POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Several people turned out on Saturday morning to march on Main Street in Point Pleasant in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
The event was organized by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) and the district president of GFWC Julie Bibbee.
Bibbee said they had around 25 marchers come out on Saturday and march from Third Street to the court house on Sixth Street.
“I was absolutely delighted with the participation,” Bibbee said.
At the courthouse, Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley gave a speech about the suffrage movement.
“Can we imagine how those first female voters must have felt to cast a ballot?” Cromley asked during her speech. “Many were scared of public repercussions, some were held back by their husbands, but a brave number did cast their vote.”
Cromley spoke of a woman of West Virginia who was a participant in the suffrage movement, which led to the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment.
“Lenna Lowe Yost, a native of Marion County, was a driving force behind the suffrage in West Virginia,” Cromley said. “She inspired the House of Delegates and State Senate to make our state the 34th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. The vote in the senate was 15-14, which indicates to me, her lobbying was responsible for passage. Her ability to influence was so impressive that she was chosen to preside the Republican National Convention of 1920.”
Cromley said that after two more states voted to ratify, the amendment became a law to give women the right to vote.
“I am honored to be in charge of the voting process in Mason County,” Cromley said. “I would like to challenge each and every qualified voter to cast their ballot this fall.”
Cromley said that in 2016, 63 percent of nationwide registered women voters participated in the election.
Bibbee said on behalf of the local GFWC, she delivered craft materials to the Mason County Library. Bibbee said that they also support the women at the veterans hospitals by delivering socks and clothing.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.