The Suffrage Movement in Modesto

The women of Modesto were involved in the work for women’s suffrage by 1896. It was the smaller interior counties of California that carried the vote in 1911 in favor of equality for women in contrast to the coastal counties where the amendment failed. Modesto was recognized by the state-wide organizations as playing a key role in the passage of the amendment.

Las mujeres de Modesto estuvieron involucradas en el trabajo por el sufragio femenino desde 1896 hasta 1911 cuando se reconoció su derecho al voto en California. Fueron los condados más pequeños del interior de California los que votaron a favor de la igualdad para las mujeres en contraste con los condados costeros donde fracasó la enmienda. Modesto fue reconocido por las organizaciones estatales por desempeñar un papel clave en la aprobación de la enmienda.

What names could women use?

Her birth name was Elizabeth Jane Starr, the daughter of Samuel Starr. When she married Garrison Turner in 1859, according to US laws inherited from English couture laws, she gave up her personal identity and would be known as either Mrs. Garrison Turner or Mrs. G. Turner. A search of newspapers during her lifetime brought up nearly 2000 times she was referred to as one of these names and only once, late in life, as Elizabeth Starr Turner. After her husband died in 1916, she started using the name Mrs. Elizabeth Turner, regaining some of her personal identity.

The couture laws were the instrument of oppression of women in United States and other countries with ties to England. In Italy, France, Spain, Chile, Korea, and many other countries, women keep there own names.

Gail Laughlin

In January 1904, the women of the Modesto Suffrage Club, under the presidency of Elizabeth Starr, hosted famed women’s equality speaker Gail Laughlin at Plato’s Opera House.

En enero de 1904, las mujeres del Modesto Equal Suffrage Club, bajo la presidencia de Elizabeth Starr, recibieron a la famosa oradora sobre igualdad de mujeres Gail Laughlin en la Ópera de Platón.

Beulah Amidon

In September 1916, the Women’s Improvement Club brought Beulah Amidon of the National Women’s Party to Modesto to speak about equality for women.

En septiembre de 1916, el Club de Mejoramiento de la Mujer trajo a Modesto a Beulah Amidon del Partido Nacional de la Mujer para hablar sobre la igualdad de la mujer.