Biographical Sketch of Mary Meade Owens

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mary Meade Owens, 1870- ?

By Zack Maxwell, student. Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina and Thomas Dublin, SUNY Binghamton

Executive Board Member, Augusta GA; President Equal Suffrage League, Augusta GA.

Mary Meade Owens was born in 1870 in Kentucky or Virginia (censuses vary on this point) of parents from Connecticut. By the 1910s she resided in Augusta and was an ardent supporter of woman suffrage. In 1916 she was elected to the Executive Board of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia. In 1918 she served as president of the Equal Suffrage League of Augusta and sent a letter or telegram to a Congressional investigating committee on behalf of the league's 800 members urging “passage of the Susan B. Anthony amendment to the Constitution.”

In 1920 she was admitted to the Pratt Institute School of Library Science in New York City. Ten years later she appears in the Augusta census, white, 59, divorced and living with her cousin, J. Rice Smith and working as a public school librarian. In 1940, now 70 years old, she lived alone in the George Walton Apartments in Augusta, still working as a librarian. The census noted that she had completed two years of College, consistent with her earlier record of attending library school in New York City.

Sources:

Extending the right of suffrage to women: hearings before the Committee on Woman Suffrage, House of Representatives, Sixty-fifth Congress, second session on H.J. Res 200. January 3, 4, 5, and 7, 1918. (1918). Washington: Govt. Print. Off. doi:https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=O0kuAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA1

Report of Pratt Institute Free Library and School of Library Science: for the year ending June 30, 1930. (1930). New York: Pratt Institute. doi:https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=h8PpAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PP11

Salley, E. (1973, September 15). Interview with Eulalie Salley [Interview by C. Myers]. http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/html_use/G-0054.html

1930 and 1940 Federal manuscript censuses of Augusta, GA, accessed online at HeritageQuest.com.

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