Biographical Sketch of Aldyth Ward

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Aldyth Ward, 1876-1947

By Erika Paulson, Undergraduate: University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota

State organizer for Votes for Women League, the North Dakota chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Department Chairman for the Protection of Women Workers for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, North Dakota Public Welfare Commissioner

Aldyth Ward was born September 8th, 1876 in what would eventually become the state of North Dakota in 1889. Ward was born to parents William Oscar Ward of Pennsylvania and Florence Jane Manly Ward of New York. She had six siblings in total; Jennette Emily Ward Callaway, Laura Belle Ward Shute, Ralph David Ward, Milan George Ward, Elber Verd Ward, Birlea Oscar Ward. Ward was never married and had no children. In the 1930 United States census, Aldyth Ward was listed as living alone in Brevard, Florida. She died on May 29th, 1947 in Hillsborough, Florida.

Aldyth Ward graduated with a teaching degree in the eighth annual commencement of the North Dakota Agricultural College in 1902. She was one of four graduates from the college that year and the only who was female. She was active in the North Dakota chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Ward served as State Organizer in 1915 and was instrumental to the introduction of the Suffrage Bill to the state legislature. Sadly the bill was pigeonholed and defeated, Ward said "the nine men who changed their votes have not been forgotten by the suffragettes who will remember their friends and their enemies." She would then go on to serve as the Department Chairman for the Protection of Women Workers for the WCTU in 1917 during this crucial period of time. The North Dakota chapter of the WCTU would be integral in the passing of the women's suffrage bill in 1917 by registering women voters as well as raising patriotic aid for the war effort.

In addition to being active in the WCTU, Ward served in many pivotal roles in both state and local government. Under the Governor Lynn J. Frazier Ward served as the North Dakota Public Welfare in 1917, she was the only woman at this time to serve as the head of a state agency. Ward would also hold the position Chairman of the Women in Industry in North Dakota. This role would allow Ward to fight more actively for many ideals she felt passionately about, including women serving in the workforce. Ward would serve as a member of the Advisory Commissioner of the Council of National Defense as well as being the President of Parshall, North Dakota first women's club. All of these roles would be instrumental in Ward's ability to pass legislation and shape the ideals of women's role in North Dakota society.

When Ward was not working towards women's suffrage, she continued to utilize her teaching degree throughout her career. Specifically she taught at a night school that was established in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1910 by a Russian immigrant who desired a way to become proficient in the English language while keeping his day job. Ward and the other teachers lent their time and devoted their services to the school. After women gained the right to vote nationally in 1920, Ward continued to serve in government and social clubs until she retired to Florida. It is unclear if Ward was politically active during her years in Florida.

SOURCES:

"Bismarck Chosen for State Suffrage Meeting." The Bismarck Tribune, April 2, 1917.

Ward, Aldyth. "What One State Has Done for Women" The Nonpartisan Leader (St. Paul), December 29, 1919. Accessed March 3, 2018.

"Bismarck, Capital of North Dakota." Bismarck, North Dakota: Bismarck Commercial Club, 1923.

Butler Studio. Gov. Frazier Signing Woman Suffrage Bill. January 23, 1917. State Historical Society of North Dakota, Fargo

Clarke, Ida Clyde Gallagher. American Women and the World War. New York: D. Appleton and, 1918.

Eighth Annual Commencement of the North Dakota Agricultural College. Fargo, North Dakota: North Dakota Agricultural College, 1902.

"Tells How Bill Was Defeated." The Weekly Times-Record, Valley City, North Dakota, June 24, 1915.

The Fight for Free Speech: A Brief Statement of Present Conditions in the United States and of the Work of the American Civil Liberties Union against Forces of Suppression. New York, N.Y.: American Civil Liberties Union, 1921.

"Local and General." The North Dakota Banner XXVII (November 1, 1918): 5-6.

Lynn J. Frazier and North Dakota agency heads, Bismarck, N.D. Fargo, N.D.: State Historical Society of North Dakota, 1919.

Scholz, Martha, Jennie Shubert, and Bertie Spitzer. Our 50th year, 1914-1964: Parshall, North Dakota. Parshall, ND: The Committee, 1964.

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