Biographical Database of Militant Suffragists, 1913-1920
Biography of Jane Osborn Hannah, 1876-1943
By Sarah Aronowitz, undergraduate student, State University of New York at Oneonta
Jane Osborn was born in Wilmington, Ohio, on July 8, 1876 to Parker Barnard and Rebecca Ann Randolph Osborn. Osborn was a talented singer from a very young age. She attended public school in her hometown and then studied music for three years under Signor Vittorio Carpi in Chicago, after which she studied under Johanna Hess-Burr. She continued to study music under various teachers and singers, both abroad and in the United States throughout her early adulthood. She married Frank Hannah on November 25, 1907, at the age of 31. She established herself as a soprano in the opera world, and made many appearances throughout her career. She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City from 1909 to 1911, then a member of the Chicago Grand Opera Company in 1912 and 1913.
Despite having retired from singing professionally in 1914, Jane Osborn Hannah entertained the suffragists with her voice on a few occasions. For example, she performed multiple times at a three-day suffrage conference arranged by the National Woman's Party in Washington, D.C. in December 1918. In March 1919, she was one of the New York women who stood in front of the White House and held the famous gold and purple banners with words such as, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?" In March 1919, she joined other suffragists in the protest against Woodrow Wilson at the Metropolitan Opera House.
There is not much information about Jane Osborn Hannah after women won the right to vote, as she was retired from singing. Although she lived in many places throughout her life both domestically and abroad, she lived mainly between New York City and Chicago. Later in life, she and her husband resided in Manhattan, New York, which is where they both died. Her husband, Frank S. Hannah, passed away in March 1934, leaving her widowed for her remaining decade, and Jane Osborn Hannah died on August 13, 1943, at the age of 67.
National Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 15 (New York: James T. White & Co., 1914). Oxford Music Online: https://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-5000006307;jsessionid=AD12964D805EDAA4B67635A6FE0C4FC0. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, editions 6-9. "Suffs Fight in Street to Burn Wilson Speech," (New York) Sun, March 5, 1919; "Fancies, Fads, And Foibles of Capital Society," Washington Times, December 15, 1918; "Police Ordered to Bar Pickets From President," New-York Tribune, March 4, 1919, 3; "Six Anti-Wilson Suffragists Are Arrested Here," New-York Tribune, March 5, 1919; "Cio-Ciosans From America Made 'Madame Butterfly' A Success In Germany," (New York) Sun, May 15, 1910; "Leave For Europe," The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, Iowa), May 29, 1910.