19th at 100: Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Northeast Ohio Main MenuIntroductionThe Road to SuffrageThe Struggle at CWRUNotable FiguresAfter SuffrageEinav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a7958Lauren Dostal628641db4e19e9efe2242726f29ce1860e9c6baeIsabel Fedewa20dc403a88a0fde6c4856bc25beccbae49174777Jewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf01Kellyn Toombsef2469033dbca72962b50fe7dea33c71c0a45069Abbey Wellsef2cda5c08d1ad75ae8532e3f202032ddc31cee0
Women's Temperance Protests
12020-04-02T20:42:58+00:00Jewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf0182Women in in Logan, Ohio, singing hymns in front of a barplain2020-04-02T23:37:12+00:00Library of CongressJewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf01
Though growing numbers of Ohio women joined the suffrage movement in the late 19th century, far more joined in the fight against alcohol. In Hillsboro, OH, a group of women left a lecture by Dr. Diocletian Lewis against drunkenness and besieged all the establishments in the town that sold liquor. “Where owners refused [to stop selling alcohol], women invaded their establishments, knelt on their rough-hewn floors in prayer, and sang hymns--often for hours, sometimes for days.”
These protests became widespread throughout Ohio in 1873, leading to the formation of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), formally established in Cleveland in 1874. The organization grew quickly, becoming the largest women’s organization in the world by 1890. Their contribution to women’s suffrage came particularly in municipal suffrage, agitating to give women a voice in changing local liquor laws. National suffrage leaders were at times uneasy about this alliance, seeing it as a division in focus, although the WCTU endorsed women’s suffrage in 1876 as a means to banning alcohol sales and consumption.