Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Adelaide T. Goodno, ? - 1931

By Chloe Ring, student, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, North Carolina

President, Tyronne, PA, Woman's Christian Temperance Union; President, North Carolina Woman's Christian Temperance Union; Corresponding Secretary, North Carolina, Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Adelaide T. Goodno, president of the North Carolina Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) from 1911 to 1924, was an influential advocate for suffrage and temperance. Born in Philadelphia and living most of her early married life there, Goodno dedicated her time to religious activities revolving around Sunday school. Goodno participated in the White Ribbon branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, encouraging young children and teenagers to avoid substance use and abuse through education programs.

In 1891, Goodno helped form a local Woman's Christian Temperance Union in West Philadelphia and became its president. She only served for a year due to her husband's poor health, which led her family to move to Colorado. In 1894 her husband died, and she and her four children returned to Tyronne, Pennsylvania, where she became the president of the local chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1894. When her son fell ill, she moved the family to Raleigh, North Carolina.

In Raleigh, she became the president of the local WCTU chapter until 1911 when she was elected president of the state WCTU chapter. While president, Goodno focused on promoting suffrage, motherhood, and temperance. Goodno wanted women to vote for strong laws banning alcohol and other substances from North Carolina. She called on women to correct social ills that could potentially corrupt the lives of children and homes. In a speech given before the North Carolina Senate Committee on Elections and the North Carolina House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, she argued that women's votes would "make the nation a clean, safe place for our dear boys and girls." (The News and Observer) Goodno believed that women's political activism would protect the home from outside vices such as alcohol and tobacco, and ensure better conditions for women working in factories.

Goodno also sponsored many campaigns to tackle her initiatives. Local WCTU unions under her supervision distributed thousands of pamphlets and posters about the goals of temperance and suffrage. She created Sunday school programs to teach about the harmful affects of alcohol and drugs, and organized community meetings to engage in conversation about temperance and the "rescuing" of prostitutes. In 1911 she helped pass the Anti-Near-Beer Bill prohibiting saloons from keeping intoxicating liquors in their establishments as well as limiting the amount of alcohol shipped into the state. Further, she assisted in eliminating liquor advertisements within North Carolina and removed gambling from county and state fairs.

She served as president for thirteen years until her resignation in 1924. Over the next three years, she served as the state corresponding secretary. In 1931, Adelaide Goodno passed away in Columbia, South Carolina, while visiting her grandchildren.

Goodno was an effective WCTU leader. Her advocacy for temperance ensured that her personal standards and the overall principles of the WCTU protected families and society from the consequences of various substances. Her support of suffrage resulted from her belief that women would vote for legislation that protected women and children in the home as well as in the paid labor force.


Joe Mobley, Raleigh North Carolina: A Brief History Book (N.p.: History Press, 2009); "Dr. Anna Howard Shaw Addresses Legislators," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), February 13, 1915, Microfilm; "In Memoriam: Mrs. Adelaide Goodno," The Union Signal (Chicago, IL), August 15, 1931, p. 40, Digital file; Woman's Christian Temperance Union Minutes (Chicago, IL: Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1915), Microfilm.

back to top