Biographical Sketch of Helen H. Haight

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Helen H. Haight, 1882 - ?

By Monica Meldrum, student, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI

President/Vice President, Waukesha, WI, Waukesha County Woman Suffrage Association; Business Manager/Secretary, Waukesha, WI, Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association.

Helen Hayden Hall was born June 20, 1882 near Burlington, Iowa to Henry and Annie Hall. Little is known about her childhood as sources on this period of her life are few. She was recorded to be a student at the time of the 1900 United States census. According to the 1910 United States census, she married Frank Putney Haight, nephew of Theodora Youmans, Another suffragist, around year 1908 and the couple is recorded to have had a daughter, Florence. Although it is known that Helen Haight did a substantial amount of traveling, her life following her suffrage work is unclear and her death date is unknown.

After traveling around the world and a two-year stay in Yokohama, Japan with her husband, Helen Haight's involvement with suffrage began in 1913 with her election to the position of president of the Waukesha County Suffrage Association (WCSA), as well as her appointment to the position of business manager of the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association (WWSA) and their suffrage periodical, the Wisconsin Citizen. From the beginning of her work with the WWSA, Helen Haight took charge of all the business operations which, which were vital to the organization's success. Helen Haight's work with the WWSA was also due in part to Mrs. Theodora Youmans, who Helen Haight worked with directly to manage state operations. In an introductory article about Helen Haight, the editor of the Wisconsin Citizen, Lena V. Newman, refers to Mrs. Haight as "an enterprising and experienced newspaper and business woman." One of her popular decisions at the paper was to create space for reliable business advertisements. This acted as an advertisement trade with Wisconsin businesses, making way for an alliance to get the word out. As business manager, she was also in charge of collecting membership dues and newspaper subscriptions. Aside from her duties as president of the WCSA and the Wisconsin Citizen, Helen Haight also traveled the Wisconsin suffrage campaign trail, speaking and lecturing at state and county fairs as well as political conferences. Records document Mrs. Haight speaking in the communities of Galesville, Waukesha, Portage, and Milwaukee.

Helen Haight's contribution to the WWSA progressed over her few years of service. She continuously provided updates for members in the Wisconsin Citizen and gave lectures throughout the state. In 1916, Mrs. Haight and many other women suffragists from all over Wisconsin marched in a Chicago parade. According to the Racine Daily Journal, "the women marched in yellow garments and were reported to be carrying a pole, garlanded with yellow satin ribbon with a live badger chain to the top." Later in the fall of 1916, Helen Haight's salary was reduced based on budget cuts. Due to the small amount of pay and the cost of living, she decided it was best to leave her job as secretary and business manager of the WWSA. Following her resignation, Helen Haight began working as the business manager of the Little Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Sources:

California. San Francisco County. 1910 U.S. census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2017.

Gipple, Bert A. Letter to Helen H. Haight, 13 June 1916. Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Wisconsin State Historical Society, Wisconsin.

Haight, Helen H. "Street Meetings." The Waukesha Freeman, July 23, 1914, Thursday edition, pg. 2.

Haight, Helen H. "With the Business Manager." The Wisconsin Citizen, December 1914, Vol. 27 no. 15, pg. 2.

Haight, Helen H. Letter to Anne K. Wheeler, 1915. Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Wisconsin State Historical Society, Wisconsin.

Illinois. Morgan County. 1900 U.S. census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2017.

Knapp, Jessie J. Letter to Helen H. Haight, 21 November 1915. Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Wisconsin State Historical Society, Wisconsin.

Newman, Lena V. "Mrs. Haight President." The Wisconsin Citizen, July 1913, Vol. 26 no. 10, pg. 4.

Newman, Lena V. "Elected Business Manager." The Wisconsin Citizen, August 1913, Vol. 27 no. 11, pg. 2.

Quackenbush, Susan. Letter to Helen Haight, 20 September 1915. Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Wisconsin State Historical Society, Wisconsin.

Unknown Author. "Our Tent at the Fair." The Waukesha Freeman, September 24, 1914, Thursday edition, pg. 2.

Unknown Author. "Racine Women to Have Part in the Big Suff Parade." Racine Daily Journal News, May 26, 1916, Friday Afternoon edition, pg.1.

Unknown Author. "Two Fair Speakers." The Waukesha Freeman, September 28, 1916, Thursday edition, pg. 2.

Unknown Author. "Discuss Wheat Embargo." Daily Northwestern, October 3, 1916, Thursday Evening edition, pg. 3.

Youmans, Theodora W. "Good Citizenship for Women." The Waukesha Freeman, August 26, 1920, Thursday edition, pg. 2.

Helen Haight Photo Credits and Citation

The Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association Photo, 1913 (Wisconsin Citizen)

Newman, Lena V. "Mrs. Haight President." The Wisconsin Citizen, July 1913, Vol. 26 no. 10, pg. 4.

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