Transcription of “Woman’s Suffrage by 1925 is Forecast by Rev. J.M. Maxon,” The Lexington Herald, Sunday, May 2, 1915, pages 1 and 3.
Woman’s Suffrage by 1925 is Forecast by Rev. J.M. Maxon
Enthusiasts of Many Sections of Blue Grass Join in ‘Votes for Women’ Celebration
Address and Dances at Park Features
Automobiles Decorated in National Colors Move Through Streets
“Even the most fearful among us do not hesitate to express it as our firm belief that the year 1925 will see woman accorded the right of suffrage, to which, by all the laws of God and right, she is entitled for every office from that of President of this great Republic down to pathmaster, in every state from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.”
This prediction was the climax of the speech yesterday at Duncan Park by the Right Rev. J. M. Maxon, of Versailles, occupying the principal position on the program for the great out-door meeting in celebration of National Suffrage Day, to attend which many came from miles around, from the neighboring towns, and which drew a liberal attendance from Lexington enthusiasts.
Former Senator Johnson N. Camdeh and Mrs. Camden, of Versailles, and Congressman and Mrs. Jouett Shouse of Kinsley, Kan., who are visiting here, and others of prominence participated in the parade, which preceded the address at the park. Senator Camden had two cars in the parade. The procession of nearly fifty automobiles, with a body of women on horseback in the vanguard, proceeded through the principle business and residential streets of the city, arriving at Duncan Park at 11:30 o’clock, where the ceremonies of the day were held. Most of the cars were driven by women. The young women on horseback are among the leaders in Blue Grass society. They are Mrs. E.L. Hutchinson, Miss Eunice Wilson, of the Philippines; Miss Anita Roscoe, Miss Dorothy Embry, Miss Chloe Jackson, Miss Ruth Huntington Parker, Miss Dorothy Loughridge, of Lake Providence, La.; Miss Proctor and Miss Marie Young.
School Children Give Dance.
Lincoln school children, under the direction of Miss Betsy Cloud, rode in a special bus in the parade and gave a beautiful exhibition of folk dancing on the lawn of the park, following the address of the day by the Rev. Mr. Maxon.
A band led by Miss Julia Hogarty furnished music for the parade and played for a time at the park.
The parade formed at Gratz Park on Third Street at 10:30 o’clock and proceeded with fluttering banners and suffrage colors, through the city. The route of the procession lay along Third Street to Broadway, from Broadway to Main Street, up which they went to Ashland Avenue to Maxwell, from Maxwell they moved to High Street and to Limestone to Main Street, and then retraced their way to Upper Street and then to Third Street and out to North Limestone Street and to Duncan Park. The parade circled the park before breaking.
Everywhere they were greeted by crowds of onlookers in both curiosity and approbation and in many places by cheers.
Business Houses Decorated.
More than 100 business houses along the way, particularly in the downtown section, were decorated in honor of the day with suffrage slogans, “Votes for Women,” and yellow and black [purple?] colors. Flags were raised on public buildings and on many of the Main Street business houses, and at the Phoenix Hotel the tables were draped with suffrage colors also.
Arrived at the park, the occupants of the cars, the horseback riders and the children from the school alighted and gathered under the spreading bows of the trees in front of the Duncan home, where the program of the day was carried out.
The Rev. Mr. Maxon spoke from a specially prepared platform, draped in yellow, and “Votes for Women.” The crowd made a circle about him and sat in lawn seats or stood, while he delivered the address on “The Victory is Won, An Inspiration for Future Work.” Mr. Maxon said:
Madam Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman:
In response to your much appreciated invitation, I have left the ordinary pursuits of a very busy life to be present with you here today, and to take part in this celebration. Some way or another, in tradition, song and story, the month of May has always been associated with woman. It is in a peculiar way the woman’s month. And of all the months of the year, none is more beautiful, none is more glorious, none is more suggestive of the thoughts which inspire. It was fitting then that this of all the months of the year should have been chosen as the one in which to celebrate the cause which above all others is of greatest moment and interest to women. Of the days of this beautiful month none has come down to us so full of the suggestion of the beautiful and the happy as the first day. It has come to be called May Day. May Day is woman’s high festival day of the year. And so, Madam Chairman, fitting and proper, indeed is it that on this glorious May Day we should leave for the moment our accustomed work and turn aside from the routine of ordinary life to the Queen of the Home, the Queen of Society, upon this Queen of Festivals.
