Local ties to the Centennial Celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote
ANNE DORIS CHISHOLM | 1863-1918
First-person narration by Juniata College Assistant Communications Director/History Enthusiast, April Hearn-Feagley
My name is Anne Dorris Chisolm. I was born in 1863 and died in 1918.
I was born into a life of privilege and I devoted many years of my life to seeing that women everywhere gained the privilege of voting.
I trained in Dresden, Germany, as a stained glass artist and at home in Huntingdon, I completed works of art for area churches and homes, until, in 1893, I was commissioned to create a large stained glass window for the Women's Pavilion. The Women's Pavilion was an exhibition of all of the best works created by female artisans aroun the world. It was a tremendous honor.
I married a Huntingdon attorney, William Chisolm, when I was in my 40s and we settled into a comfortable life together.
He supported me in my work to secure the vote for women and stood behind me when I traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1917 to protest with the "Silent Sentinels" on the White House lawn. Similar protests had been going on for over a year, but the political climate had soured with our nation's involvement in World War I and President Woodrow Wilson began arresting the protesters and incarcerating the women at the Occoquan Workhouse.
Sure enough, I and my sisters in suffrage were rounded up and jailed for 60 days. William came to bail me out, but I refused to leave when others couldn't. The treatment in the workhouse was wretched and 33 prisoners were severely beaten by 40 guards during the time I was there.
I came home, but was unwell and died of pneumonia in very early 1918. I am so very glad to say, the right to vote for women did come to pass just two years later in 1920.
Annie's stained glass artwork can be admired today in the historic Gage Mansion Bed & Breakfast located on Penn Street in Downtown Huntingdon. These local women's suffragist stories are commemorated annually on one of Landmark Inc.'s Downtown Huntingdon's Summer Walking Tour Series, guided by April Hearn-Feagley herself.
MARY THOMPSON ORLADY | 1854-1930
By Christina Larocco, Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Orlady, Mary Irvin (or Irving) Thompson (Mrs. George B. Orlady, 1854-1930), was born in Curwensville, PA, to Dr. Hardman Phillips Thompson and Martha Jane Thompson (nee Irvin). In 1877 she married lawyer George B. Orlady, who went on to serve as a justice of the superior court of Pennsylvania for more than thirty years. Based in Huntingdon, PA, the Orladys had three children, all of whom survived them. In 1916 Mary Orlady successfully ran for president of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association (PWSA). In this contentious election, Orlady had the support of the established leadership of the PWSA, which was being challenged by an insurgent faction that desired a greater role for rank-and-file members. Although Orlady won the election, her power as president was limited by her inexperience and ill health, forcing her to rely largely on the expertise of first vice president Lucy Kennedy Miller. However, Orlady was able to use her husband's position to gain an audience for the PWSA with US Senator Boies Penrose. She resigned from the PWSA presidency in 1917.
Information about Orlady can be found in Henrietta Louise Krone, "Dauntless Women: The Story of the Woman Suffrage Movement in Pennsylvania, 1910-20" (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1949); and Ida Husted Harper, ed., "Pennsylvania," chapter XXXVII in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920 (New York, NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), pp. 550-564.