Biographical Sketch of Maud Legrow Eklof Bailey

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Maud Legrow Eklof Bailey (Mrs. A. L. Bailey), 1869-1923

By Megan Brady, student, and Melanie Gustafson, professor, University of Vermont
President, Vermont Equal Suffrage Association

Maud Legrow was born on May 12, 1869 in Windham, Maine to Frederic Legrow and Lorana Boody Lagrow. Her father's occupation is listed in the 1900 U.S. Census as a farm laborer. In June 1900, Maud Legrow married Oswald R. Eklof of New York City. Their marriage record lists Maud as a teacher of singing and Oswald as a teacher of manual training. In 1901, their only child, a daughter Sigrid, was born. Two years later, Oswald died. In 1910, Maud Legrow Ecklof married Alden L. Bailey of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. A widower, Bailey had a daughter, Rosa M. Bailey, born 1879, with his late wife Lucy Lynn Bailey (1843-1908). Alden Bailey sold musical instruments throughout New England. He had offices in St. Johnsbury and Burlington, Vermont, as well as in Lancaster and Berlin Falls, New Hampshire. He was also president of the Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company in St. Johnsbury.

Newspaper reports referred to Maud Bailey as Mrs. A. L. Bailey. An early account of her public activism was printed in the St. Johnsbury Evening Caledonian, which reported that she had hosted a monthly meeting of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union at her home. In September 1917, Bailey was appointed to the national committee of the American Defense Society. A year later, in September 1918, Bailey was appointed by Gov. Graham to attend a "conference of state labor workers" in Washington, D. C. By then, Bailey had established herself as a leader of the Vermont suffragists.

Bailey was elected president of the Vermont Equal Suffrage Association (VESA) in June 1917. She served a one-year term and her tenure was not without problems. In July and August 1918, Bailey traveled around the state with Justina Wilson, the Recording Secretary for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, to organize suffrage supporters. A few months later, Wilson complained to VESA board member Annette W. Parmalee that Bailey was no longer responding to queries from the NAWSA. Wilson feared that Bailey's failure to share reports by the state organizer, Lillian H. Olzendam, with VESA leaders could result in opening the door to the influence of the National Woman's Party in the state. In January 1919, Dr. Marion Horton was elected the new VESA president. Despite the internal difficulties in VESA, Bailey remained politically active. She attended the March 1919 state suffrage convention in Burlington. In May 1919, she was appointed a Vermont delegate to the "Republican All-State Conference" in Washington, D.C.

Bailey became a widow for a second time in 1921. In the fall of 1922, Bailey's daughter Sigrid was married in a private ceremony at her mother's St. Johnsbury home "owing to her mother's long illness." Maud Eklof Bailey died in St. Johnsbury on June 6, 1923.

Sources:

Vermont Equal Suffrage Association Papers, 1883-1927, MSC 144-146, Leahy Library, Vermont History Center, Barre Vermont

"The Time Has Come," Woman Citizen, July 27, 1918, p. 173.

History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, 655.

Ancestry.com:
1870 Census; 1880 Census; 1900 Census; 1910 Census; 1920 Census
Vermont City Directories,
Maine, Marriage Records 1713-1922
Maine Death Records

St. Johnsbury (Vt.) Evening Caledonian:
WCTU meeting, April 7, 1915, p. 4
"Receives Appointment ot National Committee," September 19, 1917, p. 5
State Labor Workers Conference, September 30, 1918, p 6
"Vermont Equal Suffrage," March 10, 1919, p. 8
"Republican All-State Conference," May 22, 1919, p. 1

Barre (Vt.) Daily Times:
"Equal Suffrage Officers," June 28, 1917, p. 1
"Sigrid Eklof," October 2, 1922, p. 6

News and Citizen (Morrisville, VT)
With Mrs. Halsey Wilson, August 7, 1918, p. 1

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