Sisters for Suffrage Research GuideWoman Suffrage Association of Utah

Woman Suffrage Association of Utah

In January 1889 the Woman Suffrage Association of Utah was organized as an auxiliary of the National Woman Suffrage Association, headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Women throughout the territory were encouraged to educate themselves about political and civic matters through the WSAU and in Relief Societies.

Emmeline Blanche Woodward Harris Whitney Wells (1828–1921) represented Utah at many national suffrage meetings. She edited the Woman’s Exponent for 37 years and became friends with national suffragist Susan B. Anthony. She was instrumental in founding the Woman Suffrage Association of Utah and served as the fifth General Relief Society President.

Ruth May Fox (1853–1958) was mentored by Emmeline Wells. She served as the treasurer for the Woman Suffrage Association of Utah and as president of the Utah Woman’s Press Club. She later became General President of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (the precursor to the Young Women organization).

Embossing Seal, circa 1889–95. The Woman Suffrage Association of Utah was established in January 1889. This embossing seal was likely used to mark official association documents.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1, 1872). The Woman’s Exponent newspaper was the first publication for Latter-day Saint women and served as a vehicle for spreading information. The first editor was Lula Green Richards. Emmeline B. Wells served as editor from 1877 until the paper closed in 1914.

Utah Woman Suffrage Song Book, Office of the Woman’s Exponent, 1891. This songbook features lyrics written by Latter-day Saint women set to traditional tunes. These songs were sung at suffrage meetings and rallies throughout the territory.

Emmeline B. Wells’s admiration for national suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony is evidenced by their pictures on the wall of her Salt Lake City home. She was especially good friends with Miss Anthony.