Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Cleo Lillian Ikard Harris, 1876-1924
By Linda D. Wilson, Independent Historian
Suffragist Cleo (Ikard) Harris served as secretary for the Equal Suffrage Association of Oklahoma and Indian Territories. The earliest reference to her as Secretary is found in the 1893 National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) annual report. She was instrumental in getting approximately seventy territorial newspapers to print suffrage articles from the NAWSA headquarters. Harris was elected at the Equal Suffrage Association's annual convention held in Chickasha, Oklahoma Territory, in 1905. At that time Kate Biggers was elected president. Biggers gave a report on the suffrage work in the territories, including Harris' contributions, at the Thirty-Eight Annual Convention of the NAWSA held in Baltimore, Maryland, in February 1906.
Cleo Lillian Ikard, the daughter of Elisha Floyd and Jennie Golden (Phelps) Ikard, was born on August 19, 1876, in Texas. She married Albert Gardner Harris on December 18, 1895, in Canadian County, Oklahoma Territory. They had two children, a daughter Albertine and a son Thomas, born in Chickasha in 1898 and 1908, respectively. Two months short of her forty-eighth birthday Cleo Harris died on June 14, 1924, in Norman, Oklahoma.
Herbert Battle, The Battle Book: A Genealogy of the Battle Family in America (Montgomery, Ala.: Paragon Press, 1930), 422. Chickasha Daily Express (Chickasha, Indian Territory), 27 October 1905. Guthrie Daily Leader (Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory), 30 October 1905. Ida Husted Harper, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920, Vol. 6, (National America Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 521. Mattie Ivie Mattie, “Woman Suffrage in Oklahoma: 1890-1918” (M.A. thesis, Oklahoma State University, 1971), 23, fn 36. OK2Explore.health.ok.gov, Oklahoma State Vital Records Index, accessed online on January 30, 2017. Proceedings of the Thirty-Eighth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (Warren, Ohio: Wm. Ritezel and Co., 1906), 10 and 41. U.S. Census, 1900, Fourth Civil District, Carroll County, Tennessee. Ancestry.com, Oklahoma Select Marriages, 1870-1930, accessed January 26, 2017.