Biographical Sketch of Edith Grace Deming Clinch

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Edith Grace Deming Clinch, 1867-1942

By Ryan Finn and Susanne Stewart, student researchers, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Teacher, suffragist, temperance advocate, clubwoman, school superintendant

Edith Grace Deming was born to Milton Deming and Phoebe Deming Brown on November 10, 1867 in Minnesota. In 1884, she married Anthony B. Clinch. Edith had four sons and one daughter, Walter (b. 1881), Estella Clinch Enriquez (b. 1885), Ralph (b. 1887), Bernard (b. 1896), and Vernon (b. 1897). In 1900, she resided in Hennepin, Minnesota. Somewhere between 1900 and 1910 she and her family moved to Butte, Montana. She resided in Butte until the mid-1930s, when she and her husband moved to Arizona and resided there together until their deaths in 1938 and 1942, respectively.

While Edith Clinch lived in Butte, she was very active in the community. She was elected Silver Bow County Superintendent of Schools in 1908. In 1914, she was elected treasurer of the Montana Woman Suffrage Association, attending the National Suffrage Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

After Montana women achieved woman suffrage, Clinch became an executive board member of the Butte Good Government Club, which fought corruption in local government in 1919. Clinch also brought charges of incompetence and neglect of duty against Butte Police Chief Jerry Murphy in 1921, testifying in court that she had witnessed him selling liquor. (Chief Murphy was later acquitted by the City Police Commission, who stated that he had just been following orders from the mayor.)

Clinch also was an advocate for labor and education. As a member of the National Consumers' League, she advocated for quality goods and services made in a safe, fair working environment. She also was a member of the Butte Chautauqua Association, an organization whose members dedicated their "time, energy and hard work" to bringing adult educational opportunities to rural areas.

She died in Cochise, Arizona on December 2, 1942.

Sources:

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