Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Evanetta Hare, 1862-1938
By Bryan Hurley and Cameron Schwartz, students, State University of New York at Cortland
Member, press committee, New York State Woman Suffrage Association; Chairman, Empire State Campaign Committee, Rensselaer County; Vice President, Rensselaer County Political Equality Club
Evanetta Hare was born September 6, 1862 to John and Agnes (Strain) Hare in Troy, New York. Hare had two siblings—a brother, A. L. Hare, and a sister, Lucinda Hare. Hare played an important role in the Troy suffrage movement while also becoming an advocate for the city's teachers, women, and children. She graduated from Troy High School in 1881 and her subsequent career was dedicated to the Troy school system. She taught at School No. 14 and the Fifth Ward School in Troy before becoming principal of School No. 2 in 1892. For fifty years, until her retirement in 1933, Hare worked in Troy as either a teacher or principal.
Hare played a prominent role in the New York State suffrage movement and the local movement in Troy. In 1894, she attended the New York State Woman Suffrage Association (NYSWSA) convention in Ithaca and was named a press officer representing Rensselaer County. Hare was also a founding member of the Political Equality Club of Rensselaer County and served a stint as the club's vice president. In 1913, she earned an appointment from NYSWSA as chairman of the Empire State Campaign Committee for the eleventh district in the Keene Valley region. As a district chair, Hare coordinated publicity for the 1915 referendum vote in her region and led a conference and school for suffrage workers where she collaborated closely with National American Woman Suffrage Association president Carrie Chapman Catt. Hare spoke frequently in favor of suffrage and proved a formidable opponent in debate against anti-suffragists. Just days before the November 2, 1915 referendum vote in New York, she engaged in a memorable clash with Margaret M. Crumpacker of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. In her eloquent defense of suffrage, Hare described a woman's right to vote as "part of the eternal forward march of the human race toward complete democracy."
In addition to her suffrage activism, Hare labored diligently for the improvement of salaries and working conditions for teachers in the Troy area. She was elected treasurer of the Troy Teachers Association in the 1890s and later chaired the legislative committee for the Teachers' Welfare League of New York State, spearheading lobbying efforts in Albany on behalf of teachers. Hare was also a founder and an administrator of the Troy Teacher's Pension Fund. After the state took control of the fund in 1906, she continued to serve as a member of the newly created state pension board.
Beyond the issue of suffrage and the circumstances of teachers, Hare took an abiding interest in her community, and particularly the welfare of women and children. She was president of the Troy Women's Civic League (WCL) during the 1910s and 1920s and an early supporter of the Troy playground movement. Hare worked with the WCL to establish a municipal health center in Troy. The center opened in 1924 and introduced public health reform aimed at curbing childhood disease and increasing nursing care for school children during summer months. Until her death at the age of 75, Hare maintained active membership in numerous community organizations, including those concerned with improving housing conditions in Troy.
Evanetta Hare died of a heart attack at her home on March 4, 1938.
- "Miss Hare, Leader in Movement to Help Teachers, Expires," The Times Record, March 4, 1938, 9.
- John W. Leonard, Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915 (New York: American Commonwealth Company, 1914), 363. LINK
- Report of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, 1894, Constitutional-Amendment Campaign Year, Twenty-Sixth Annual Convention, Ithaca, NY, November 12-15 (Rochester: Charles Mann, 1895), 149.
- The Monitor, Vol. 5 1918, 38. https://books.google.com/books?id=ZZJDAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA5-PA38&dq=evanetta+hare+women's+suffrage&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijg5vB2unTAhXMQCYKHU2SBWYQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=evanetta%20hare%20women's%20suffrage&f=false
- "Suffragette Activities," Troy Times January 20, 1914, 5.
- Rensselaer County Historical Society. "In honor of International Women's Day..." Rensselaer County Historical Society. https://www.facebook.com/RensselaerCountyHistoricalSociety/posts/10154341480198085.
- "100 Years Ago in the Record: October 31," Troy Record, October 31, 2015. http://www.troyrecord.com/article/TR/20151031/FEATURES/151039971