Biographical Sketch of Hannah Jones Egleston

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Hannah Jones Egleston, 1848-1944

By Manisha Claire
Independent scholar, Somerville, MA

Hannah E. Jones Egleston was born in New York State. She married her husband Marvin Egleston (also from New York) in 1869 in Fillmore, Minnesota. The couple had four children. According to the 1910 census, Marvin Egleston, though listed as married for 40 years, was blind and living in a rooming house in Wykoff, Minnesota. Hannah Egleston died in 1944 in Minnesota.

Hannah Egleston was an active member of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA). She served as secretary in 1895, acted as a delegate in the 1901 MWSA state suffrage convention and was elected vice-president at the 1902 convention. The Mower County Transcript listed Egleston as the continuing vice-president of the MWSA in a 1903 article about that year's convention. She also served as an officer in a local branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.). She was named treasurer in 1892 and became the president of the Rushford, Minnesota chapter in 1901.

On May 28, 1898, the Spring Valley Mercury covered a meeting of the W.C.T.U., of which Hannah Egleston was a ranking member. In the meeting, Egleston speaks on the topic of "franchise," or votes for women. The reporter paraphrases Egleston's remarks, but the substance of her words is recorded: "I believe in women having opinions. We should have franchise because we are human beings, and not only that but woman stands the highest in the human scale. God first created animals, then with a more careful touch he created man, and then, as the grand height and climax of his work he created woman. And yet this 'Finishing Touch of the Great Painter' is not allowed to vote, while men who write their names with an X are permitted to help make the laws to govern the nation." The reporter quotes her call for a vote on the issue: "How many women would vote if they had the chance?" According to the Mercury, all but three of the women in the audience "rose to their feet, signifying their desire to vote."

Sources:

Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds., "Minnesota," in History of Women Suffrage, vol. 6., National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922. LINK

1880 U.S. Federal Census, accessed January 2018. https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/6742/4241999-00664?pid=33078189&backurl=https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D6742%26h%3D33078189%26tid%3D%26pid%3D%26usePUB%3Dtrue%26_phsrc%3DmAz2%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=mAz2&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true

"Urban and rural," The Rushford Star, June 16, 1892.

"W.S.A. Annual Meeting," Preston Times, August 22, 1895.

"W.C.T.U.," Spring Valley Mercury, May 28, 1898.

"District W.C.T.U," The Minneapolis Journal, June 15, 1901.

"Woman's Suffrage Convention," Mower County Transcript, September 30 1903.

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