Notables

Mrs. Antoinette Leland Funk

Antoinette Funk

 

"It is tragic to even suggest that the voting women of this country draw inspiration and learn their political duties from such men as Henry Cabot Lodge, who for 40 years has consistently blocked the progress of women in Massachusetts, or Speaker Gillett, narrow of view, frostbitten in character, crimped and iced leader of the antisuffrage movement in State and nation, whose inspirational addresses to the clear-eyed women of America consisted of cheap title jokelets about the President of the United States." (Boston Post 7/11/1919)

Mrs. Antoinette Leland Funk, a gutsy and prominent member of the woman suffrage movement, was a special guest speaker at the School. Referred to as the third "most widely known suffrage worker in the United States" (Philadelphia Inquirer 1/28/1917) and "one of the most brilliant orators in the United States" (Manchester Union 7/5/1919), not only did she help to pass the 19th Amendment but she was involved with many political, legal and governmental efforts. Born in Dwight, Illinois and orphaned at a young age, she began her professional journey at her uncle’s law firm in Chicago, where she quickly became known for her impressive speaking skills. Surprisingly, she was originally an anti-suffragist and believed women should not have the right to vote and should remain in the home as caregivers and homemakers. As a lawyer, she took on difficult high-profile cases and defended many accused murderers, making herself known as the woman who was not afraid to speak her mind. After reviewing a potential state bill that would make divorce more difficult to attain, her views on women’s voting changed and she began her political career by entering the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association. There, she helped champion a bill in 1913 that granted women of Illinois the right to vote in presidential elections. Funk’s political views shifted heavily to the progressive side and she strongly supported President Woodrow Wilson’s views on the war. Eventually she took on important roles in the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA) where she focused her work on the 19th Amendment. Some of her decisions were controversial, such as when she actively sought out and insisted on compromising with congressmen who opposed the Amendment (Kathryn Funk, 1999). After also working in the education department of the Democratic Party in Washington D.C.,  Funk ended her career as Assistant Commissioner of Public Lands in the Department of the Interior. The Boston Sunday Globe  (7/13/1919), reported Mrs. Funk was mutual friends with Mrs. Wood. Funk’s speeches made her an icon, especially at the Democratic National Committee. At the School, on Democratic night, her severe criticisms of certain politicians "roused the ire" of several men in the audience; one even "left the hall muttering something with 'cuss' words galore" and slamming doors. Funk was indeed the “talker hard to match" (Boston Sunday Globe , 7/13/1919).  

 

President Ralph Dorn Hetzel & Mrs. Hetzel

Mrs Hetzel on greyPresident Hetzel (source: UNH Scholars Repository) 

 

"It is particularly fitting that New Hampshire College, a public educational institution, should offer its facilities for the promotion of educational work, designed to fit the citizens of our commonwealth for well directed participation in public affairs. It will be a distinct pleasure to entertain those who have interest in this forward looking movement." Boston Herald (7/9/1919)

Ralph D. Hetzel became the President of New Hampshire College (NHC) in 1917 with ambitious goals in mind for the future of the school. He was born in Merrill, Wisconsin where we grew up and studied education. Before NHC, he worked at the Oregon Agricultural College focusing on political science, English, and public speaking. As he assumed the presidency of NHC, he was known for his strong belief in land-grant schools as well as his intent to expand the campus by building additional dormitories for students and increasing enrollment. His policies reflected his passion for public schools and universities as he sought out appropriations for expansion and bargained with government to agree to the school’s financial needs. He argued that the cost would be worth the reward of growing what was at that time one of the largest colleges in New England. Hetzel was proud and eager to welcome the first School for Citizenship. As recorded in the Portsmouth Herald (6/25/1919), he said “it will be a distinct pleasure to entertain those who have interest in this forward looking movement.” Under Hetzel's leadership, in 1923, NHC became UNH. After leaving UNH, he spent 20 years as the president of Pennsylvania State University. President Hetzel’s wife Estelle was supportive of the Citizenship School and acted as a sponsor and hostess for the prospective women voters in Durham, NH.  

