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On the Porch

Beginning in the mid 1800s, woman suffrage supporters fought for women to gain the right to vote. In 1878, the amendment was first introduced in Congress. Decades later, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote. The amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.

The Minnesota Historical Society’s Fall 2020 quarterly magazine, Minnesota History is a double issue featuring articles on Minnesota and Woman Suffrage. One of the articles featured is “Woman Suffrage and Ethnicity in Rural Minnesota: Local Agitation in Pipestone and Lyon Counties.” By Sara Egge. In the article, Egge wrote that when Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) field worker, Grace Randall visited Lyon County in July 1918, she was met with a population who despised woman suffrage. The area was not a hotbed of activity for the cause. Grace Randall was able to convince four local women to lead suffrage efforts. The four women were Laura Lowe, Minnie Matthews, Harriet Sanderson, and Tillie Deen. To read the full article and other articles featured in the magazine, visit MNHS’s website and click on Explore.

The photograph featured this week is Minnie Matthews from the 1912 History of Lyon County book by Arthur P. Rose. Minnie was born in June 1857 in Minnesota and passed away in Marshall on May 23, 1942. She was an active member of the Current News Club and the Lona Chapter of the Eastern Star. She and her husband M.E. Mathews, a lawyer, were very active in the community.

The traveling exhibit, A Century of Civic Engagement: League of Women Voters in Minnesota, is at the Lyon County Museum through March 31. The 12-panel exhibit is located in the conference room on the 2nd floor of the museum. About the exhibit: To celebrate the 19th Amendment’s centennial year, LWV Minnesota created a traveling exhibit to recognize the organization’s mission and history over the past century.

Exhibit visitors will discover that: “Growing from the deep roots of the suffrage movement in the 19th century, Minnesota’s non-partisan League of Women Voters uses a statewide network of local chapters to encourage informed and active participation in government, register, and empower voters, work to increase understanding of public policy issues, cultivate women leaders, and influence public policy through education and advocacy.”

The Lyon County Historical Society (LCHS) is a non-profit, member-supported organization. LCHS operates the Lyon County Museum at 301 W Lyon St in Marshall. The Lyon County Museum is open to visitors. To contact us, visit our website: www.lyoncomuseum.org, call: 507-537-6580, email: director@lyoncomuseum.org, or on our Facebook page.

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