Window On Your Past

1913 Female Voter Registration Analysis

These files are just a beginning to opening a window on the women of Pima County who were actively involved in claiming their rights as American citizens.  Any errors are the author’s and emphasize the need for more documentation.


To celebrate Arizona’s Centennial I transcribed the 1913 Pima County Registry to create  two data bases—alphabetical and chronological—to assist interested researchers on the topic.  The search began for the 589 suffragists willing to take this courageous step which entered them into the public record.  My two year journey through the archives has uncovered a wonderful cache of stories of these women who still need to be pursued individually.

Step one for the original data base was to find the registrant’s spouse using City Directories and Censuses, for many women had no official record in their own names.

Step two was to find their maiden names, date and location of birth and date and location of death.  The Internet (Find a Grave, Western States Marriage Index, Ancestry) and the Arizona Historical Society archives helped fill in more back ground.  Some are still a mystery.

Step three was to determine relationships that encouraged these bold women to take action.  Not every person is a leader nor a radical, but personal experiences, networks and support groups can bring about change.  The large number of registrants required narrowing the search to find individuals in particular family groups and organizations.  Newspapers, obituaries and records of local organizations are full of information, but are very time consuming to pursue unless one is very focused on particular individuals.  My particular focus began with Clara Fish Roberts because her mother Maria Wakefield Fish arrived in Tucson as the first public school teacher hired in 1873 and Clara would become a change agent in the second generation of Tucson women. I was delighted to find Clara was the first Pima County woman to register to vote on 17 March 1913.  I portray her character to tell the community about Tucson women 1860-1920.

It is my hope the data base has established clues to help both family genealogy and academic research to find the average—and not so average— women of Pima County to inspire the current generation to become active participants in our democracy.

The 1913 voter registration list gives a picture of the hardworking Arizona women who knew the value of their hard won right to exercise the elective franchise on an equal par with Arizona men.  It is a vibrant story of the era as we uncover where they came from, where they lived in 1913, and where they moved on to.  The economic and social pressures of the times are in evidence.  Consider widowed milliner Mary Brink Boggs who was born in 1847 in New York where the first Woman’s Rights Convention was called in Seneca Falls.  At age 60 her life had helped her decide to register to vote along with her daughter Nydia Boggs.  The rest of their story remains to be discovered and confirmed.

This data base creates a snapshot of the first three generations of Tucson women— how they shaped their community after the Gadsden Purchase established Tucson as part of the United States in 1854, the arrival of the railroad in 1880, the creation of the University of Arizona in 1885, and a half century later as supposedly equal citizens in our democracy.  The task is a work in progress and new and corrected information is greatly appreciated.  Contact




1895               Frances Jane Pilling Warren, first Arizona woman to stand for public office as Tucson Superintendent of Schools

1917               Clara Fish Roberts, first woman elected to Tucson School Board

1928-30          Callie Berkley Vinson, first woman elected to a major city position as Tucson city treasurer

Visit University of Arizona Women’s Plaza of Honor and Vinson’s obituary (18 July 1957 Tucson Daily Citizen) for more information.



Immigrants: 63 out of 589 or c. 10.7%

Great Britain 23 (9 England, 6 Ireland, 5 Scotland, 3 Wales)

Germany 13

Canada 13

Mexico 6

France 3

Switzerland 2

Russia 1

Norway 1

Sweden 1

United States:

The birthplaces of the greatest number indicate a family migration pattern across the world and the country.  The regional breakdown also indicates the economic and social influences on migration.

California 51                                    Midwest  147

Arizona 43 (c.13.45% of total)        West (including CA)  66

Illinois 45                                         East  52

Ohio 30                                            Central  49

Missouri 29                                      South (including KY and TN)  48

Texas 29                                         Southwest (AZ and NM)  46

New England  14



(no birthdate clues have yet been found for 8 women who reported themselves as  “over 21”)

Range 1831-1892 spans roughly three generations of Tucson women.

The mean birth year is 1875.  I portray Clara Fish Roberts, age 35 and born in 1876, our nation’s centennial year, to represent Tucson suffragists.

Women alive after 1848 were surely influenced by the local Woman’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY (not widely reported) and the National Woman’s Rights Conventions beginning in 1850 in Worcester, MA (widely reported).  Clara Fish Roberts’ mother Maria Wakefield Fish certainly influenced her daughter since she was born in New York in 1845.  Registrants of 1913 like Mary Brink Boggs, Elizabeth A. Ward Rockwell (b. 1841 NY), Alice E. Peaselee (b. 1849 NY) and Hannah Frye DeLong (b. 1850 MA) probably were aware of the earlier struggles for equality. The first Tucson library over the city hall carried news of the day concerning women’s issues and the Woman’s Club evolved from the Reading Club in 1900.

The largest age group represented in the 1913 Pima County Register was women in their thirties, many of whom went on to improve their community.  By decades:

Over 80     1

Over 70     6

Over 60    40

Over 50    81

Over 40  150

Over 30  176

Over 21  145



98 SINGLE (13 unconfirmed)

424 MARRIED (with living spouses)

59 WIDOWED due to Apache attacks, war, accidents, sickness, old age (14 unconfirmed)

5 DIVORCED (2 unconfirmed)




At the turn of the century Mexican Americans still made up over half of the Tucson population (54.7%), but as the population nearly tripled over the next twenty years the Hispanic population became the minority at 37%. (Sheridan, 184)   Mexican Americans currently are about 36% of Tucson’s population.  Analysis of the 589 women who registered in 1913 shows over 3% were of Hispanic heritage.

