First Lady Mary Elizabeth Ekin Willson

Randolph Hollingsworth's picture

Image from
"First Lady Mary Elizabeth Ekin Willson," Governors. The Shelby Society, Descendants of the Governors of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Born 15 August 1847, daughter of Diana Craighead Walker and General (USA) James A. Ekin, Mary Ekin Willson was First Lady of Kentucky, 1907-1911. She was the wife of 36th Kentucky Governor Augustus Everett Willson (1846–1931). They married 23 July 1877 in Louisville, and their only child - a son - died in infancy. According to a report by the Courier-Journal in 1916, she participated with Mrs. Edward C. (Virginia Hazelrigg) O'Rear, Mrs. Edwin P. (Katherine Waddle) Morrow and Mrs. John Glover (Christine Bradley) South in the the Kentucky Equal Rights Association's Suffrage Plank Committee for the Republican Party. The Republican National Convention met in Chicago in June 1916 and narrowly passed a suffrage plank which was a modified version of the language presented by the National American Woman Suffrage Association - adding a clause that asserted the states would determine the fate of woman suffrage.