 

Miss Martha Smith Kimball 

Kimball on dark blue

Martha Smith Kimball, an important organizer of the School, came from a prominent family in Portsmouth, NH, where she grew up at 889 South Street. After being educated at Smith College, she returned to Portsmouth and became an important member of many local, state and national advocacy groups, such as the Portsmouth Historical Society and Public Library, the YWCA, the Council of National Defense, and several groups related to Smith College. In 1913 she became president of the NH Equal Suffrage Association, and, once the vote was won, a committee member of the National League of Women Voters.  Like Mary Wood, she is buried in the Harmony Cemetery on South Street in Portsmouth.

In addition to being involved with the administration of the School for Citizenship in 1919, she toured around the US as a speaker for suffrage and was one of thirty representatives for the US at the tenth meeting of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, held in Paris in 1926. 

 

Mrs. Nancy Musselman Schoonmaker 

schoonmaker on blue

 

"Until we make the world so that the woman who must work may have a job and a child, a home and an office, we women are not getting our fair share in the world." (Boston Post ; Boston Globe 7/12/1919)

"Our supreme effort must be to do for the world, as women voters, what we have done for the home. And before we cast ever a vote, we mean to find out who are our friends and who are our enemies." (Boston American, 7/9/1919)

"Don't you believe all you hear, girls. There is so much black on both the old parties that we don't owe any particular gratitude toward either." (Boston American, 7/11/1919)

"It would break your hearts to know that neither the Republicans nor Democrats care anything about us; for, except for those that learned suffrage at their mother's knees, we women get no support except where it is expedient to give us support.  When we see both political parties adapting their principles to suit women we can make up our minds that, just as they used to adapt them to suit the laboring man, they now consider it expedient to adapt them at least in some degree to women's liking." (Boston Post 7/11/1919)

"Graft. Corruption, even corruption to contentment. Rotten politics as practiced by some men and tolerated by others. The men tell me I have no right going round telling women voters naughty things about politics. But we must know them. We were poor voters if we did not know, for instance, the technical terms of the corner politician." (Boston American 7/10/1919)

"[W]e must ask ourselves what women stand for. Do we stand for gossip, vanity, back biting, what the men call the cat qualities? Or do we stand for mercy, love and peace? The rib of Adam stretches far today, and where does it end? It must end with the woman voter giving to the world the trinity just mentioned. And with these, charity." (Boston American 7/12/1919) 

Nancy Schoonmaker was a suffragist, lecturer and author whose lectures and written materials on citizenship formed the backbone of the School's curriculum. The Boston Globe, writing about her at the School, stated, "It would be hard to find a man in the entire country a better master of parliamentary practice than Mrs. Schoonmaker, whose daily lecture on that subject was brim full of solid, sensible information regarding practical politics. Indeed she became known as 'Professor of Practical Politics'" (7/13/1919). She opened the first Department of Citizenship in Connecticut after women were granted the vote. Born in Kentucky, with a father who was a known writer, Schoonmaker pursued writing herself. To supplement  her citizenship work, she authored the bookThe Actual Government of Connecticut. But suffrage was not her only interest—she also published a number of other written works, including short stories, a novel (The Eternal Fires) and reviews of wine (a subject her father also wrote on quite prolifically).  She was deeply involved with both local and global politics, especially for the Democratic party, and ran for Congress in the 27th District of New York in 1937, but lost to her Republican opponent, Lewis K. Rockefeller.  Nonetheless, she continued to serve on the Democratic State Committee and stayed involved in politics and the League of Women Voters. Schoonmaker’s recorded remarks during the School for Citizenship in New Hampshire paint her as a vibrant speaker and as loyal to the cause of women's inclusion above blind loyalty to one’s party.  