The world certainly does move. Progress is in the air. Step by step we are reading out to larger life and high libery. How many changes the past few years have brought about. A dozen years ago such a celebration as we are holding today would have been well nigh impossible. Nowhere in all our land, with the exception of a very few of the larger centers of population, would it have been possible to have gathered together for such a purpose as that which brings us together today so large and representative a gathering as I see before me here. A dozen years ago it is doubtful if one merchant in this city would have taken the time or shown sufficient interest to have decorated his place of business. The interest merchants take in any organization or cause is largely gauged by the power wielded by that organization or cause. When business takes cognizance of any person, organization or cause, it is a pretty sure indication that the person, organization or cause so recognized “has arrived.” It is the recognition of a fact already accomplished. The fact of this celebration, the fact of the splendid recognition of this celebration by the merchants and hundreds of other interested people of this community, is not so much a promise of something in the future, as the recognition of something already existing. The hour has struck. The world in which we live recognizes the fact that the hour has struck. Woman is coming into her own. I might almost better have said that woman has come into her own. Woman is recognized today. And recognition is always followed by the granting of rights and opportunities which belong with that recognition. One by one the states of the Union are granting the suffrage to women on equal terms with men. Wyoming was the pioneer state in granting the suffrage in 1869. Colorado followed in 1892. Utah and Idaho joined the number in 1896. In rapid succession since 1910 Washington, California, Oregon, Arizona, Kansas, Illinois, Alaska, Montana and Nevada have followed. Within the next eighteen months the opportunity of becoming enrolled among those which have reached out for the larger liberty will be accorded the voters of New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa, West Virginia and South Dakota. Already, at this very time, there are only fifteen states in which woman has not some share in suffrage. In thirty-three states and the territory of Alaska she had either partial or entire suffrage. The victory is already won. I mean the moral victory. It is but a question of a few short years and the full ripe fruits of many, many years of patient toil and willing sacrifices will be gathered. The budding time has passed. The flowering period has come and gone. The fruit has formed upon the tree. Some has ripened and been gathered in. All the rest is rapidly a-ripening. And I venture here to prophecy that there will not be a wormy wind-fall in the whole lot. So we congratulate ourselves and one another on these wonderful results already accomplished. And we have every reason for congratulation. I take it that the very purpose of this occasion is congratulatory. Victories past are the basis for the confidence with which we look to the future. So strongly rooted is this conviction with us that even the most fearful among us do not hesitate to express it as our firm belief that the year 1925 will see woman accorded the right of suffrage, to which by all the law of God and right she is entitled, for every office from that of President of this great Republic down to pathmaster, in every state from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
And so upon this occasion we arise and take courage. We gird ourselves anew, not to prosecute some failing battle, but that we may view with a clearer eye the vast land of promise upon which we are entering, that we may appreciate more deeply the surpassing opportunities which it offers, and that we may renew our vows to take neither respite nor pause until we shall have reached the goal of these years of anxious but hopeful labor.
Another cause of congratulation today is the changed attitude of the world toward this movement for the emancipation of woman. I use that phrase emancipation of women advisedly. For back of all this struggle in which we have been engaged, lo, these many years, there is but one purpose. And that purpose is emancipation. Man has struggled throughout the ages, from the dim historic past down to the present hour, yes, even at this very hour half the world is engaged in a titanic contest, with but one end in view. And that end is emancipation. It is freedom he seeks. It is freedom he prizes above every other object of earthly ambition. And he desires that freedom as his bonus in order that he may have proper means of self-expression. He can never be a full grown man, and measure up to all the aspirations implanted in his inmost soul by his Creator, unless he has self expression. I have been impressed more and more as the years have passed in my experience that it is well nigh impossible to do anything for another. The utmost one soul can do for another, the supreme service one man can perform for another, the one thing the parent can do for his child, or the teacher can do for his pupil, or the minister can do for his people, or the husband can do for his wife, or the wife can do for her husband, or the state do for its citizens, is to allow that soul to grow and develop along the lines of its own truest being until it come to the fulness of the measure of the stature of its highest ideal of manhood. It is for self-expression that we all are struggling, and that struggle will continue until, untrammeled and unfettered, we all are free. We are beginning to get over the idea that we can patronize any one. It was Diogenes of whom it was said that, when Alexander the Great visited him, sitting in his tub on a favorite street corner, and asked him what he