As we approach the centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that ensured women the right to vote in the nation, it seems useful to recall our local women’s suffrage history. In my research I came across this lovely tidbit from Leadville that I thought would be of interest to readers. On December 5, 1893, the Evening Chronicle reported the following:

“Ever since the woman’s suffrage question has been carried in this state (November 7, 1893) the ladies have many times visited the clerk’s office for the purpose of registering. They were informed that they could not vote until the Governor issued a proclamation declaring woman’s suffrage a law. This happened on Saturday and was announced in Sunday’s Herald Democrat.

“County Clerk Whipple has the proud distinction of personally registering the first lady voter in Lake County, while Mrs. Angela T. Lynch, wife of Justice of the Peace Al Lynch, has the distinction of being the first lady voter to register.

“Mrs. Lynch answered the questions as follows:

“‘Are you married?’ ‘Yes.’

“‘Where do you reside?’ ‘300 West Elm.’

“‘Are you a property owner?’ ‘Yes.’

“‘Were you born of citizen parents?’ ‘Yes.’

“‘What is your height?’ ‘Five feet two inches.’

“‘How old are you?’ ‘Thirty-nine years of age.’

“‘What is the color of your eyes?’ ‘Black.’

“Mr. Al Lynch and C. H. S. Whipple appeared as vouchers for Mrs. Lynch, who is now a legal voter of Precinct 16.”

If she answered “no” to the question about citizen parents she would still be eligible to vote if she could prove she was a naturalized citizen or was married to a citizen.

Judy Gaughan

Co-founder, Women’s Suffrage Centennial-Southern Colorado

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