It was 1912, and hundreds of spectators and participants gathered from far and near to watch the festivities. There was, however, more to the annual parade than the usual floats and figures. Two platoons of suffragists, numbering sixty-eight in total, led the parade through town, spreading their peaceful message of equality. Labeling themselves as suffragists rather than suffragettes meant they pursued a more legal, quiet approach than their more boisterous, action-oriented, and sometimes legally questionable counterparts. Photos of the event appeared in the Plain Dealer, showing the women on horseback. Additional festivities included dinner prepared by the Methodist church, discussions by village elders, live music, and dancing around the Maypole.
America’s entry into World War I and the mass exodus of men to the front necessitated an influx of women into the newly vacant workforce. Working women were proving their vigor and value one job at a time. After years of protest and perseverance, women won the right to vote in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.