could do for him, he replied: “Get out of my sunlight.” It is not patronage the cause of woman’s freedom wants. It is simply that the patronizing powers of vested rights, so-called, shall move along and get out of its sunlight. We are not asking the favor of the electorate. Oh, no, nothing of the kind at all. We are asking that it shall get out of the sunlight of opportunity of the right which every soul has, that of self-expression. The ballot is the one and only means of self-expression a citizen of a democracy like ours has. It is the one and only means of registering for the faculty which makes a man a man, or a woman a woman – the human will. So long as the will of a man or woman is fettered or is hindered in expressing itself, just so long is that man or that woman not a free agent. No matter how gilded the fetters, no matter how strongly vested in tradition the restraint, that person is not free. A nation cannot exist, a wiser person tha I has long since said, half bound and half free. The very genius of a free government demands the freedom of expression of every soul in it. No nation in the history of the world has ever endured with half of its citizens bound and half free. No more can these great United States. The men of larger vision in this country are beginning to see this great axiomatic truth. They are beginning to see it in increasing numbers. And the increasing numbers of the manhood of our country with the vision of the higher life and the larger liberty are the grounds for our belief in the near consummation of our labors, and in the basis of our confidence in the speedy triumph of our cause. Freedom and anarchy are antithetical. And anarchy is the foul son of coercion. I care not whether that coercion be gently or brutally expressed. I care not whether it be the coercion of the state over its citizens, or the teacher over this pupil, or the father over the child, or the husband over the wife, or the church over its communicants or the man over the woman. It is all one and the same thing however it may be exerted or expressed. And just so long as practically one-half of the citizenship of this state, and that by no means the least intelligent half, is denied the God-given right of every human creature, self-expression, just so long may we expect the anarchy in the social body which we are experiencing in Kentucky today to continue. I am glad to note that the sneering smirk, by no means disguising the satisfied feelings of patronizing self-sufficiency, which has so often characterized the attitude of many otherwise excellent people, whenever the cause of the right of woman was mentioned, has all but disappeared. The deep lying seriousness of this great struggle has at last taken possession of most fair-minded men and women. They are beginning to see that the ballot itself is not an end. It is but a means, the only means which lied ot hand by which woman can find her highest and most worthy expression as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a teacher, as a homemaker, as a citizen. And because they are beginning to see this great truth, they are moving in greater and ever greater numbers to demand that this right be given her. And so we congratulate ourselves today on the fact that the attitude of men and women everywhere towards us and our cause has changed from unconcealed good-natured contempt to downright conviction that our claims are worthy of recognition and our demands are just.
The nation and its government exists to protect that social institution – the home. Sociologists, economists and statemen are just beginning to discover the fact that government, to all practical intents and purposes, is but the problem of home-making. It touches the home on every side. There can be no such thing as a nation in which there is no stability of the home. Wreck the homes of any nation today, and tomorrow that nation will cease to exist. All civilized life centers around the home, and grows out of the home. Men have combined under the forms of government to make homes, to provide for homes, to protect homes. All the problems of government deal with one or another of these three phases of the life which we call the home life. Who makes the homes of this great State of Kentucky? The men? Let us not deceive ourselves. It takes a woman to make a home. Whether she be rich or poor, whether she occupy a high or a lowly station in the social body, whether she be educated or unlearned, yet, it takes a woman to make a home. Who provides for the home? The man? Yes he does his share. But how many untold thousands are there of the homes of old Kentucky today in which the woman is bearing her share of the labor of providing and in how many homes is she carrying the burden alone! Who protects the home? The man? Yes he does his share. But how many men are there in Kentucky today who would be alive and in the enjoyment of health if it were not for the unfailing and intelligent labor of the woman in preparing wholesome food, and in warding off the insidious attacks of man’s greatest enemy – disease? His very life, the lives of his children depend upon the vigilance of the protecting care of the wife and mother.
If upon woman devolves the labor of the solution of at least half of the problems connected with government; if in dealing with these problems she has shown intelligent understanding of them and a ready ability and resourcefulness in meeting them; upon what plea, or by what process of reasoning, can the conclusion be arrived at that she should be denied the one great means whereby alone she can measure up to the highest possible efficiency and usefulness in working them out? These things, I say, men and women are beginning to see. They are catching a glimpse of this vision of larger opportunity and greater usefulness. And this, it seems to me, Madam Chairman, is the greatest cause of congratulation we have today.
