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Suffrage for Women Passes!

102 years ago, on June 26th, 1913, the Presidential and Municipal Suffrage Bill became law. Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi River to grant presidential suffrage to women. The bill was signed by Governor Edward F. Dunne who was a former resident of River Forest. Grace Wilbur Trout and the Nineteenth Century Club were essential in the seeing the bill become law. 

Grace Wilbur Trout

Grace Wilbur Trout moved to a house on the 400 block of Forest Ave. in Oak Park from Chicago with her family in 1903. While in Oak Park she devised and implemented a strategy to attain the right to vote for women. Trout joined the Nineteenth Century Club of Oak Park in 1906. Trout went on to lead the campaign for a new state constitution that guaranteed equal rights for women. After she retired to Florida, Trout found new issues to occupy her time, including municipal planning. 

Trout was lauded as "the supreme ideal  of cultivated womanliness."  She was a wife, mother, activist, and organizer.  Trout was also a talented politician and orator. An example of the strong political time period is captured below with an event advertisement from the June 1913 Oak Leaves. The event being advertised is a baseball game between the Suffragettes vs. the Anti-Suffragettes. 

Interested in learning more about Grace Wilbur Trout and the local suffrage movement? Read The Woman Who Never Fails, available in our gift shop.