Approximately 1% of the suffragists registered throughout the period the General Register was first opened in 1913 were labeled first generation Mexican American citizens born in Mexico:   Lupe [Guadalupe] C. Righetti Blanc, Sylvester [Sylvestre or Silvestre] Elias Salazar Gould, Rose [Rosaria] Ojeda Hilzinger, Atanacia Santa Cruz Hughes, Carolina Rivers [Cornelia A. Rivera] Ide, and Clotile Peyron.

All Mexicans living in the Gadsden Purchase could become American citizens when the area became a U. S. territory (1854).  Through the efforts of Mexican-American businessmen and politicians, Tucson became a commercial center of the Southwest.  Los Tucsonenses and their wives also had an interest in a good educational system so their children would achieve in America.  Hispanics with Anglo spouses or fathers and newly naturalized Mexican  Americans due to their location in Gadsden Purchase or those arriving by economic choice knew the importance of the elective franchise.

To find the second generation Hispanic suffragists actually born in the U.S. and naturalized by their fathers, one must use their names to identify them since only those born in Mexico are noted in the 1913 register.  While heritage data was not collected for every registrant, some who had Hispanic sounding names were investigated like Mary C. Ramirez Moss, whose mother was Mexican and father was Irish per 1900 Tucson Census.  Mary Agnes Shibell Brown has a name without any obvious clues to her Mexican mother Mercedes Sais Quiroz who is historically known as the eleven year old captured by Apaches in 1860 with Larcena Pennington Page in the Madera Canyon area.  According to U.S. Census records Natalie Dalton and her sister Hortense Dalton Ronstadt, Louise [Luisa] H. Smith Field, Gertrude Marquez Tellez Hallman, Erminia Blanca Roca Montoya Heney and Julia C. Keen had Mexican mothers.  Both parents of Juana Martinez Merino, Refugia Martinez Newland and Petra Soto were Mexican.

A three generation example of Hispanic heritage suffragists would be the Sam Hughes family: Atanacia Santa Cruz Hughes, daughters Mary Hughes Dietrich and Lizzie Hughes Corbett and granddaughter Guilie Corbett Caperton.

The second generation Hispanic suffragists made up approximately 1.9% of those who registered, but additional research is needed.

Under the Spanish legal system Mexican women enjoyed more legal rights than their American sisters before annexation to the U.S., among them community property, custody issues, and the ability to sign contracts. (Rothschild l5)   The majority of states gave men near absolute dominion over house and home.  Women could not sue or be sued, could not be given custody of minor children, could not will or inherit property, nor could they even own property or enter into contracts.

Slowly frontier Arizona women gained their suffrage in area’s deemed “woman’s sphere”.

  • 1866 the territorial legislature passed a comprehensive married women’s property act.
  • 1872 school suffrage was allowed almost from the establishment of the Arizona territorial school law for mothers of school age children or property owners.
  • 1883 the 12th territorial legislature enacted a bill allowing women to vote in school board elections.
  • 1897 the territorial legislature approved and governor signed a bill allowing female tax payers to vote, but the territorial Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. (de Haan 378)

Prior to the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880, many prominent Anglo pioneers (and arriving immigrants) married Mexican wives.  Sam Hughes is a good example.   Because of the scarcity of Anglo women in the 1860s and 70s, the Anglo women did not stay single for long.  Mmes. Maria Wakefield Fish, Larcena Pennington Scott and Harriet Bolton Wasson are good examples.

Important Mexican-American kinship links helped build Tucson. In the first decade of the 20th century 135 Anglo males married Hispanic females and 64 Hispanic males married Anglo females, according to the Mexican Heritage Project of Arizona Heritage Center. (Sheridan 149)

The Tucson Equal Suffrage Club or Pima County Equal Suffrage League planned to engage Mexican American women in the suffrage efforts and suffrage materials were published by National American Woman’s Suffrage Association in Spanish.  Since Dr. Rose Goodrich Boido’s husband headed La Liga Protector Latina, she probably tried to encourage La Liga to rally to the suffrage cause. Meetings were held in homes since Hispanic women tended to join auxiliaries of their husband’s organizations like La Liga, Alianza Hispano-Americana or the Catholic church organizations such as La Junta, rather than form their own organizations.  Trinidad Lopez [m. Gentry or Obregon?], Dolores Gallardo [Pedro?] and Belen B. Garcia [Ernest?] were La Liga officers. (Osslear 68)   Other community leaders were Mrs. Ines Garcia Oury [William] and Mrs. Juan Fernandez organized the Academy for Young Ladies in 1870 with the help of the Sisters of St. Joseph. (Sheridan 47)

Why wasn’t the Hispanic turnout larger?

Many Mexican immigrants who had moved to Pima County to escape political and economic turmoil kept waiting for conditions to improve so they could return to their country of birth.  They had little or no interest in American citizenship.

The newly approved Arizona state constitution a major hurdle for many women of Hispanic heritage could not pass the English reading requirement.  While many husbands spoke English while earning their livelihood, their wives usually existed within their cultural circle as evidenced in the 1910 Census Column #17— “Language if unable to speak English”.

Lastly, others were not available to register for economic and family reasons even though the polls were open on Saturdays.



DeHaan, Amy. “Arizona Women argue for the vote.” Journal of Arizona History (p. 375-394), 2004.  Arizona Historical Society. Tucson, Arizona.

Osselaer, Heidi.  “Winning Their Place: Arizona Women in Politics, 1883-1950.”  University of Arizona Press, 1 September 2011.

Rothschild, Mary Aickin. “A History of Arizona Women’s Politics.” Women and the Arizona Political Process. Maryland: University Press of America, Inc., 1988.

