Biographical Sketch of Mary Frances Adair Morgan

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mary Frances "Colie" Adair Morgan, 1872-1958

By Kristin L. Kuhlmann, Nursing Program Director,
Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico

President, Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, 1916-1917

Kansas Delegate to the 49th National Suffrage Convention in Washington, D.C., December, 1917

Mary Frances "Colie" Adair was born on January 16, 1872 in Denver, Colorado Territory, to Calvin Witter and Christiana Adair, nee Jones. She married William Yoast (W. Y.) Morgan on November 20, 1891 in Strong City, Kansas; they had one daughter, Claudia (1902-1958).

After several failed attempts, the equal suffrage amendment to the Kansas state constitution was passed in 1912, making Kansas the eighth state to grant voting rights to women. This success encouraged advocates to work toward a national suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In this effort, Colie Adair Morgan served as president of the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association from 1916-1917, and was a Kansas delegate to the 49th National Suffrage Convention, held in Washington, D.C., in December 1917.

Her husband's parents, W.A. and Wilhelmina Yoast Morgan*, were long-time political supporters of temperance and suffrage. His mother, Wilhelmina "Minnie" Morgan, had been mayor of his hometown of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas in 1889. During their marriage, W.Y. Morgan gained prominence as a newspaperman, author, and politician, and became owner of the Hutchison News in 1895. From 1899-1903, he was elected state printer of Kansas, served as a member of the Kansas state legislature from 1904-1910, and was elected Lt. Governor of Kansas from 1914-1918.

In 1916 and 1920, W. Y Morgan was a delegate to the Republican National Convention and was appointed the western department director of publicity for the Republican Party. It is likely that Colie Morgan was in Chicago with her husband for the Republican National Convention in June 1916, where approximately 50 Kansas women marched in the great suffrage parade. It is unknown if she was a participant. The Morgans would continue to be diligent advocates for national women's suffrage, until the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was successfully ratified on August 8, 1920. Colie Adair Morgan died on December 19, 1958 and was interred next to her husband at Memorial Park Cemetery, located in Hutchinson, Kansas.

*See the NAWSA biography of Wilhelmina "Minnie" Yoast Morgan. [LINK]

References

FindAGrave.com. (2009, June 2). Colie Adair Morgan. Retrieved October 1, 2017 from https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37832557

FindAGrave.com. (2009, June 2). William Yoast Morgan. Retrieved October 1, 2017 from https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37832558

Kansas Historical Society. ( 2017, September ). Lieutenant governors. Retrieved October 7, 2017 from https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/lieutenant-governors/17760

McCabe, M. (2015, March). First in the Midwest: Kansas' role in the women's suffrage movement. Retrieved October 7, 2017 from Council of State Governments - Midwest website: http://www.csgmidwest.org/policyresearch/0315-kansas-womens-suffrage.aspx

Stanton, E. C., Anthony, S. B., Gage, M., Blatch, H. S., & Harper, I. H. (1922). The history of woman suffrage, volume 6. LINK.

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