1867-1920. Morgantown, West Virginia. 1983.

Wiley, Kaitlyn, "West Virginia Women and Their Battle for Suffrage," April 30, 2019.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

West Virginia Archives and History

Wheeling register. [volume], November 20, 1895, Page 5, Image 5. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092518/1895-11-20/ed-1/seq-5/

Public Domain

Public Domain

West Virginia Archives and History

"Jessie Grove Manley 1896." Wikimedia Commons. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jessie_Grove_Manley_1896.jpg.

Wheeling majority. [volume], August 10, 1916, Image 8. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092530/1916-08-10/ed-1/seq-8/#date1=1894&index=0&date2=1921&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&words=Association+Equal+Suffrage+Virginia+West&proxdistance=5&state=West+Virginia&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=West+Virginia+Equal+Suffrage+Association&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

The Fairmont West Virginian., January 15, 1913, Image 1. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092557/1913-01-15/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1894&sort=date&date2=1921&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=8&words=ASSOCIATION+EQUAL+SUFFRAGE+VIRGINIA+WEST&proxdistance=5&state=West+Virginia&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=West+Virginia+Equal+Suffrage+Association&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

The West Virginian. [volume], November 19, 1915, Page PAGE 5, Image 5. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072054/1915-11-19/ed-1/seq-5/#date1=1894&sort=date&date2=1921&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=1&words=Association+Equal+Suffrage+Virginia+West&proxdistance=5&state=West+Virginia&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=West+Virginia+Equal+Suffrage+Association&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=3.

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], May 01, 1916, Page 6, Image 16. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1916-05-01/ed-1/seq-16/#date1=1894&sort=date&date2=1921&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=1&words=Association+Equal+Suffrage+Virginia+West&proxdistance=5&state=West+Virginia&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=West+Virginia+Equal+Suffrage+Association&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=4

The daily telegram. [volume], November 21, 1916, Page PAGE THREE, Image 12. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85059715/1916-11-21/ed-1/seq-12/#date1=1894&sort=date&date2=1921&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=7&words=Association+Equal+Suffrage+Virginia+West&proxdistance=5&state=West+Virginia&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=West+Virginia+Equal+Suffrage+Association&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=6.

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], April 03, 1919, Page 9, Image 9. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1919-04-03/ed-1/seq-9/#date1=1894&sort=date&date2=1921&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=18&words=association+Equal+Suffrage+Virginia+West&proxdistance=5&state=West+Virginia&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=West+Virginia+Equal+Suffrage+Association&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=6

The West Virginian. [volume], March 17, 1920, Page PAGE 4, Image 4. Chronicling America. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072054/1920-03-17/ed-1/seq-4/#date1=1894&sort=date&date2=1921&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=19&words=Association+Equal+Suffrage+Virginia+West&proxdistance=5&state=West+Virginia&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=West+Virginia+Equal+Suffrage+Association&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=6.