Sheridan, Thomas E. Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941. University of Arizona Press, 1992.




African American males were allowed to vote after passage of the 15th U.S. Constitutional Amendment in 1870, but like all laws females were omitted.  Statehood imposed language restrictions, segregated schools and denied women the right of full citizenship.  When Arizona women were allowed total suffrage by a referendum November 1912 and the registration books opened the following March, there were only seven known women of color out of 589 Pima County women registered – about 1.2%.  Two were not registered as colored, but were identified as colored or mulatto in the U. S. Census.

Based on their registration dates, housemates Rosa Cote, a housewife, and 31 year old Bertie E. Simms, a domestic, boldly stood in line together to break “the color line” on Saturday, April 26.  Perhaps they shared the experience of their independent decision at church the following day.  Bertha and her parents were born in Texas and her husband Bernet was born about 1869 in Louisiana where his French parents had lived.  The couple married about 1902. (1910 Tucson Census)  Did they attend church and had they joined the African American Masonic organizations? Had suffrage also been a topic of discussion with their spouses, employers, neighbors and friends?

Bertie’s husband is believed to be B. P. Simms, a cook at the Old Pueblo Club at 538 N. Stone Avenue (1910-11 City Directory) where his colleague Harry Tidrington was the head porter (1913-4 City Directory).  The Old Pueblo Club had been a bachelors’ club for several years before 1907 when it incorporated as a social club for business and professional men in Tucson with sixty-nine charter members, including community leaders like Albert Steinfeld, Monte Mansfeld, Fred Fleishman, Fred Ronstadt and W. J. Corbett. (AHS MS 624)  Perhaps Harry’s wife Emma Tidringron and Bertie heard about the opportunity for women to register via the men her husband served.

The previous year Emma Tidrington’s spouse had been a night watchman at Steinfeld’s (1912 City Directory) which also may have widened the couple’s community awareness.  He and his father were born in Tennessee while his mother had been born in Kentucky. Emma and her parents were all born in Kentucky.  Their daughter Lucile was born in 1915 in Arizona. (1930 Los Angeles Census)  Hurley L. Tidrington died in 1935 in Los Angeles. (CA Death Index)  What church did they attend?

Thirty-six year old Emma was about the fiftieth person to register on Wednesday, April 30—the very last day of registration.  Forty-one year old from Texas Hattie L. Bolton, a widowed caterer, was about 25 people ahead of her.  Thirty-two year old from Texas Lyda Carson, who did washing and cooking (a maid in 1913 City Directory), was about fifteen people after Emma in line.  Hattie was the widow of J. W. Bolton (1913 City Directory) who had passed away in 1902 and lived with her son C. W. Bolton (1913 City Directory supported by son “Chrenskey  Bolten” in 1900 Phoenix Census).  John was a barber who became the first African American mail carrier in Phoenix and is buried in that city. (

Housewives Mayme Jones and Lillie Washington, who were in their mid-thirties, registered just before the last ten people as the registrar’s office closed the books until 1914.  They were both members of the Prince Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Congregation.  Mayme’s husband Jacob “Jake” Jones was a Pullman porter on the Southern Pacific and Lilly’s husband, M. Washington, was an employee of Merchants’ Café and Lunch Counter at the corner of 5th Avenue and 10th Street. (1912 City Directory)   Jacob Jones’ obituary (AZ Daily Star 16 April 1935) states he came to Tucson in 1905 and served as a steward and trustee of the AME Church.  From 1913-1931 he was an employee of Judge William H. Sawtelle’s court.  He also was a charter member of the West Temple Masonic Lodge #425 and a charter patron of the Beautiful star Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star #133. These colored organizations certainly networked and were bound by the Masonic mission with the white Masonic lodges and O.E.S. chapters to which many of the Anglo suffragists and their spouses belonged.

Lillie is believed to be the spouse of Rev. M. M. Washington who completed the building of the new AME Church.  A Mrs. L. J. Washington is listed as the secretary of the Prince Chapel Congress in 1930. (AZ Daily Star 23 May 1930)  This could be Lillie, or Lewis and Lorraine Washington. (1940 Tucson Census)

In 1900 the Black population of Tucson numbered 86 and two churches were organized: Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church (1910; originally the Baptist Mission in 1900) and the AME Church (1905). (Lawson)  In 1909, AME property was purchased at the corner of 17th and Convent where the first church was built, under the pastorate of Reverend Hughes. The cornerstone was laid by Masonic Alpha Lodge [#17] in 1910 and completed in 1912. (Prince Chapel History)

At this time no members of the Mt. Cavalry congregation which met then at N. 7th Avenue and E. 7th Street have been identified to connect to the 1913 suffragists.

In the General Register each woman gave her age, occupation, address, height and weight.  The original research tried to find the names of spouses since usually little historic information can be found for women in their own name.  The existing information in the data base needs to be supported by more evidence.

The following research information has been updated since the data posted on the website:

Hattie L. Bolton         4/30/1913        #2979              over 21            [caterer]; 410 N. Granada; 68” and 156#; colored –

“Hattie S. Bolten” [cursive L is easily confused with S], b. Sep 1872 TX, parents both born in GA (perhaps freed slaves), m. 1893 to John W. Bolten, b. Mar 1867 TN where both parents were also born, lives with son Chrenskey Bolten b. May 1893 AZ 1900 Phoenix Census; widow of  J[ohn] W. Bolton, lives with C. W. Bolton 1913 Tucson City Directory; spouse 1866-1902; spouse was a barber who became the first African-American mail carrier in Phoenix, grave at 1317 W. Jefferson Street in the “Rosedale Cemetery” section of Phoenix’s historic Pioneer & Military Memorial Park; Not in AZ Historical Society Clipping Notebooks nor any other 1910-1920 Tucson City Directories; more research is needed about Hattie L. Bolton.

