Reflections: Women barred from part in primary


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



That was the headline in the April 22, 1920 edition of the Morrow County Sentinel, 100 years ago. The story is a follow-up on one published in June, 1919, where the Ohio General Assembly “took prompt action ratifying the woman suffrage amendment to the federal institution.”

In other words, giving women the right to vote. “The house goes further by passing a measure giving to women of the state of Ohio the right to vote for presidential electors in case the amendment has not become a part of the nation’s organic law by 1920.

However, the story in the 1920 story related “Hope of Ohio women that they would have an opportunity to participate in the presidential primaries April 27 vanished earlier that week when John Druffel of Cincinnati, representing the Ohio Anti-Suffrage Association, filed with Secretary of State Harvey C. Smith, a petition for a referendum on the Reynolds law, which would have given them the right.

The story related that the secretary of state accepted the petitions which were declared to bear signatures of 75,242 names and announced that the operation of the Reynolds law would be suspended pending a referendum to be held in November.

The petitions were sent back to the 67 counties from where they had come to be checked by local boards of election to determine whether they bear a sufficient number of qualified electors.

This process could not be completed in time to give the women a chance to vote in the primaries said the secretary who added “The law gave him no authority to question the sufficiency of the petitions.” It was to become effective April 20, 1920.

I submit this because it demonstrates the steps taken to allow us (women) to become voters. How thankful we are that the efforts paid off!

Another scary headline in a 1900 Sentinel headlines: Small Pox at Cardington, the Truth of the Report. It describes the illness of one man in Cardington who “was afflicted but not seriously ill.”

The story names all of those in Cardington who had been exposed and subsequently confined because they had been in the home of the ill man and his family. His was the only case in Cardngton and the story says “Our citizens are not in the least alarmed and business is good, with no fear of an epidemic. Cardington people realize that every precaution has been taken and are accepting the matter as they would a case of typhoid fever!!!!”

My comment: “Then why the headline?”

Looking back

70 years, April, 1950: Morrow County Census takers began their door-to-door canvassing. Donna Heimlich and Paul Richeson both of Cardington, were assigned to take the head counts in Cardington and Mount Gilead. Mabel Jo Sadler, Lena Ladd and Fern Ocker, all of Cardington, were assigned to take the census in the rural areas of the county.

75 years ago, April 1945: Cardington senior class members had taken the state scholarship test at Mount Gilead. Howard Shaw tied for third place in the county. Jasper Robinson and Clydelle Thomas had taken their physicals and James Shoults who had enlisted in the Navy a few weeks earlier, was waiting on his assignment.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

Reach us at mcsnews@aimmediamidwest.com.

Reach us at mcsnews@aimmediamidwest.com.