Transcription of "Suffrage Parade is Biggest Ever Held in Kentucky," The Lexington Herald (May 7, 1916), page 1 and continued on page 3.
Lexington Herald, Sunday, May 7, 1916
Suffrage Parade is Biggest Ever Held in Kentucky
Nearly 1000 Men, Women and Children Join in Mammoth Demonstration for “Votes for Women”
People line Streets and Cheer Marchers
Vast Throng Hears Walter J. Millard’s Address on Cheapside
Flaunting their “Votes for Women” banners and their yellow colors and with the strains of two big brass bands filling the surcharged atmosphere, the suffragists of Lexington and Central Kentucky, with their friends and sympathizers, marched through the streets of Lexington yesterday morning in the biggest suffrage parade in the history of the state. They marched through the city streets, which were lined with thousands of spectators, while in the windows of the business houses were hundreds of others I this public meeting place, on Cheapside, where Walter J. Millard, the suffrage orator and the campaigner, delivered an address on suffrage and the reasons for suffrage.
The marchers in the parade were variously estimated at from 300 to 1,000, a most excellent showing, the local suffrage leaders declare, and they were accompanied in the big parade by large floats, automobiles, horseback riders and others, all wearing the suffrage colors prominently displayed and making a display that even exceeded the highest expectations. The Main Street business houses had been lavishly decorated with yellow for the glorious occasion and everything considered, the suffragists had the town for the morning.
From 3,000 to 6,000 persons gathered at the speaking place on Cheapside to hear Mr. Millard’s address the largest crowd ever gathered together at the time in the history of Lexington for the interests of suffrage and probably the largest suffrage crowd ever gathered in the State, Louisville included.
Plans Are Carried Out.
It was a great crowd and everything was carried out exactly as planned. A cordon of police led the parade to clear the way and they were followed by little Miss Dorothy Fitzgerald, the leading bugler, in her gilded chariot. Mayor James C. Rogers, with Mrs. Rogers, Ward Yeager, his secretary, and others were immediately behind in the Public Safety automobile, which was almost hidden by the suffrage decorations.
A band on a beautifully decorated float furnished the music for the head of the parade and was followed by Mrs. W.H. McCorkle carrying a large United States flag.
The main divisions of the parade were led by the many divisions of school children and the younger people, the Camp Fire Girls, Lincoln school ball team, other ball teams and open air classes.
More than 100 men marched in the men’s division in the various sections captained by men of their own profession and the division of women marchers, led by Mrs. E.L. Hutchison, president of the local Equal Rights Association, greatly outnumbered the others. Two elaborate floats, one representing the various states in which suffrage had been granted, lavishly decorated, and containing some of Lexington “fairest fair sex,” one with her eyes blindfolded, representing the State of Kentucky, in which suffrage had not yet been granted, and the other float carrying a number of placards appealing to the people for the protection of their interests by granting equal suffrage to women, had their places in the line of the people.
Public Officials in Line.
Colleges, universities, girls schools and the many societies of the city all had good representation among the marchers and a large number of public officials, including Judge Charles Kerr, Commissioners Land, McCorkle and Schoonmaker and Representative W.C.G. Hobbs had prominent places among the marchers, the majority of whom were on foot, although some brought up the rear of the long line in automobiles and carriages.
The main sections of the parade was made up as follows:
- Children’s parade, marshalled by Judge Charles Kerr and Mr. C.H. Berryman.
Miss Edith Berryman, Captain.
- Lincoln school children.
- Drummer and Baseball League.
- Camp Fire Girls.
- Fresh Air Children.
- United States Flag.
- Men’s League for Women Suffrage.
Captain James H. Combs.
- Officials, State, County and City.
Representative W.C.G. Hobbs.
Commissioners McCorkle and Land, Chief Regan, Probation Officer Ramsey.
- Lawyers, led by Colonel John R. Allen.
- Doctors, led by Dr. Ben Van Meter.
- Educators and College Students, led by President Barker and Dr. Crossfield.
- United States Flag.
- Bankers, led by Mr. E.S. Bassett.
- Blue Grass Federation of Labor, led by Mr. Dan J. Crowe.
- Farmers, led by Dr. H.S. Hailey.
- Railroad men, led by Mr. W.A. McDowell.
- Signal Corps of State Militia, led by Captain Otis Holstein.
- Decorated float containing girls representing the states that have been granted suffrage and showing Kentucky blind.
- Out of town delegations, led by Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Smith, president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association.
- County delegations headed by Mrs. Clarence LeBus.
- Women marchers, led by Mrs. E.L. Hutchinson, president of the Fayette Equal Rights Association, on horseback.
- Teachers, led by Miss Ophelia Carr.
- High school students, led by Miss Katherine Christian.
- Fraternity Girls and College students, led by Miss Josephine Farrell.
- Business Women, led by Miss Lara Douglass.