Lyda Carson              4/30/1913        #304832          32        washing & cooking [domestic]; 219 S. 5th Ave.; 65” and152#; colored–

“Lidia” b. Mar 1883 TX, daughter of Frank and Kittie Carson 1900 Gonzales, TX Census; 1910 San Antonio, TX Census; listed as  a maid at 129 S. 5th Ave. [house number was possibly transposed] in 1913 Tucson  City  Directory; housekeeper for widowed William A . Dixon, who is also black, 1920 San Diego Census (suggesting she may have died there); more research is needed about Lyda Carson.


Rosa Cote                  4/26/1913        #2827              over 21            housewife; 302 E. 6th St.; 64” and 160#; colored–

Lives at same address as Bertie Simms and registered together; may be spouse or mother of Luis Cote who is a laborer at different address 1913 Tucson City Directory; a Eugenio and Rosa P. Cote who are not listed as colored 1910 Silverbell AZ Census; more research is needed about Rosa Cote.


Mayme Jones            4/30/1913        #3111              over 21            housewife; 4 mi. E Broadway, 65” and132#; race not noted on registration—

Spouse Jacob Jones (1870-1935) buried in Evergreen Cemetery but not his wife “Maymie”; Jake Jones, Pullman porter, Southern Pacific Co., h. 2 ½ mi. east Tucson 1912 & 1917 Tucson City Directories; RACE NOTED as (c), h. 104 E. 5th Street, spouse janitor US District Court 1920 CD;  “Mammie” NEGRO b. 1978 TX with father born in WV and mother TX, m. Jacob A. Jones, janitor, NEGRO b. 1874 TX with parents both born in TX 1920 Tucson Census; they probably married in TX; still at 104 E. 5th St. with spouse caretaker at Federal Building 1930 CD; raising grandson Wesley Allen Blakely, b. 1922 AZ 1930 Census; “Prince Chapel Plans Congress“  reports J.A.C. Jones head of finance and arrangements committee Arizona Daily Star 23 May 1930; “Jones, pioneer Tucson Negro, dead” b. 1871 TX, arrived in Tucson 1905, home North 1st Ave. and Rogers Rd., he was an employee in court of Judge William H. Sawtell 1915-1931, he was a steward and trustee of AME Church, he was a charter member West Temple Masonic Lodge   [# 425] and a charter patron Beautiful Star Chapter Order of Easter Star [#133] (so perhaps his wife belonged to OES) ADS 16 Apr 1935; widow, h. Walker Gardner 1936 CD; both grandparents may have passed away by 1940 since granson Wesley is being raised by uncle William M. Blakely 1940C; grandson d. 1983 San Diego, CA Death Index; more research is needed about Mayme Jones.


Bertie Simms             4/26/1913        #2826              over 21            domestic; 302 E. 6th St.; 67” and 127#; colored—

Living at same address as Rosa Cote who registered with her; “Berta Simms”, domestic, h. 810 E. 4th Street, with B. P. Simms, cook Old Pueblo Club 538 N. Stone Ave. 1910-11Tucson City Directory; “Bertha Sirus” (looks like Sims in cursive) MULATTO, b. 1882 TX with both parents born in TX, spouse Bernet Sims MULATTO, b. 1869 Louisiana, both parents are French, m. 1902 1910 Tucson Census; Mrs. “Berta” Simms, domestic, h. 302 E. 6th St. 1913 CD; h. 78 Grossetta Ave. 1914 CD; more research is needed about Bertie Simms.


Emma B. Tidrington             4/30/1913        #3014              over 21            housewife; 5 mi. E. Speedway; 64” and 152#; race not noted on registration—

Harry Tidrington night watchman at Steinfeld’s, h. ranch 1912 Tucson City Directory; spouse head porter Old Pueblo Club, 149 Kennedy St. 1913 CD ;”Harry L.” h. 1 ½ mi. north of city 1914 CD; h. 515  N. 4th Ave. 1917 CD; “Hurly L.”, race noted with (c), at AZ Bank & trust, h. 531 N. 4th Ave 1920 CD; b. 1877 KY, NEGRO, both parents born in KY, spouse b.1878 TN with father born TN and mother b. KY, m. about 1913 per daughter Lucile A. birth 1915 AZ 1920 Tucson Census; spouse “Hurley Lee” Tidrington WWI Draft Registration in Tucson; spouse “Harley” b. 1884 NEGRO 1930 Los Angeles, CA Census; spouse d. 1936 Los Angeles CA Death Index; widow b. 1881 KY has two African American lodgers 1940 Los Angeles, CA Census (suggesting she probably died there); more research is needed about Emma B. Tidrington.


Lillie Washington      4/30/1913        #3112              36        housewife; 629 S. 6th Ave.; 66“and 160 #; colored—

Member of Prince Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Congregation; M. Washington, wife ”Lilly”, employee of Merchants’ Café and Lunch Counter, John Latz, prop., at the corner of 5th Avenue and 10th Street, h. 297 N. Court St. 1912 Tucson City Directory; a Rev. M. M. Washington completed the building of the new AME Church Lawson; a Mrs. L. J. Washington is listed as the secretary of the Prince Chapel Congress in 1930. “Prince Chapel Plans Congress,“ Arizona Daily Star 23 May 1930; (perhaps Lillie or L. J. may be Lewis and Lorraine Washington 1940 Tucson Census);

Other possible relationships: George Washington, h. 1115 E. 6th St. 1910-11 Tucson City Directory; maybe b. June1869 TX, spouse John [A.] Washington 1900 Galveston, TX  Census; a black George (b. 1853 AL) and Annie Washington in 1910 Tucson Census; not in 1913-14 City Directories, but at 810 N. Perry 1941 CD; an Arthur L. Washington, Pvt. 1 CL, 25th Inf. buried 1924 at Evergreen Cemetery findagrave; more  research is needed about Lillie Washington.


