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West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail

Zone 6 of 10: Parkersburg

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The Parkersburg Equal Suffrage Association and local suffrage supporters held a rally meeting at the Auditorium Theatre on May 1, 1914. This large gathering was part of a national effort to support consideration of the 1914 Bristow-Mondell Federal Woman Suffrage Resolution. Speakers included Representative Hunter H. Moss and Doris Stevens. 


The West Virginia Argus, April 23, 1914

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The Fairmont West Virginian, May 1, 1914

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The Wheeling Intelligencer, May 2, 1914

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Representative Hunter H. Moss, c. 1913

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Doris Stevens

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Governor Henry D. Hatfield was a scheduled speaker, but was unable to attend due to a tragic mine disaster in Eccles.

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Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia, 1916

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In 1914 the United States Congress considered the Bristow-Mondell Federal Woman Suffrage Resolution (the 1914 version of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment that would eventually become the 19th Amendment). This spurred a new uptick in suffrage activism across the nation, including in West Virginia. The Parkersburg Equal Suffrage Association organized during this period with Cara Little Ebert as its president. After the U.S. Senate failed to pass the woman suffrage amendment in March 1914, national suffrage leaders planed for a day of demonstrations on May 2 in support of women’s suffrage.

Of the planned demonstrations in West Virginia, the rally at Parkersburg was possibly the largest. The demonstration was originally planned for May 2, 1914 at the Auditorium Theatre. Cara L. Ebert was to preside as the president of the Parkersburg Equal Suffrage Association with Governor Henry D. Hatfield, U.S. Congressman Hunter H. Moss, Jr., and Doris Stevens as speakers.

The meeting ended up being held on May 1, instead of May 2. Clarabel McNeilan presided over the event instead of Cara L. Ebert and Governor Hatfield could not attend because of a mine explosion disaster in Eccles, WV (Raleigh County). Representative Moss and Doris Stevens of Washington, D.C. did address the crowd of an estimated 1,500 people. 

“Chapter Three: Let the Voters Decide.” Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed February 23, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage3.html.

Effland, Anne Wallace. “The Woman Suffrage Movement in West Virginia, 1867-1920.” M. A. Thesis, West Virginia University, 1983.

The Fairmont West Virginian., May 01, 1914, Page PAGE TWO, Image 2. Chronicling America. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092557/1914-05-01/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1913&index=4&rows=20&words=Parkersburg+suffrage+Suffrage&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=West+Virginia&date2=1917&proxtext=parkersburg+suffrage&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

West Virginia argus. [volume], April 23, 1914, Image 2. Chronicling America. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092245/1914-04-23/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1913&index=16&rows=20&words=Parkersburg+Suffrage&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=West+Virginia&date2=1917&proxtext=parkersburg+suffrage&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], May 02, 1914, Image 1. Chronicling America. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1914-05-02/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1914&sort=relevance&rows=20&words=Moss+Parkersburg&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=5&state=West+Virginia&date2=1914&proxtext=parkersburg+moss&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

West Virginia argus. [volume], April 23, 1914, Image 2. Chronicling America. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092245/1914-04-23/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1913&index=16&rows=20&words=Parkersburg+Suffrage&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=West+Virginia&date2=1917&proxtext=parkersburg+suffrage&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

The Fairmont West Virginian., May 01, 1914, Page PAGE TWO, Image 2. Chronicling America. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092557/1914-05-01/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1913&index=4&rows=20&words=Parkersburg+suffrage+Suffrage&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=West+Virginia&date2=1917&proxtext=parkersburg+suffrage&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], May 02, 1914, Image 1. Chronicling America. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1914-05-02/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1914&sort=relevance&rows=20&words=Moss+Parkersburg&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=5&state=West+Virginia&date2=1914&proxtext=parkersburg+moss&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2.

"Hunter Moss, ca. 1913. West Virginia and Its People by Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell, 1913." Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed February 23, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage11.html.

"Doris Stevens." Wikipedia. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Stevens.

"Dr. H. D. Hatfield, Eckman, McDowell County, W. Va." West Virginia OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/028930.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia. Sanborn Map Company, Feb, 1916. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn09438_006/. Accessed February 24, 2022.