- Nurses, led by Miss Cleek.
- W.C.T.U. led by Mrs. John M. Kelly.
- Ashland Avenue Squad, led by Miss Van Meter.
- Aylesford Squadron, led by Mrs. W.T. Lafferty and Mrs. Desha Breckinridge.
- Miscellaneous marchers.
- Float. “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.”
- Veterans, autos and ambulance corps.
Marchers Dressed in White.
Practically all of the marchers were dressed in white. A feature of the parade was the fact that the residents in the neighborhood of Gratz Park, with possibly a single exception, joined the line of march and paraded along the line of march and paraded along the route which began at the park and continued on Third to Broadway, down Broadway to Main Street to the Union Station and back to Cheapside, where Mr. Millard made his stirring address. The park division was captained by Mrs. J.R. Morton and Mrs. John Johnston.
The big celebration was the climax to the month’s campaign being waged in the Seventh District by the suffragists under the auspices of the Fayette Equal Rights Association, the local organization of the nation-wide movement.
With a big success recorded for their first big parade, the local association will now devote its time to making arrangements for securing a suffrage plank in the Democratic platform and to make arrangements for an attendance at the National Convention. Suffrage plank committees are to be named for all three of the big party conventions, the Republican, Democratic and Progressive. Plans for the suffrage plank in the platform of the Democratic party will be announced shortly by Mrs. Desha Breckinridge, in charge of that department of the association, to be presented to the Democratic State convention here May 24.
Mr. Millard’s Address.
Mr. Millard opened his Cheapside address by congratulating the city on the soft paving material and declared on behalf of the women, who would soon be performing municipal housekeeping, that that was one thing they would not have to improve.
Mr. Millard first addressed himself to the woman suffragettes, saying he had not been selected to present their case because he was a better speaker than others, but because his voice had a wider range, carrying farther to the ears of the crowd, so that more of the large crowd could hear the address. He congratulated them on the appearance of the parade and on the cooperation of the out-of-town delegates and said that in the large representation, he saw for a certainty that it was like another parade, when, after the Israelites had gathered at Jerico, the reverberations of the voices and music had caused the walls to fall flat and in such a way the men and women suffragettes would cause by the by the reverberations of their march, the walls of prejudice in Kentucky to fall flat.
Already, Mr. Millard said, the wires between Lexington and Washing and Lexington and Frankfort were hot to acquaint those whose business it was to watch public opinion with the knowledge that the suffragettes of Kentucky had made the question the greatest in Kentucky politics. “The hour has struck,” he said, and the courthouse clock just at that moment boomed forth with twelve strokes. “Just as the clock in now striking for high noon,” indicating the high noon of the movement and the flood tide of victory.
Talks to Men.
Mr. Millard then addressed himself to the men, saying that they had marched more as a delegation than as individuals and that thousands of the men had not come because the business of the day had demanded their attention elsewhere. Those who could not parade, he declared, would march in the parade to the ballot box and there indicate their wishes, which would be more effective in that way.
They marched not only for the liberty of the women, he said, but that their own liberty might be perfected. Men and women, he said, living in the same work, could not live apart, and the political deficiencies of the women reflected themselves and hampered the actions of the men.
Mr. Millard then addressed the possible anti-suffragists, of whom, he was assured that there were only a few in the crowd, pointing out that he was quite sure they would not go away without becoming inoculated with the infection of suffragism.
He urged them to get in the procession and said that those who had stood on the sidewalk had received pleasure from the procession. Those in it, he said, knew the pleasures were far greater and knew that the pleasure of working for the cause would be all the greater when it came and that those who stood on the sidewalk and watched the parade had seen the parade of political progress go by them.
Following the meeting a collection was taken up in the interests of the cause.
Mr. Millard spoke at Macedonia school last night, setting out the improvement in schools due to school suffrage and told what would happen to the country in general along like lines when the women were given complete suffrage. The effect of total suffrage, he said, could not really be judged by its effect on the schools because the school field was too limited.
To Make More Addresses.
Mr. Millard will also fill a number of speaking engagements through the district this week. Among them are: May 7, Shelbyville; May 8, Pleasureville, morning; Eminence, evening; May 9, Owenton; May 10, Lagrange; May 11, Frankfort; May 12, Lawrenceburg, and May 13, Lawrenceburg, morning; Picadome school, evening.
Only one incident occurred to mar the otherwise auspicious day yesterday. Dr. Mary Boyd, of Cynthiana, who came here to take part in the parade, became ill during the march and was taken to the Phoenix Hotel, where she recovered sufficiently to return to her home last night.
Mrs. M.W. Fletcher, of this city, who accompanied Dr. Mary Boyd to her home at Cynthiana yesterday after Dr. Boyd had become stricken with paralysis during the parade, returned to Lexington last night. The physicians who attend Dr. Boyd said that she would recover, according to Mrs. Fletcher.