The ties between women’s rights and the abolition of slavery began a century before by strong minded women like Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Abby Kelley Foster and Lucy Stone.  Following the Civil War and passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments which omitted gender equality, the woman suffrage associations split into two different groups over whether it was the “Negro’s hour” or not until uniting their efforts in 1890.  In 1912 Anna Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, wrote to “The Crisis” regarding the organization’s position on the “color line’.

“…Our association does not recognize either Negro blood or white blood; what we stand for is the demand for equal political rights for women with men, and we know no distinction of race. Our whole contention is for justice to women, white and colored, and I do not think it will be possible ever to change the platform of the National Association in this respect.” (DuBois 76-77)

  • Were there other colored organizations in Tucson?
  • Did any of these women continue to motivate their community or families to become equal voices in our democracy?



Arizona Historical Society & Archives Library, Tucson.  Ephemera File: Places-Arizona-Tucson-Churches-AME Church. Visit ONLINE CATALOG

City Directories (CD).

DuBois, W. E. B. “The Suffering Suffragettes.The Crisis Vol. 4 (June 1912). (2012).

Lawson, Harry, ed.  “African American Churches in Tucson.” Tucson: Arizona Historical Society and African American History Internship Project, 1990.

Prince Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  (10/2014).

Prince Hall Masonry.  (10/2014).   African American Masons formed 29 Nov 1899 in Tucson, AZ Territory.  West Temple Lodge #425 remained under TX jurisdiction rather than join Prince Hall Grand Lodge in AZ in 1920.

U.S. Census Records (C).

Yancy, James Walter. The Negro of Tucson, Past and Present.  Chapter 2 “Negroes of Tucson, Arizona, Before 1900: Historical Development” at “In the Steps of Esteban.” (2011).



Pima County, Arizona has a unique blend of cultures.  Anglos and Mexicans of both genders helped the transition from territory to statehood after the United States secured the Gadsden Purchase (1853) and became a territory the following year.  “These cultural groups co-existed peacefully and co-operatively with the Tohono O’odham (Papago) against a common foe, the Apaches, whose hostilities against all three groups would not end until 1886 with the surrender of Geronimo.”  (Soltys) 

Although the indigenous population lived in the same area with Mexicans and Anglos, more research is needed regarding the history of the female Tohono O’odham leaders.  One unique story to explore is that of Maria Chona (c. 1858-1936) who moved to Tucson to work as a domestic for white families.  The first woman elected to the traditionally all male Papago Tribal Council in the later 1950s was Molly Saraficio Garcia (1910-1990).  Three of the 1913 registrants taught at the Indian Training School, known as The Escuela: Ethel Byerly, Minnie E. Parker and Elizabeth T. Wolfe (who dedicated her life’s work on the Papago Reservation from 1907-1944).  Their mission was to Americanize the native children, but the natives of Pima County did not gain the elective franchise until 1948 long after Natives were given citizenship in 1924.


Ferguson, Daniel. “The Escuela Experience: The Tucson Indian School in Perspective”, 1997 thesis.  (2012).

Garcia, Molly Saraficio. Women’s Plaza, University of Arizona. (2014).

Keene, Ann T. American National Biography Online. “Maria Chona”.   (Feb. 2000).

Sonneborn, Liz.  A to Z of American Indian Women includes a picture of Maria Chona.

Underhill, Ruth M.  Papago Woman (1938).

Soltys, Frank. “Who is Sam Hughes?” Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association. (2012).

White, Julia.  Autobiography of a Papago Woman. (1936).




From the earliest days of Arizona Territory, Anglo female settlers tried to curb the rampant gambling and drinking found in a society primarily made up of male bachelors. It was, after all, the only entertainment in the territory and certainly tied to many criminal acts.

The early decades of temperance reform and the woman’s rights movement were closely entwined in the east.  Alcohol abuse and gambling by fathers and spouses could quickly destroy the peace and harmony of families.  A husband could legally beat his wife with anything smaller than the thickness of his thumb, hence the “rule of thumb”.  Property, divorce and guardianship of children were under total male control.  In a rough developing community like Tucson widowhood was a common occurrence and the status quo of eastern traditions did not work.  The local women encouraged the building of schools and churches in an effort to civilize their growing town with the arrival of the railroad in 1880.

In 1883 Josephine Brawley Hughes and Maria Wakefield Fish organized the local branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the Fish family parlor (today’s Western Gallery of the Tucson Art Museum).  Its mission was to encourage total abstinence from liquor to protect their homes.  The following year Hughes invited Miss Frances Willard, the founder of the WCTU, to come to Tucson.  WCTU members influenced male leaders to improve Tucson’s character and even lobbied other towns and the Territorial legislature.

At the third annual WCTU territorial convention in Phoenix, a legislative committee was appointed to urge the enactment of three laws: fixing the age of consent at 16 years, prohibiting gambling and requiring the observance of the Sabbath.  When their efforts failed, Hughes left her state presidency of the WCTU declaring, ““Let us secure the vote for women first, then the victory for the protection of our homes and for the cause of temperance will follow.”  The women organized the Arizona Territorial Women’s Equal Rights Association (under various names over the years) to gain the vote for women where they could affect change.

