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West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail

Zone 1 of 10: Wheeling

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Sisters Florence and Ellen D. Hoge were both West Virginia suffragists. Florence Hoge was a leader in the Wheeling Women’s Municipal League, the Ohio County Equal Suffrage League, and the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association. Later, she was the first Chairman of the West Virginia National Women’s Party. Ellen D. Hoge marched in the 1913 Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C.


Florence Hoge, in the Wheeling Intelligencer, May 1, 1916

Forehead, Face, Cheek, Head

The Wheeling Intelligencer, April 10, 1914

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Monochrome photography

The Wheeling Intelligencer, May 2, 1916

Newspaper, Wheel, Motor vehicle, Tire

The Fairmont West Virginian, February 19, 1917

Font, Rectangle, Newspaper, Number

Florence Hoge was born to William V. and Virginia Hyland Hoge on February 28, 1873. She lived in Wheeling most of her life and never married.

Hoge was active in the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association and Wheeling suffrage organizations. In 1905 Wheeling suffragists organized the Wheeling Women’s Municipal League to advocate for the inclusion of women’s suffrage in the new Wheeling city charter. Florence Hoge was an officer of the League in this first year. Unfortunately for the Wheeling women, the League’s attempts at gaining municipal suffrage were unsuccessful and the movement lost momentum for a few years.

The suffrage movement in Wheeling revitalized in 1913 after three local women marched in the large suffrage parade in Washington D.C. and spoke to a meeting at the Board of Trade room at the Market Auditorium. This revived interest in the suffrage movement and in April 1913, Wheeling’s suffrage organization reorganized as the Ohio County Equal Suffrage League and Florence Hoge was elected as vice president. The following year, Hoge was elected as the organization’s president. She contributed to the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association’s campaign in 1916 to support a state amendment for women’s suffrage. She coordinated a suffrage edition of The Wheeling Intelligencer full of articles from suffrage leaders and politicians in support of the amendment and sold copies of the newspaper out of cars to increase support in Wheeling. 

After the failure of the 1916 campaign, Florence Hoge began moving away from the more moderate or conservative approach of the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association. She still did serve on an advisory council for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, but she started to move her support towards the more radical approach of the National Women’s Party. She broke with the rest of her WVESA and NAWSA colleagues and supported the women picketing outside of the White House in 1917. In October 1917 Hoge resigned from the Ohio County Equal Suffrage League and became the first Chairman of the West Virginia National Women’s Party. Despite aligning with the more radical National Women’s Party, when the 19th Amendment went to the states for ratification, Hoge re-joined her WVESA colleagues as part of the Advisory Board to the State Ratification Committee headed by Lenna Yost.

Florence Hoge died March 24, 1951 in Clearwater, Florida and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling.

Although not as much in the spotlight as Florence, her younger sister Ellen Douglas Hoge was also a suffragist. Ellen Hoge lived in Wheeling most of her life and also did not marry. In 1913, Ellen D. Hoge was one of the three Wheeling women that marched in the Washington D.C. suffrage parade that then inspired the reorganization of the Ohio County Equal Suffrage League. Ellen Hoge was one of about twenty West Virginia women representing the state in the parade and she carried the WV banner along with Mrs. P. C. McBee of Fairmont. In 1914, Ellen Hoge donated five dollars and wrote in support to the Congressional Union working to support the Bristow-Mondell Federal Woman Suffrage Resolution (the early version of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, or what would become the 19th Amendment). Ellen Hodge was born December 17, 1874 and died on January 10, 1965. She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling with an identical headstone to Florence’s.

The Hoge Family Home

By 1907 the Wheeling City Directory listed William V. Hoge and his family living in Edgewood. For many years in the city directories and census records the house did not have a street number, but was just listed as N End Elm or Elm, Edgewood. When William V. Hoge died in 1919, his son William V. Hoge, Jr continued to live in the house. By the 1930s the city directories began to specify that the home was on Damian Street or at the corner of Elm and Damian. The 1940 census reflects the new street name of Springhaven Road, but the Hoge home still is unnumbered. The 1950 census finally shows a street number for the house, 27 Springhaven Road.

After her father’s death in 1919, Florence Hoge lived nearby at 19 Hamilton Ave with her maiden and elderly aunt, Eliza Hoge. She lived there at least until 1932 and Eliza Hoge died in 1933. In the 1940s both Florence and Ellen D. Hoge were living in Clearwater, Florida. In 1950 Ellen D. Hoge had moved back to Wheeling and was living with her brother at the family home, while Florence remained in Clearwater where she died in 1951.

1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950 U.S. Census. Accessed through Ancestry.com.

"Action Soon on Suffrage." The West Virginian. [Fairmont, West Virginia.], January, 31, 1920, p. 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072054/1920-01-31/ed-1/seq-4/.

“Chapter 5: ‘We will not cease to ask for the ballot.’” Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed June 24, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage5.html.

Clearwater City Directory, 1939-1950. Accessed through Ancestry.com.

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

“Ellen Douglas Hoge.” Find A Grave. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/57480404/ellen-douglas-hoge.

“Eliza Machir Hoge.” Find A Grave. Accessed June 27, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/57373562/eliza-machir-hoge.

“Florence Hoge.” Find A Grave. Accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/57477597/florence-hoge.

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 June 24, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffragewheelinggroup.html.

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 June 24, 2022.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. Sanborn Map Company, - Jan 1951 Vol. 2, 1922 - Jan 1951, 1951. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn09470_007/. Accessed June 24, 2022.

“The Woman Suffrage Parage: A Description of the Procession and Incidents Connected with it are Recited Below.” The Fairmont West Virginian, March 10, 1913. Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed June 24, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrageparadewvirginian1913.html.

Wemlinger, Elizabeth. “Biography of Florence Hoge. 1873-1951.” Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920. Accessed June 23, 2022. https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1010922455.

“William Vance Hoge.” Find A Grave. Accessed June 27, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/57371286/william-vance-hoge.

Wheeling City Directory, 1900-1934. Accessed through Ancestry.com.

“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 June 23, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffragewomen.html.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

"Florence Hoge, Wheeling Intelligencer, May 1, 1916." Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia History and Archives Online Exhibit. Accessed June 24, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage47.html.

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], April 10, 1914, Page 3, Image 3. Chronicling America. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1914-04-10/ed-1/seq-3/.

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], May 02, 1916, Image 1. Chronicling America. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1916-05-02/ed-1/seq-1/.

The West Virginian. [volume], February 19, 1917, Page PAGE 3, Image 3. Chronicling America. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072054/1917-02-19/ed-1/seq-3.