On the last day of the School for Citizenship, Schoonmaker advocated for women's rights to work and have children, stating, “The supreme task and duty and privilege of a woman is to bear children, and at present the terms on which men give out work to women, does not allow her to do it. Women have had to say , ‘We take the work, and renounce our other great privilege of love, marriage and mother­hood'" (Boston Post  7/12/1919). In other words, women were doubted for being able to balance work and family, and workplaces did not consider women's needs. Schoonmaker argued that women should not be kept from a profession because they have or want a child. 

 

Miss Marjorie Shuler

shuler on med blue

"In the League of Women Voters women who have been pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage will join to make themselves and others better citizens. The League will be non-partisan, but its members will belong to the parties of their choice and in those parties will agitate for the principles of better government which the league will formulate." (Boston Post  7/10/1919) 

"[T]he establishment of a special school primarily for women is the result of the granting of equal suffrage. It is valuable proof of politics as a unifying instead of separating force between men and women.” (American Review of Reviews, 1921)

Miss Marjorie Shuler was a publicist and author for the women suffragists from New York. Daughter of the famous suffragist Nettie Rogers Shuler, she worked for NAWSA and the subsequent League of Women Voters. Shuler wrote for NAWSA's major publication, The Woman Citizen, and was the author of several books about suffrage and voting, including The Woman Voter's Manual (1918), which she co-wrote with Carrie Chapman Catt, president of NAWSA. In 1919, she was the press secretary for NAWSA’s Congress Committee, sent purposely to influence the vote for ratification of the Amendment. Shuler was even found protesting with the Equal Suffrage Association at the Republican State Convention in Dover, DE where 20,000 Delaware women were demanding ratification (Ida  Husted Harper, The History of Woman Suffrage). Shuler wrote one of the few novels about woman suffrage, called For Rent -- One Pedestal, about a young woman who comes to understand and support the suffrage movement. A Republican, and a practicing Christian Scientist, after her suffrage work Shuler became a longtime reporter for the Christian Science Monitor. In 1939, Shuler wrote a memoir of her flying trip around the world, the first ever by a woman, entitled A Passenger to Adventure (Appleton-Century, 1939). 

 

Mrs. Mary Inez Wood 

wood on orange

"If our voting means simply doubling the ballots, then our object is defeated. We must contribute feminine intelligence. We should be more interested in good schools, clean water, fit milk; above all else, homes that rest and comfort, than in the tariff or high finance. We must socialize our vote, the home. We must bring the world into the home and the home out into the world, even to talking baking biscuits abroad if that is needed."  (Boston American, 7/9/1919)

"This is the sort of thing we women need. We are learning now to think and disagree and still love each other." (Boston Post, 7/11/1919)

"It is no trouble to learn the machinery of government to accomplish political results." (Boston American, 7/9/1919)

It appears that the only reason there was a School for Citizenship is was because of ingenuity of  Mrs. Mary Inez Wood, for it was she who both came up with the idea and approached President Hetzel about hosting it at NHC. Although Wood was born in Woodstock, Vermont in 1866,  she was later described as "one of the most loved and respected women of NH" (The Woman Citizen, 1919).  After moving around New England, in 1898 she moved to Portsmouth and became an important force for women's causes, both in NH and around the country. She was heavily involved in women’s suffrage and the promotion of female independence well before the occurrence of the School for Citizenship. She was the vice president of the NH Women Suffrage Association, President of the NH Federation of Women's Clubs, a member of the NH State Board of Charities, and she held prominent positions in other groups regarding charities, nursing, the Unitarian Church, food safety and other causes.  In her capacity as the manager of the Bureau of Information of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, in 1912 she wrote a substantial book detailing the history of the General Federation. 

Wood acted as the Parliamentarian at the School for Citizenship at the New Hampshire College and opened the first session with a speech championing the cause of the school and the unique viewpoints and talents of women. By all accounts she was an even-tempered and motherly presence, keeping the School on track "with consummate skill and tact" (Boston Globe 7/13/1919) and calming all participants when political debates became too heated. 

She also became the first president of the NH League of Women Voters after the group developed from the NH Woman Suffrage Association in 1920.  She died in Portsmouth, NH in 1945 and is buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery on South Street.  

 

Faculty and associates of the School