19th at 100: Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Northeast Ohio

Harriet Taylor Upton and Women's Suffrage Associations

Amendments to add woman suffrage to the constitution to Ohio failed multiple times, though suffragists’ persistence was remarkable, getting these introduced in 1888, 1890, and 1891. They saw a small success in 1894, when women were finally allowed to elect school board officials, as well as run for the office. Harriet Taylor Upton became the first woman elected to the Warren Board of Education in 1898, although she is better known for her suffrage organizing in Ohio and her connections to national suffrage organizations. Casement actively recruited Upton to join the suffrage movement, although Upton had ties to the OWSA through her father, elected president of the group in 1884. Like Casement, Upton came from a wealthy and politically connected family; Ezra Taylor was a judge before being appointed to Congress in 1880, and his involvement with the OWSA indicated he had suffragist sympathies.

Upton joined NAWSA in 1890 and rose quickly in the ranks, becoming the treasurer in 1894. Upton enjoyed mentoring from Anthony in the early years of her suffrage work, having met her years earlier in Washington D.C. when she lived there with her father. Upton organized a local organization, the Suffrage Association of Warren, in addition to hosting the headquarters of the NAWSA at her home from 1903 to 1910. Upton also led the OWSA from 1899-1908 and from 1911-1920. Upton loved politics and remained politically active even after the 19th amendment was passed, serving on the Republican National Committee as vice-chairman.


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