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NV Recognizes Suffragist Pioneer In "National Women's History Month"

PHOTO: Nevada Suffragist Anne Martin is being recognized as part of National Women's History Month in March. Photo courtesy of the U-S Library of Congress.
PHOTO: Nevada Suffragist Anne Martin is being recognized as part of National Women's History Month in March. Photo courtesy of the U-S Library of Congress.
March 4, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A person instrumental in helping Nevada women gain the right to vote is being honored as part of National Women's History Month in March. Mona Reno, chairwoman of the Nevada Women's History Project, said Anne Martin and her colleague suffragists worked tirelessly to help women in the Silver State gain the right to vote in 1914.

"They went out on horseback and they went out in little Model Ts. They went to every ranch they could find in the rural counties and spoke with people individually, because in Nevada in those days communication was face to face," Reno said.

Women in Nevada and several other Western states had the right to vote before Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. That amendment makes it illegal to deny anyone the right to vote based on gender.

Martin had the task of convincing men to vote "yes" on a ballot measure that would give women the right to vote, Reno explained. She added that men in the West may have supported women's suffrage because their wives worked hard on the frontier and were considered equal partners.

"These women were working side by side with their men, so men had a more equal idea of them," she said. "That's why some historians believe it worked earlier in the West than it did in the middle of the country and the East."

Reno said Martin, who was well educated, went on to work on the Women's Suffrage issue at the federal level. She also founded the History Department at the University of Nevada-Reno and was the state's first female tennis champion.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV