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West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail

Zone 1 of 10: Wheeling

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55 14th Street was the home of George E. and Annie Caldwell Boyd from around 1898 to the end of their lives in 1913 and 1918 respectively. Annie Caldwell Boyd was prominent in the West Virginia women’s suffrage movement, including serving as an officer in the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Movement and as secretary and president of the early Wheeling Political Equality Club. The house was demolished sometime between 1921 and 1951 and the Fort Henry Club building expanded.


Image from the Wheeling Intelligencer, May 1, 1916

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Previous location of 55 14th Street

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Closeup: Postcard of the Fort Henry Club building, n.d. 55 & 57 14th Street are visible next to the club building.

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Postcard of the Fort Henry Club building, n.d. 55 & 57 14th Street are visible next to the club building.

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Wheeling Register, November 29, 1895

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The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, January 6, 1897

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The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. October 29, 1900

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Virginia Free Press, November 2, 1911

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The Wheeling Intelligencer, February 11, 1918

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Fort Henry Club building, c. 1904

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Wheeling City Directory, 1898

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Wheeling City Directory, 1917

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Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia, 1902

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Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia, 1921

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Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia, 1950-1951

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Annie Caldwell was born October 29, 1842 into a prominent Wheeling family. Her father, Alfred Boyd, was mayor of Wheeling and a Virginia State Senator in the years prior to the Civil War. Annie Caldwell married George Edmund Boyd in 1863 and they had three children. George E. Boyd was a lawyer in Wheeling who served as a county and circuit court judge and had his own law practice which his son, George E. Boyd, Jr., also joined. Annie Caldwell Boyd and her daughter Beulah Boyd Ritchie were very active in the early West Virginia suffrage movement.

The women’s suffrage movement in West Virginia began in 1895 when efforts by the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) to kindle interest in the state led to the foundation of a statewide organization and nine local suffrage clubs. On November 14, 1895 the Wheeling Political Equality Club was founded by women meeting in the home of Dr. Harriet B. Jones. Annie Caldwell Boyd was elected as the recording secretary. Just a few weeks later, at the end of November, the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association was founded at a convention at Grafton, WV and Annie Caldwell Boyd was elected as the first corresponding secretary. Boyd then served as president of the Wheeling Club October 1896 to October 1897. Also in 1986, Boyd—along with Jessie G. Manley, Fannie Wheat, Florence Post, and Florence M. Post—attended the NAWSA convention in Washington, D.C.

Annie Caldwell Boyd remained active in the suffrage movement well into her 70s. In 1913, Boyd along with Dr. Harriet B. Jones and Ellen Douglas Hoge marched in the suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. After their experiences at the capitol the three women spoke at a meeting in the Market Auditorium in Wheeling that revitalized the suffrage momentum in the city and led to the reformation of the old club as the Ohio County Equal Suffrage League. She even supported the tactics of the more radical National Woman’s Party, writing to them and donating money in the summer of 1917.

Annie Caldwell Boyd died February 9, 1918 and did not get to see the success of women’s suffrage. George E. and Annie Caldwell Boyd are interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling. 

“Annie B Caldwell Boyd.” Find A Grave. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/44091568/annie-b-boyd.

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

“George Edmund Boyd.” Find A Grave. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/43963947/george-edmund-boyd.

Hoge, Florence. “Miss Florence Hoge Tells of the Forming of Suffrage Organizations in Ohio County: Their Contest for Recognition has been Most Spirited.” Wheeling Intelligencer, May 1, 1916. Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed February 28, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffragewheelinggroup.html.

Wheeling City Directories, 1872-1917. Accessed through Ancestry.com, February 28, 2022.

“Women in the West Virginia Woman Suffrage Movement.” Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed February 28, 2022. http://129.71.204.160/history////exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffragewomen.html.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], May 01, 1916, Page 6, Image 16. Chronicling America. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1916-05-01/ed-1/seq-16/.

Google Maps. Accessed March 7, 2022.

"Fort Henry Club in Wheeling." Ohio County Public Library. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/wheeling-history/3996.

"Fort Henry Club in Wheeling." Ohio County Public Library. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/wheeling-history/3996.

Wheeling register. [volume], November 29, 1895, Page 2, Image 2. Chronicling America. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092518/1895-11-29/ed-1/seq-2/.

The Wheeling daily intelligencer. [volume], January 06, 1897, Page 5, Image 5. Chronicling America. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026844/1897-01-06/ed-1/seq-5/

The Wheeling daily intelligencer. [volume], October 29, 1900, Image 1. Chronicling America. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026844/1900-10-29/ed-1/seq-1/.

Virginia free press., November 02, 1911, Image 6. Chronicling America. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026784/1911-11-02/ed-1/seq-6/.

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], February 11, 1918, Page ELEVEN, Image 11. Chronicling America. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1918-02-11/ed-1/seq-11/.

"Fort Henry Club in Wheeling." Ohio County Public Library. Accessed February 28, 2022. https://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/wheeling-history/3996.

Wheeling, West Virginia, City Directory, 1898. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed February 28, 2022.

Wheeling, West Virginia, City Directory, 1917. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed February 28, 2022.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. Sanborn Map Company, 1902. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn09470_003/. Accessed February 28, 2022.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. Sanborn Map Company, - 1922 Vol. 1, 1921. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn09470_004/. Accessed February 28, 2022.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. Sanborn Map Company, - Jan 1951 Vol. 1, - Dec 1950, 1950. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn09470_006/. Accessed February 28, 2022.