Biographical Sketch of Frances Hoyt Coe Reed

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Frances Hoyt Coe Reed, 1873-1931

By Lisa Hendrickson, Independent Historian

Member of the New Jersey branch of the Women's Political Union

Frances (Fanny) Hoyt Coe was born on November 1, 1873 in Englewood, NJ. She was the eighth of nine children born to William Patten Coe (1831-1913) and Cornelia Haff (1837-1914). Her father served in the Civil War with the 176th NY Infantry. After the war, he worked as a flour broker and a printer.

In 1896, Frances graduated from nursing school. Two years later, on November 23, 1898, she married Horatio Roop Reed (1871-1953). Horatio held a variety of jobs throughout his life, including: florist, banker, and advertising agent. The couple had three children: John Alden (1899-1968), Thomas Aston (1901-1973), and Hoyt Coe (1902-1993). In the early part of the twentieth-century the family moved from New Trier, IL to Leonia, NJ. Around 1920, they returned to, and settled in, Frances's birthplace, Englewood, NJ.

Upon returning to New Jersey, Frances became active in the women's suffrage movement. On April 11, 1913, she held a suffrage meeting in her home in Leonia. The meeting's main speaker was Mrs. M. J. Reynolds, legislative secretary of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association (NJWSA). Mrs. Reynolds had been campaigning and organizing new chapters of the NJWSA in counties across New Jersey.

Frances also joined the Women's Political Union of New Jersey (WPUNJ). She was elected a Vice President at the WPUNJ's first state conference in June 1913, a position she held for two years. It is likely that Frances, along with suffragists such as Mina Van Winkle, attended a WPUNJ lawn fete at Frank H. Sommer's residence on June 22, 1913.

Frances was also involved in the Women's Political Union (WPU). In 1916, she chaired the WPU's second annual campaign luncheon committee. At the luncheon, the featured guest, Carrie Chapman Catt, gave a speech on Iowa's suffrage campaign. It is unclear when Frances' association with the WPU ended, yet, by 1917, she was not on the organization's board.

After the 19th Amendment passed, Frances continued to support women's political and equal rights. In April 1922, she served as one of the first women grand jurors in Bergen County. On January 10, 1925, she attended the Women's National Republican Club's luncheon at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Lastly, she worked with the Women's Auxiliary of the American Legion, heading their publicity committee (1920) and acting as their Senior Vice President (1921).

Frances died on February 7, 1931, in Englewood, NJ, from a series of strokes. She is buried at Brookside Cemetery.

Sources:

Ancestry.com

Federal Census: 1860, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920

NJ State Census 1885

“Frances Hoyt “Fannie” Coe Reed,” Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com: accessed 21 January 2019) memorial page for Frances Hoyt “Fannie” Coe Reed (1 Nov 1873-7 Feb 1931), Find a Grave Memorial no. 72561135, citing Brookside Cemetery, Englewood, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA; Maintained by SRK (contributor 47490769).

“Woman's Suffrage News From Jersey.” Trenton Evening Times, April 16, 1913.

“Suffrage Lawn Fete,” Newark Sunday Call, June 22, 1913, pg. 1.

“7 Women Grand Jurors in Bergen.” The Jersey Journal, April 6, 1922, pg. 2.

“Jersey Guests at National Republican Women's Luncheon.” The Jersey Journal, January 12, 1925.

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