Wednesday, August 26, 2009

89th Anniversary of 19th Amendment

Today's the 89th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution giving women the right to vote.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Many states had already allowed women to vote in state or local elections, including Illinois, which was the first state to ratify the 19th.

One of the earliest, if not the first, woman elected in Southern Illinois was Emma Rebman, county superintendent of Johnson County. Her 1912 biographical sketch in the G. W. Smith's History of Southern Illinois tells the story.

On her return to Illinois in the spring of 1910, Miss Rebman's large circle of acquaintances were glad to take advantage of the opportunity of offering her an important office of public trust. She was elected superintendent of Johnson County schools, by the largest majority any nominee of the county had ever received. The heavy duties of her office have been discharged with exceptional efficiency and a rare quality of discrimination which is the result of her wide experiences, keen pedagogical instinct and her logically practical mind.

In addition to her educational expertise, she's probably better remembered today for her homeplace. She operated Ferne Clyffe as a private campground which she later sold to the Greater Egypt Association following World War II to hold until the state could purchase it for a state park.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Jon,
I apologize for the roundabout way of getting in touch with you, but several people have recommended you to me and this is the only way that I have been able to find to get a message to you. I work for a publishing company called The History Press and I wanted to see if I could get some advice from you about the Illinois history publishing scene and to inquire if you might be interested in working on a book project with us. You can reach me at

Thanks so much,
Ben Gibson