Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Grace Helmick Hayes, 1891-1920

By Natalie Zacharewski, Structured Educational Experiences Coordinator, Ford Edmonton Park, Alberta, Canada


Grace Helmick (sometimes spelled Hellmick) was born on July 1, 1891 in Helena, Montana to parents Charles W. Helmick of Iowa and Rachel Fowler of Pennsylvania. A brother, Walter Helmick, was born in 1894. Helmick lived her early years in Helena, participating in the final state of the statewide campaign for women's suffrage in 1913 and 1914 by speaking in rural areas, mining camps, and remote settlements. She left Montana to attend Stanford University in California and moved to San Francisco in 1915. Helmick continued to be active in Montana politics, however. In 1916, she spoke at Montana State College at the 1916 Vocational Congress, presenting her speech, "A Call to Public Service," on behalf of the Helena College Club. In March 1917, Helmick was the state secretary for the Charles Evans Hughes presidential campaign, who challenged Woodrow Wilson in the 1916 presidential election. Helmick married Jesse Ernest Hayes, an engineer for J.E. Hayes Engineering Corporation, and the couple moved to China in December 1917 for Hayes' business endeavors. Their first and only child, Wallace Dean Hayes, was born September 4, 1918 in Beijing, China. Grace Helmick died on June 1st, 1920 in San Francisco, California at age 28.


Grace Raymond Hayes Passport Application,

The Crescent of Gamma Phi Beta, Vol. XIII, No. 3, June 1913.

The Crescent of Gamma Phi Beta, Vol. XV, No. 1, January 1915.

The Crescent of Gamma Phi Beta, Vol. XVII, No. 2, March 1917.

"1916: Hughes Women's Campaign Train." Interactive Scrapbook of Elisabeth Freeman: Suffragette, Civil Rights Worker, and Militant Pacifist.

Gage, Matilda Joslyn, Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, and Harper, Ida Husted. History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 6. [LINK]

Herrick, Una B. "Twenty Years at Montana State College."

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