Biographical Sketch of Frances Corwin Haire

Biographical Database of NWP Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography ofFrances Corwin Haire, 1863-1941

By Charles McMahon and Sara Stanek, Student Researchers, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.

Chairman, Montana Branch of the National Woman's Party

Frances Corwin was born to Minor Lewright Corwin and Martha Corwin in Illinois in 1863. Her mother was born in 1838 in Indiana; her father was born around 1830, also in Indiana. There is no evidence of what sort of education Frances Corwin received, though from her involvement in the suffrage movement, it can be assumed that she had at least the basics of education at her disposal. In 1889 in Hamilton County, Ohio, she married Charles S. Haire, who had been born in Ohio in 1857. Frances Haire died at age 77 on October 30, 1941 in King County, Seattle, Washington.

Few records of Frances Haire's activity in the suffrage movement exist. When Mrs. Charles S. Haire is mentioned, though, it is noted that she was "very active in the campaign" for woman suffrage in Montana in 1914. Newspaper clippings from various towns in Montana hold the majority of what little information there is: we know that in 1916 she was chairman of the Montana Branch of the National Woman's Party (NWP), which began efforts to establish a state branch in Montana in 1915. In April, 1920. Haire was nominated to be a delegate for the Republican National Convention. There is little more to be found about Haire's contributions to the cause of suffrage or politics. Mentions of her "impressive and important" work are often just that, mentions, leaving a small trail of breadcrumbs for today's historians. In her free time Haire was a socialite in Helena, with references often appearing in the newspaper about whom she had hosted or what she was wearing.

Haire spent most of her married life in Montana while her husband travelled and worked as an architect. He and his partner John Gustave Link designed many of Montana's important buildings. Haire hosted many social events and campaigned for the rights of woman. At the age of 29, Frances bore her only son, Thomas Corwin Haire, born March 25, 1892 in Helena, Montana. Her husband Charles passed away in Thurston County, Washington on February 3, 1925. He was buried in Helena in the ForestVale cemetery where he was joined by his wife many years later after Frances Haire died in 1941. Despite her prominent role in the NWP, there is no obituary dedicated to her life and death.

Sources:

"Detailed Chronology National Woman's Party History." American Memory, Library of Congress, accessed Feb. 25, 2018. https://www.loc.gov/collections/static/women-of-protest/images/detchron.pd

"Of Local Interests," Fergus County Democrat (Lewistown, MT), N.D., Image 8. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84036220/1905-10-24/ed-1/seq-8/

"Republican Ticket," Great Falls Daily Tribune (Great Falls, MT), Apr. 23, 1920. Image 10. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024808/1920-04-23/ed-1/seq-10/

History of Woman Suffrage, edited by Ida Husted Harper, Vol. VI: 1900-1920 (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), http://chswg.binghamton.edu/docs/historyofwomansuffrage_vol6.pdf.

"Woman's Appeal for Hughes," Glasgow Courier (Glasgow, MT), Nov. 3, 1916, Image 4. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042379/1916-11-03/ed-1/seq-4/

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