SUSAN HOWES LOOK AVERY (1817-1915)
Source: Louisville Courier-Journal, February 9, 1902)
Author: Smith, Mary Jane.
Title: Constructing Womanhood in Public: Progressive White Women in a New South.
Publisher: Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Doctoral Dissertations 2626, LSU Digital Commons, 2002.
The Kentucky legislature's reform of public education in 1908 with the Sullivan Law establishing high schools and truant officers in every county did not include returning school board franchise to women. By 1900 sixteen other states had already passed school suffrage for women and women in Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming exercised their rights to full suffrage.
In addition to her many other social reform campaigns, including the building of a state tuberculosis sanitorium, Madeline McDowell Breckinridge lobbied in the early years of the 20th century for the restoration of Kentucky women's right to vote in school board elections.
Women's right to vote in school board elections In Lexington, Covington and Newport (Kentucky's second-class cities) was revoked in late January 1902. During the Lexington school board elections of 1901 there was a swell of political activity by Black women who were supporting the Republican Party. In fact, more black women registered to vote than white women. Newspapers and politicians alike complained that “illiterates” and “prostitutes” had overwhelmed the women’s voter booths. Lexington's Representative William A. "Billy" Klair and Senator J.
Mary (sometimes called Marie) Verhoeff was born around 1872 (several different birth dates are recorded) in Louisville. Her father, Herman Verhoeff, was born in 1827 in Westphalia, Germany; landed in New York with his family in 1836; and moved with them to Kentucky in 1838. Herman went into the grain business in Louisville and in 1873 built the first grain elevator south of the Ohio.
Caroline Apperson was born in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, in 1850. She was the daughter of Harriet Selman Rogers and Richard Apperson, a circuit court judge in Mount Sterling who during the Civil War strongly supported the Union cause.
Caroline Apperson Leech, Louisville Courier-Journal, c. 1910