And so, with these thoughts burning in our hearts, let us go forth from this place filled with the inspiration which this occasion brings to us, with a firm and renewed determination to do our share, to pray, to speak, the work, to sacrifice, until “come it may, as come it will, for all that, that man to man, the world o’er, shall brother be, for a’ that.”
Dancing Sole Feature.
When he had concluded the twenty-one children from the Lincoln school emerged from the building in white athletic gowns and put on, to the delight of the attending audience, a folk dance they had learned at the West End school. They have been under the instruction of Miss Bessie White. A solo dance, “The Conquest of the Rose,” by a little coquette, Miss Josephine Worsham, perhaps 8 or 10 years old, was the feature of the dancing. Little Miss Worsham is the pupil of Miss Sarah Carter.
The little dancing maids from the school were Julia Lowery, Eileen Daucher, Anna Mae Sayre, D.D. Sellars, Beaulah Gorham, Leona Dedman, Maggie Wallace, Bertha Corbin, Amelia Van Meter, Edna Fowler, Leona Gibson, Flora Brock, Katie Williams, Carrie Lee Lowry, Eunice Thomas, Anna Belle Chapman, Margaret Oakley, Martha Oakley, Viola Wilson and Pearl Wilson.
A lad in dress clothing, Master Earl Davis, bore a banner on which was printed the slogan, “Let Mother Vote.”
The suffrage hymn, to the tune of America, was sung by the children of the school
Mrs. E.L. Hutchinson, vice president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, accepted in behalf of that organization a Kampaign Kit from the Woman’s Journal.
The speech of introduction was made by Mrs. F.O. Young, and Dr. Maxon immediately proceeded with his address. He received strict attention throughout the suffrage oration and was frequently applauded. Mrs. Young presided as chairman of the meeting because of the illness of Mrs. Will D. Oldham, president of the Fayette County Equal Rights Association. Mrs. Young is second vice president of the organization.
“How the Vote Was Won,” an English comedy, will be given at the Phoenix Hotel in the all room Monday evening by many of the suffragists of the city. A large audience is expected to witness this play.
Automobiles in the parade yesterday were the property of the following:
Mrs. K.G. Pulliam.
Miss Nannie Bain Didlake.
Mrs. H.C. McDowell.
Mrs. Silas Mason.
Mrs. Louis Johnston, Versailles.
J.N. Camden, two cars.
George D. Kelley.
James Stone Helm.
Leonard G. Cox.
Joseph Le Compte.
Thomas & Garth.
Mrs. George Hunt.
Mrs. E.P. Farrell.
Mrs. Stanhope Wiedemann.
Blue Grass Auto Company.
Central Motor Company.
Commercial Auto Company.
Fayette Motor Company.
Marshall Featherstone Company.
Union Motor Company.
Mrs. Carrie Thomas.
Business firms that yesterday decorated in honor of the observance are:
Fayette National Bank.
William E. Stagg.
Gus L. Heyman & Company.
J.D. Purcell Company.
Wolf, Wile Company.
S.Bassett & Son.
Greebel & Hirsch.
Mitchell, Baker & Smith.
B. Kravetz & Son.
Transylvania Printing Company.
Rash & Clay.
Wrenn & King.
Phoenix Hotel Company.
J.R. Sledd & Son.
Frazer & Morell.
Embry & Company.
Nugent & Shannon.
Caskey Jewelry Company.
James M. Byrnes.
Fenton Dry Cleaning Company.
Miss Fannie White.
Cooper & Dunn.
Kentucky Traction & Terminal Company.
Mrs. E.B. Wrenn.
Third National Bank.
Chesapeake & Ohio Ticket Office.
Louisville & Nashville Ticket Office.
Postal Telegraph Company.
Caden Drug Company.
Graves, Cox & Company.
McElhone & Maloney.
University Book Store.
Fred J. Heintz.
Sol Kahn & Son.
Wheeler’s Furniture Store.
Singer Sewing Machine Company.
Barnes & Hall.
Woolfolk Coffee Company.
Miles Coffee Company.
Lexington Drug Company.
McAdams & Morford.
Frazer & Bush.
Adams Express Company.
Home Furniture Company.
Third National Bank.
National Gas Company.
Lexington Hydraulic & Manufacturing Company.
Second National Bank.
John J. Hutchinson.
Stagg Drug Company.
Hay Hardware Company.
Gardner & Smith.
Wise Piano Company.
Poer & Company.
Jones Drug Company.
Queen & Crescent Ticket Office.
Baltimore Dairy Lunch.