Tonopah Marker Commemorates Marjorie Brown And Woman Suffrage Activities In Nevada
For Immediate Release
Date: November 8, 2019
The National Votes for Women Trail, a project of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, will install the first of five Nevada historic markers in Tonopah.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Voting rights for the majority of women across the country were secured with passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The centennial of that landmark will take place in 2020. To celebrate, the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation have partnered to place historic markers in each state and territory of the US. The markers recognize significant events and people in the suffrage campaign. Nevada passed a woman suffrage bill in 1914 and active members of the state campaign went on to work for suffrage in other states and set up voter education groups in the state.
The first installation of a suffrage marker takes place Nov. 22 at noon at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah and will honor Marjorie Moore Brown whose work in the state’s second largest city in the center of the state proved vital to the state’s early success and important in the national campaign. The Mizpah Hotel provided meeting rooms for the suffrage league and hosted out of town suffrage speakers.
1912, the Nye County branch of the Nevada Equal Franchise Society (NEFS) organized and elected Brown press secretary. This responsibility included sending suffrage news briefs to local papers on a regular basis. The Tonopah Daily Bonanza opposed woman suffrage and never missed a chance to dismiss the voice of those who supported it. Nevertheless, Brown’s reputation and work kept the movement in the press. At the 1913 Nevada Equal Franchise Society meeting, Brown was elected second vice-president. Her support for Anne H. Martin’s state leadership became essential in 1913 when a split in the organization threatened to destabilize progress at a crucial time. Brown’s support maintained the county branch and the cohesion of the state organization. In 1914, the final year of the campaign, Brown was elected Third Vice-President of the NEFS. That fall, 70 percent of Nye County’s male voters voted yes and joined other counties to pass woman suffrage. Brown continued to support the national campaign and worked with two national organizations, the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman’s Party, for passage of suffrage in other states.
“It has been remarkable to discover the breadth and longevity of activity across Nevada that led to this win,” said Joanne Goodwin, professor of history at UNLV and a Board member of the NCWHS, who coordinated the Nevada effort. “The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and Pomeroy Foundation have demonstrated the truly national effort of the campaign. We are grateful to the Tonopah Town Council and to the Mizpah Hotel for acknowledging this significant event.”
Other sites in Nevada are:
- Battle Mountain — site of the first convention July 4, 1870 to organize for woman suffrage in the state.
- Carson City – honoring Felice Cohn for her work with the state Equal Franchise Society and writing the draft of the legislation passed by the legislature.
- Las Vegas — the Mesquite Club and its President Delphine Squires who brought national and state suffrage speakers to the southern part of the state during the height of the campaign.
- Reno — the state headquarters of the Nevada Equal Franchise Society and its president Anne Martin who organized the successful campaign, 1912-1914. (in approval process)
About The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites is a non-profit organization established to support and promote the preservation and interpretation of sites and locales that bear witness to women’s participation in American history. NCWHS is dedicated to making women’s contributions to history visible so all women’s experiences and potential are fully valued. Visit: www.ncwhs.org
About the William G. Pomeroy Foundation The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is a private foundation established in 2005. The Foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly 800 grants for historic signage in New York State and beyond. Visit: www.wgpfoundation.org
Professor of History, UNLV