“Tucson led in the territorial movement against gambling. In January, 1905, the first business done by the new city council, led by Mayor L. H. Manning, was to place a license fee of $250 a month on all gambling games and to prohibit such games in the vicinity of saloons…. The [Territorial] Legislature of 1906 refused to prohibit gambling but at that time there were indications of the beginning of the end.” (McClintock)

When the Arizona suffrage referendum passed 5 November 1912, women registered to vote in the spring of 1913.  Women did not all agree on the issue of prohibition due to moral or economic considerations. The list below indicates possible female leaders on both sides of the issue compiled from the 1913 Pima County Register. Obviously many others registered the following year since a Prohibition Amendment to the Arizona Constitution would appear on the November 1914 ballot. It was adopted by a popular vote by a majority of 3,144, though carrying less than half the counties. (McClintock)  Arizona became a dry state on New Year’s Day 1915 ahead of the rest of the nation.


PROHIBITION SUFFRAGISTS (more research needed on WCTU members)

Dr. Rosa Goodrich Boido (1870-1959) – WCTU member and president of the Tucson Equal Suffrage Club.

Carrie A. Hankins Chafin (1855-1942) – Mr. Eugene W. Chafin was the presidential candidate for the Prohibition Party in 1908 and 1912 and founder of the Anti-Saloon League in 1906 along with Louis C. Hughes (spouse of Elizabeth Josephine Brawley Hughes).  No evidence has been found that Josephine registered to vote at this point, but her leadership in the suffrage and temperance causes indicate that she would have.

Abbie O. Canfield Haskin (1864-ukn.) – WCTU member probably with her mother Charlotte Canfield.  She was vice president of the Tucson Equal Suffrage Club.

Clara Fish Roberts (1876-1964) – Her mother Maria Wakefield Fish was a charter member of Tucson WCTU.  She was probably a member of the Tucson Equal Franchise Club as the first woman to register in 1913 and founder of the Tucson Collegiate Club which actively encouraged women to be aware of their civic responsibilities.

Mabel Roberts Plumer (1866-1952) – Mr. Natt E. Plumer was active in the prohibition of alcohol and gambling see Leighton’s “Street Smarts,” Arizona Daily Star 22 Jan 2024


LIQUOR INTEREST SUFFRAGISTS (based on research to date)

Mary Neal Cheyney Bertram (1872-1918) –  Mr. Edmond Bertram was proprietor of The St. Louis Saloon 1912 City   Directory.

Emma E. Boyd (1889- c.1925) – Mr. Joseph H. Boyd owned Boyd & Thresher (saloon) 1913 City Directory.

Emma Beatrice Bunnell Cunningham (1868-1940) –  Mr. Charles J. Cunningham, Palace  Saloon 1914 City Directory; 1902- 1913 Pullman Saloon and Cabinet Club and 1905-1913 Cabinet Club per Thiel.  He was co-owner of The Legal Tender Saloon which also had furnished rooms 1912 Polk’s.  Cunningham was one of the five who actively worked to defeat the Constitutional Prohibition Amendment per Sonnichsen.

Elizabeth Harding Culin (1872-1947) – Mr.  Frank L. Culin was secretary-treasurer of Bail-Heineman Co., Wholesale Liquors and cigars 1912 Polk’s.

Minnie E. Decker (1866-ukn.) – Mr. Louis A. Decker was co-owner of Heimbach & Decker Saloon at Hotel Heidel 1913 City Directory.

Maude Heimbach (1883-ukn.) – Mr. Joe F. Heimbach, Heimbach & Decker Saloon at Hotel Heidel 1913 City Directory.

Clara Schultes Higgins (1871-1957) – Mr. Patrick L. Higgins, dealer retail liquor 1910 Census; Office Saloon 1912 City Directory and in saloon business 1909-1914 Thiel.

Rose Ojeda Hilzinger – Mr. John G. Hilzinger owned Wholesale Liquor Dealers 1884-5 Theil.

Minnie Wagy Hittinger (1870-1947) – Mr. Anton Hittinger owned the Wholesale Liquor Store 1883-4 Business Directory.

Minnie Laziola Iaeger or Jaeger (1865-1941) – Mr. Lewis J. F. Iaeger ran the Santa Rita Hotel which had a bartender and waitresses 1910 Census.

Julia G. Lincoln (c. 1870-ukn.) – Mr. Cullen M. Lincoln was president of Tucson Wine & Liquor Co. 1913 City Directory.

Fanny Goldbaum Miller (1876-1960) – Mr. Albert L. Miller worked in father-in-law’s liquor business Jewish History Museum.

Ellen Kelly O’Keefe (1873-1946) – Mr. Eneas O’Keefe was president of the El Moro Saloon 1912 Polk’s.

Marjorie Marguerit M. Riley (1871-ukn.) – Mr. Jack [John] F. Riley was manager of Tucson Liquors Store 1914 City Directory.

Margaret C. Curtain Roberts (1859-ukn.) – Mr. John M. Roberts was president of the California Wine Co. per 1913 City Directory and owner of  a saloon at 33 Congress  per 1912 Polk’s.

Mamie South Robinson (1979-1925) — Mr. William R. Robinson was proprietor of Romona Hotel and bottler of Rainier Beer, Schlitz and Pabst for Bail and Robinson Co. per Theil and 1912 Polk’s.

