Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Alice Josephine Tye Neilson (Mrs. Edmund Favor) Noel, 1868–1933
By Sherry L. Mercer, Dallas, TX
Woman Suffrage Activist
Alice Josephine Tye was born on June 25, 1868, in Yazoo, Mississippi, to Colonel John Fletcher Tye and Ellen Josephine Clark. Colonel Tye was a merchant and served in the Confederate Army. Ellen Clark was a descendant of Abraham Clark, who represented New Jersey in the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. Alice had two brothers, Hiram J. Tye born in 1870 and John F. Tye born in 1876.
Alice graduated from Ward's Seminary in June of 1886 with a medal for high honors for scholarship. Alice married Halbert Hale Neilson, Sr. on October 15, 1891, in Pickens, Mississippi. Their first son, Albert, was born in September 1894. Their second son, Edwin Tye Neilson, was born on November 30, 1898, in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. There is limited information in the historical record about Halbert Hale Neilson; he died on October 24, 1898, prior to the birth of his second son.
On September 19, 1905, Alice married Edmund Favor Noel of Lexington, Mississippi, at the Pickens Baptist Church. They honeymooned in Chicago, Niagara Falls, and Canada before returning to their home in Lexington. E.F. Noel was a state legislator and prosecuting attorney for his district at different points in time. In addition, he was elected to the state senate in 1895 and re-elected in 1899. In 1900, Alice's two sons lived with her and her second husband, along with two servants. In 1907, E.F. Noel was elected governor of Mississippi and took the oath of office on January 22, 1908. His term ended in 1912. During the Governor's tenure, the Governor and Alice oversaw repairs to the Governor's mansion. A group of community businessman recommended tearing down the mansion and redeveloping the land. Alice and the Governor were credited with saving the mansion.
Alice was routinely mentioned in the society pages of the Jackson Daily News, including visits from friends and family, parties she attended, and meetings of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). On March 20, 1910, the paper reported that she had recovered from the injury suffered at the time of the accidental shooting of both her and her husband by a falling pistol.
Alice was active in the DAR and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. In 1911, Alice hosted the presentation of a Memorial Tablet by the Colonial Dames of Mississippi to the department of archives and history. In 1913, she served as secretary for the Mississippi DAR and hosted the state conference in her Lexington home. In 1914, she was elected the vice president general of Mississippi DAR. She was state regent in 1918.
On March 27, 1908, the Noels hosted the Women Suffragists' annual meeting at the Governor's mansion. During the meeting, officers were elected, and the organization affirmed "allegiance to declaration of American independence and insists its principles shall be applied to women who are citizens of the United States."
On September 17, 1912, several papers printed the announcement that the directors of the Mississippi State Fair had designated October 23rd as Women's Day at the fair. An open invitation to groups to participate was part of the press release. Women's Day at the State Fair was well covered by the local press with several of the speeches printed in their entirety. The day was referred to as the "largest and most representative of womanhood ever held in the state." Several women's groups participated including the Women's Suffrage Association and the DAR.
Alice appeared in the program as the responder to the welcome, and her speech was printed in the Jackson Daily News on October 23, 1914. Alice's speech included appreciation to the Fair for women's day and an anecdote about a New York woman assuming women of Mississippi were not interested in voting. In addition, she related an anecdote about when an aged couple wandered into the governor's mansion to the hospitality of Mississippi.
In 1918, she attended the United War Work Convention and was seated on the convention floor. And on April 16, 1919, the Natchez Democrat printed the following:
"Mrs. E.F. Noel, state representative of the DAR, states that the DAR will appoint a committee to go before the state legislature, asking that an appropriation be made for a memorial to Mississippi's soldiers and sailors in the great war. This, they realize is a big undertaking and may take years to accomplish, but the DAR wish to go on record as the first organization to inaugurate this work in the state of Mississippi."
On July 31, 1927, E.F. Noel died in their Lexington home. His obituary stated that it was a result of an illness contracted several months before and that he recently had returned home from the sanitarium.
Alice Tye Neilson Noel died on June 24, 1933, in Lexington, Mississippi. She is buried there next to E.F. Noel in Odd Fellows Cemetery.
1880 United States Federal Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Pickens, Holmes, Mississippi; Roll: 649; Page: 109A; Enumeration District: 005, via ancestry.com.
1900 United States Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Beat 3, Holmes, Mississippi; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1240811, via ancestry.com.
1910 United States Federal Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Jackson Ward 1, Hinds, Mississippi; Roll: T624_742; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1374755, via ancestry.com.
Choctaw Plaindealer, August 5, 1927, p. 1, via newspapers.com.
Choctaw Plaindealer, June 30, 1933, p. 1, via newspapers.com.
Clarion Ledger, January 15, 1992, p. 40, via newspapers.com.
Clarion Ledger, January 29, 1922, p. 9, via newspapers.com.
Clarion Ledger, July 31, 1927, p. 1, via newspapers.com.
Clarion Ledger, March 9, 1913, p. 9, via newspapers.com.
Greenwood Commonwealth, August 1, 1927, p. 1, via newspapers.com.
Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. The History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. VI (1900-1920). N.p.: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, p. 342 [LINK].
Jackson Daily News, April 24, 1914, p. 3, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, August 24, 1907, p. 5, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, February 9, 1918, p. 7, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, February 19, 1911, p. 9, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, March 5, 1913, p. 3, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, March 12, 1914, p. 8, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, March 20, 1910, p. 4, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, March 27, 1908, p. 6, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, October 22, 1912, p. 5, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, October 23, 1912, p. 1, p. 5, via newspapers.com.
Jackson Daily News, September 29, 1918, p. 5, via newspapers.com.
Mississippian, June 1, 1886, p. 2, via newspapers.com.
Natchez Democrat, April 6, 1919, p. 11, via newspapers.com.
Natchez Democrat, March 28, 1908, p. 2, via newspapers.com.
Natchez Democrat, September 17, 1912, p. 4, via newspapers.com.
The Vicksburg Herald, January 22, 1908, p. 2, via newspapers.com.
U.S. Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, ancestry.com.
U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Applications, 1889-1970, pp. 153-155, Edwin Tye Neilson, Jr., via ancestry.com.
Vicksburg Evening Post, August, 9, 1910, p. 4, via newspapers.com.
Vicksburg Evening Post, July, 2, 1907, p. 2, via newspapers.com.
Vicksburg Evening Post, September, 19, 1905 p. 4, via newspapers.com.