Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Annie Rebecca McCully, 1873-1960

By Sherri Goudy, Historian, Ohio History Service Corps, Columbus, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio Suffrage Association member; Enrollment and Finance Committees member

Annie Rebecca McCully was born in Crestline, Ohio on March 15, 1873 to progressive-minded parents Marion and Frances McCully. Her childhood was spent in Sandusky and Newark, but later her family moved to Dayton, Ohio, where she lived the majority of her life. In Dayton, she was a school teacher, advocating for kindergarten programs with the support and financial help of thefamous business leader John H Patterson. She was also Dayton's first policewoman, from 1914-1918. She was a charter member of the Second Church of Christ Scientist, and she was an active Christian Scientist. McCully never married, though census records indicate she lived with a partner, Effie M Hecker. She died in Columbus, Ohio on April 17, 1960 and her body was cremated and placed in her family's crypt in Los Angeles, California.

Annie McCully was a leader in the campaign for women's suffrage in Ohio, both locally and state wide. Her obituary in the Dayton Daily News indicated she had received advice and a $500 check from John H Patterson “to be used in the suffrage fight.” Her leadership is largely documented from 1919-1922. Letters to the Dayton Suffrage Association indicate that she was not only a member, but also a part of the enrollment and finance committees of that organization. In these letters, written by Ohio Suffrage Association President, Harriet Taylor Upton, McCully is named numerous times as she and other members travelled across the state campaigning for memberships.

After Suffrage was passed in 1920, McCully was active in the transition from the Ohio Suffrage Association to the Ohio League of Women Voters. In Dayton, she and Minnie Stanley, President of the League of Women Voters Dayton Area Chapter, organized and led a School of Citizenship as the first work of the League. Their goal was to educate women about political issues and basic citizenship duties and rights now that they had the right to vote.

McCully maintained an active role within the Dayton League of Women Voters through the early part of the 1920s. The initial meetings of the League had tremendous representation from all of the Women's Clubs in Dayton at the time. At these early meetings, the governing records and body for the organization were discussed and decided upon, with McCully making many of the suggestions. In March 1922, McCully was a key member of the membership committee. In this year, the impact of the League in Dayton was evident. At the May 16, 1922 meeting, reports indicated that 220 newspaper stories on the Local League work had been written, indicating an average of three per week since January 1921. Annie McCully contributed significantly to the success of this organization, and in educating women to become well-informed participants in government.


“Annie McCully” in Ohio Wills and Probates Collection,

“Leagues of the Middle West.” Blackwell, Alice Stone. The Woman Citizen. Vol IV. Number 42. 8 May 1920. Page 1226.

Letters from Harriet Taylor Upton, Ohio Suffrage Association, Warren, Ohio to Woman's Suffrage Association, Dayton, Ohio. 10 April 1919, 28 April 1919, 5 May 1919. Box 2, file 5. MS-004 Woman's Suffrage Association and League of Women Voters, 1867-1998. Dayton Room, Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio. 22 March 2018.

Minutes and reports, May 1920-May 1923. Box 1, Folder 1. MS-123 League of Women Voters, Dayton Chapter Records, 1920-2000. Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University Libraries, Dayton, Ohio. 31 May 2018.

“Obituary for Annie R. McCully.” Dayton Daily News, 23 April 1960. Page 16.

“Ohio Women to form League of Voters” 08 April 1920. Page 7. NewsBank web access

“Policewoman's Department 1917.” MS-181, Dayton Police Department Historical Records, 1876-2010. Box 4, File 6. 31 May 2018.

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