Millie Person Stewart (1871-1940) – Mr. Ed Stewart was manager of Cabinet Café & Club Rooms and the couple ran the café  from 1911 until 1916 after Prohibition when it was a meeting place for businessmen per Theil, 73.

Annie Sullivan Wiley (1865-1957) – Mr. Joe Wiley may have been a bar tender at The Legal Tender Saloon per 1900 City Directory.


Note: Several Drachman women and other suffragists may have spouses who served or sold liquor as well, but more research is needed.



McClintock, James H.  Arizona, prehistoric, aboriginal, pioneer, modern: the nation’s youngest commonwealth within a land of ancient culture, Volume 2.  CHAPTER XXXI.  The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916. (

Polk’s Pictorial Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1912. (

Sonnichsen, C. L.  Tucson: The Life and Times of an American City. University of Oklahoma, 1987.

Thiel, J. Homer, ed.  Archaeological Investigations and Data Recovery at Historic Block 83, Tucson, Pima, AZ. Tech. Rpt. #2006-11. (  Includes dates of operation and background of many saloons.

Tucson City Directories. Available at Arizona Historical Society Archives, Tucson.

Tucson U.S. Census. Available at


OCCUPATION TALLY FOR 1913 FEMALE VOTER REGISTRANTS     Unless they were independently wealthy, Pima County women who were single, widowed or divorced had to earn a living.  Many came to Tucson as educators or were forced to become teachers by circumstance.  Widows often rose to the challenge to become business women as did those who inherited the family business.  Those who had been educated elsewhere or at the University of Arizona understood the power of knowledge and a vote in a democracy.  Many of the registrants stood in line alongside or encouraged their colleagues, coworkers or the wives of their husband’s partners in 1913.


WOMEN’S CIVIC SPHERES WITHIN TUCSONWoman’s Temperance Association of Tucson 1883 (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union), Women’s Equal Rights Association 1887,  Arizona Territorial Suffrage Association (Arizona Equal Suffrage Association) and  Pima County Equal Suffrage League (Equal Franchise Club or Equal Suffrage Club of Tucson or Pima County) 1891, Tucson Woman’s Club 1900, Collegiate Club of Tucson 1909 (precursor of the American Association of University Women),  Tucson Business and Professional Woman’s Club 1917, Tucson League of Women Voters 1919



Known members of the original Tucson Equal Suffrage Club who were responsible for launching the initiative referendum November 1912:     Dr. Rosa Goodrich Boido (pres.), Abbie O. Canfield Haskin, Dr. Clara Kaub Schell.  No record has yet been found of Elizabeth Josephine Brawley Hughes’ registration was a primary suffrage leader in Arizona. Perhaps she was ill or out of Pima County will the registration books were open.  The first registrants were most likely to have been members along with the older ladies who were part of original group: Clara Fish Roberts, Opal LeBaron McGauhey Whitmore, May Ashworth Fish, Maud W. Bush, Emma Schoonmaker, Estelle Lutrell (youngest of this group, educated in Chicago), Minnie B. Hardy, Harriet Ann Brown Thornber, Catherine M. Forbes, Loraine Kidder McMillen, Ellen G. Bisbee (same age as Josephine), and Eliza Armitage Wildman Franklin (who registered at the same time as the original known members).  Widowed, retired teacher Francis G. Goodin and homesteader Annie M. Stattleman Lester are also possible early members, but more research is needed.

Two other organizations were most influential in raising awareness of women’s civic responsibilities are noted on the data Tucson Collegiate Club (founded 1909; today’s American Association of University Women) registered to vote in 1913.  Several were active in both organizations as shown on the data base.  base.  At least 48 members of the Tucson Woman’s Club (founded 1900) and 28 members of the The Collegiate Club helped women register on April 19.

Many issues inspired women to register to use their elective franchise for positive good. To date these members of the following organizations have been identified from the 1913 suffragists:

Altrusa Club  (volunteer service organization founded in 1917 in  TN; currently Tucson chapter promotes literacy)  Salome Townsend

Arizona Children’s Home (in 1912 the Women’s Missionary Society of the First Christian Church of Tucson organized the Children’s Society)                         Anna Stakebake Daniels, Minnie Tevis Davenport (home was her idea); Marie Frye DeLong, Albertine K. Elrod (charter member)

Business and Professional Women of Tucson (founded 1917)    Allie Bartlett Dickerman (1926+ leader), Edith Stratton Kitt, Dr. Clara Kaub Schell

Daughters of the American Revolution                 Mae Bush Hartman, Mabel Wakefield Moffit,  Edith Sheldon Reid, Clara Fish Roberts, Harriet Ann Brown Thorber

Eastern Star #2 (Masonic O.E.S.)            Minnie Tevis Davenport, Josphine Florence Drachman,  Annie Nealy McFadden, Lydia Adella Rainer Upham, Frances J. Pilling Warren

Eastern Star #133 (Beautiful Star allied with African American West Temple Masons O.E.S.) probably Mayme Jones

Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society    (organized 1884 in home of Emilie Mihan Rosenstern)      Clara Ferrin Bloom, Lillie Marks Davant, Ethel Morton Edmonds Drachman, Florence Emilie Cowan Drachman, Jennie Miguel Drachman (founding member), Lucile Drachman, Millie Royers Drachman, Mattie Heineman, Eva Goldschmidt Mansfield (VP), plus probably Bertha Frank Jacobs and Henrietta Katz Jacobs

P. E. O. (second sorority founded in U.S.) Clara Fish Roberts, Cornelia Baughman Huddleston

Rebekah Lodge (Odd Fellows)   Allie Bartlett Dickerman (sec. 1907-1919 per 13 Feb 1958 Tucson Daily Citizen)

