Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Emma Hainer, 1881- ?

By Britanna Haddad, student, Coastal Carolina University, Conway South Carolina.

Member, Equal Suffrage League of Orlando, Corresponding Officer, State Equal Suffrage Association

Emma Hainer lived in Orlando, Florida, where she was recorded in the 1910 and 1920 Federal manuscript censuses living in the household of her aunt, Caroline Gere (or Grace). She was said to have been born in Iowa of German immigrant parents. No occupation was noted for Emma in either census year.

She was a member of with the Equal Suffrage League of Orlando. The first demand for woman suffrage was made here on February 27, 1913. In October, 1913 Emma Hainer and Helen Starbuck gathered women together after the mayor had announced that all freeholders were to register for the sewerage bond election. Using the mayor's call for “freeholders” Emma Hainer saw this as an opportunity. She and fellow members of the suffrage association went to the city clerk's office to register for this local vote. Their actions made discussion of the question why women could not vote and generated a more widespread movement in favor of suffrage. As the topic of discussion had continued to spread, the Orlando Equal Suffrage League started fighting harder for the amendment to give women the right to vote in the city, and not just municipal elections. The League held regular business meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10am at the Unitarian chapel, which Emma regularly attended.

The Board of the Orlando League gathered for a meeting on the 21st of April, 1916 to discuss which districts would support state-level approval for women's suffrage. It was then that the Florida State Suffrage Association was formed, and Emma Hainer held the position of Corresponding Officer.


Palatka daily news. (Palatka, Fla.) 1919-1994, October 29, 1919, p. 4,"Accessed November 30, 2017.

The Pensacola journal. (Pensacola, Fla.) 1898-1985, February 05, 1916, p. 5February 05, 1916. Accessed November 30, 2017.

Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920, vol. 6. [LINK].

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