Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Katherine Ireys Diehl b. 1878-d. 1955

By Brenda Harper, volunteer researcher for 2020 Vision Committee, Clarksville, TN

Secretary of the Clarksville Equal Suffrage League; Ratification Committee, Clarksville League of Women Voters

Katherine Ireys was born January 16, 1878 in Mississippi to Susan and Henry T. Ireys. She completed one year of college and made her way to Washington, D.C. where she met and married Charles E. Diehl on March 24, 1909. By the time of the 1910 Federal Census they were living in Clarksville, TN where Charles was the minister of First Presbyterian Church. In October of that same year, their only child Charles Ireys Diehl was born. In later years Charles Diehl became president of Southwestern Presbyterian University. When SPU relocated from Clarksville to Memphis in 1925, the Diehl family moved. Katherine lived in Memphis until her death on June 19, 1955.

While in Clarksville, Katherine Diehl was a member of the Clarksville Equal Suffrage League. She served as secretary beginning in 1914. She was an active member when the group transitioned to the League of Women Voters following the passage of the state suffrage law in 1919. She was on the Ratification Committee and helped to plan the reception for Gov. Roberts at the Women's Club in July of 1920, organized to urge him on toward the ratification of the federal amendment.


U.S. Federal Census Records accessed July 27, 2017

Year: 1880; Census Place: Greenville, Washington, Mississippi; Roll: 668; Family History Film: 1254668; Page: 140A; Enumeration District: 091

Year: 1910; Census Place: Clarksville Ward 5, Montgomery, Tennessee; Roll: T624_1513; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0131; FHL microfilm: 1375526

Year: 1920; Census Place: Clarksville Ward 7, Montgomery, Tennessee; Roll: T625_1756; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 155

Year: 1930; Census Place: Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee; Roll: 2278; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0237; Image: 425.0; FHL microfilm: 2342012

Year: 1940; Census Place: Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee; Roll: T627_3968; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 98-238

Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959 accessed July 25, 2017

"Equal Suffrage Meeting a Pronounced Success," Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, August 1, 1914

"Governor Roberts Defends Record in Speech Here: Ladies Give Reception," Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, July 26, 1920

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