Saturday Morning Music Club   (founded 1906 by Georgia Scott Forbes)     Katherine Stuart Bogan, Eliza Wildman Franklin, Henrietta Herring Franklin, Adeline Rockwell Hereford, Madeline Dreyfus Heineman (later Mrs. Berger was responsible for organizing fund raising for Temple of Music and Culture), Henrietta Katz Jacobs, Edith Stratton Kitt, Frances J. Pilling Warren

Sorosis    (first sorority founded in U.S., founded in Tucson 1892)    Jenny Miguel Drachman, Madeline Dreyfus Heineman, Eva Goldschmidt Mansfield

Tucson Audubon Society (organized 1913 by Harriet Ann Brown Thornber)      Dr. Clara Kaub Schell (pres.), Marie Frye DeLong

Tucson League of Women Voters (organized 1919 by Clara Fish Roberts)  Elizabeth Shields Bayless, Mayme and/or Rosalia R. Cowan, Allie Bartlett Dickerman, Georgia Scott Forbes, Mabel Edwards Reed

Tucson Symphony Association     Clara Ferrin Bloom, Louise Springer Blenman (cello in orchestra)

Women’s Christian Temperance Association (organized 1883 in Tucson by Josephine Brawley Hughes at Maria Wakefield Fish home whose daughter was Clara Fish Roberts)        Rosa Goodrich Boido, Abbie Canfield Haskin (probably with her mother Charlotte)

Young Women’s Christian Association (organized in Tucson 1917 with Jewish Henrietta Herring Franklin president)       Stakebake Daniels, Minnie Tevis Davenport, Ethel Tompkins Kitt



Women were integral to organizing and supporting the churches in Pima County to provide a safe environment to raise their families.  In researching the role women played in their community some religious affiliations have been identified.  However, much more research is needed to uncover the religious beliefs of the 589 women who registered to vote in 1913 in Pima County.  The numbers listed in this preliminary summary are based on research as of October 2014.

The first organized church in the area was Roman Catholic with the arrival of the Spanish missionaries. A chapel of the Royal Presidio of San Augustin was built in 1776.  After the area became U. S. territory the first Cathedral of San Augustin was completed by 1868 to serve the Hispanic population and soon the growing immigrant population.  At least 27 suffragists were buried in Holy Hope Catholic Cemetery giving some indication of church affiliation.

The first Protestant church was organized in 1879 led by Maria Wakefield Fish and Josephine Brawley Hughes.  Until the adobe building was completed, services were often held in the Fish parlor.  The First Presbyterian Church was a large adobe building was constructed on the west side of Courthouse Plaza. Quickly, other denominations began organizing their congregations and building separate churches.

In 1881 the First Baptist Church held services at the County Court house until completion of their building at the Baptist corner of Eighth Street and Eighth Avenue.  A small congregation of ten people of color met about 1900 in the court house under Rev. John B. Bell since the Anglo congregation was not welcoming to African Americans. No members of the congregation that became the Mt. Calvary Missionary Church have yet been identified.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church record book indicated about 34 members on the 1913 General Register. (MS 1413, Box 1 Arizona Historical Society Archives, Tucson)  A brick building was under construction at the comer of Pennington Street and Stone Avenue by 1881. Services were held at present in the Presbyterian Church until it was completed.  African Americans were not welcome at the Methodist Church either although the Cole family was listed in the membership book.  Rev. Vance Cole became the first minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church known as Prince Chapel about 1905.  Two 1913 registrants are believed to have been members.

About 3 suffragists have been identified as members of the First Congregational Church organized in 1881 when the congregation purchased the First Presbyterian Church. (MS 1456, Arizona Historical Society Archives, Tucson) 

The Jewish congregation was established about 1884 and the Hebrew ladies Benevolent Society began a building campaign on land donated by Edward Nye Fish.  Temple Emanua-El, the first synagogue in Arizona, was completed in 1911 at 564 S. Stone Avenue which now the Jewish History Museum.  About 20 members registered to vote in 1913. (Theresa Marx Ferrin, Women’s Heritage Trail.


Registrant Jennie Miguel Drachman listed her occupation as a C. S. practitioner which means she followed the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy.   Alice Ford Hoff was the first Christian Science practitioner (lay members of the church devoted to healing practice and church work) in Tucson and her home was the first meeting place of the Christian Science Church in Tucson. She came to Tucson in 1881. Her husband Gustav Hoff served in the territorial legislature in 1891 and introduced Women’s Suffrage House Bill 91. The bill, which passed the House, but was voted down by the Senate, earned Gust the nickname “Petticoat Hoff.”  He was a Democrat, a proponent of temperance, and served as mayor of Tucson from 1900 to 1904. Alice lived to age 106. In a newspaper article published in the Arizona Daily Star commemorating her 104th birthday, Alice is quoted saying “I feel like I could get out and run a racehorse.”  It is interesting she was not found among the 1913 suffragists who registered. Alice had a city license to be a C.S. practitioner and this manuscript file contains information about this religious group.  (MS 1243, Arizona Historical Society Archives, Tucson).

No Mormon women have been identified at this point although there is evidence families of the Church of the Latter Day Saints did live in the area.



Arizona Historical Society Archives, Tucson.;

Devine, Dave. “Segregated Worship”, Tucson Weekly, 10 Feb 2005.

Lawson, Harry, ed.  “African American Churches in Tucson.” Tucson: Arizona Historical Society and African American History Internship Project, 1990.

Prince Chapel AME Church.  (10/2014).

Records of the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Tucson. University of Arizona Library.

Tucson City Directory, 1881.