Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Delia B. Randel, D.O., 1846–1918
By Durless W. Lumpkin, Librarian, William Carey University, Hattiesburg, MS
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Woman Suffrage Activist
Dr. Delia B. Randel (sometimes recorded as Randall) was born Ardelia Brown on January 12, 1846 in Ohio to Reverend Simeon Brown and Lydia Cook Brown. On July 26, 1866, she married John Nelson Randel in Wapello County, Iowa. They had three children—Benjamin Melville, Eva May, and Minnie Ray.
Randel was a doctor of osteopathic medicine and a woman suffrage activist. While little is known of her personal life, it seems Randel took part in various civic activities throughout her life. In September 1889, it was reported that she took part in the Wapello County Sabbath School Association's (Iowa) third annual convention. She spoke on the topic of “The needs of Wapello County and what can be done.” She is listed as a prominent women's rights pioneer in Mississippi from 1898 – 1920, and the Washington Post reports her reception at the Woman's Christian Temperance Union headquarters on January 2, 1905.
By January 1906, Randel was practicing medicine in the Jackson, Mississippi, area having earned her degree from the Dr. S. S. Still College of Osteopathy in Des Moines, Iowa. She is recorded as having offices in Sharpesburg, Jackson, and then Canton, all located in the Jackson area. She was a member of the American Osteopathic Association and attended a meeting of the organization in August 1908 in Kirksville, Missouri. Her practice is often listed in medical journals of the time.
In December 1906, Randel met with three other women in Jackson to reorganize the State Suffrage Association after a period of inactivity and lack of progress. Others joined the meeting via telegraph and telephone, and the movement took life in Mississippi under the new leadership of a former Woman's Christian Temperance Union organizer. In March 1908, Randel was elected recording secretary at the fourth annual state convention of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association held at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson over two days. Randel also attended the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association in Jackson on April 8, 1909, but left before the afternoon session was concluded. She did not attend the 1910 Sixth Annual Meeting, but a letter or telegram she sent was read aloud to those present.
Her husband died July 25, 1910, and on August 20, 1910, she is mentioned in an Ottumwa newspaper as being back in Iowa with family. She is then listed in the 1911 Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association's treasury report as a paying member, but she moved her practice to Ottumwa, Iowa, by May 1911. However, it seems she traveled a lot during the years immediately following her husband's death as she is recorded spending the summer of 1912 visiting her daughter in Welland, Ontario, Canada, as well a prolonged visit to Starkville, Mississippi, in February 1914.
Randel died July 27, 1918, at the age of 72 and is buried in the Concord Cemetery in Madison County, Mississippi, with her late husband.
1880 U.S. Census, Colorado. Douglas County, p 352D; Enumeration District: 038. Digital images. Ancestry.com
1900 U.S. Census, Iowa. Wapello County, p. 8. Digital images. Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
1910 U.S. Census, Mississippi. Canton East Ward, Madison, p. 8B. Digital images. Ancestry.com.
“Chapter XXIII: Mississippi.” The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, 1900-1920, edited by Ida Husted Harper. National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, pp. 326-41. LINK
“Directory of Members in Good Standing in the American Osteopathic Association, December 20, 1907.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, vol. 7.
Fifth Annual Report of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association 1909, University of Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections, Lily Thompson Collection.
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed February 2019), memorial page for John Nelson Randel (1 Jul 1846–25 Jul 1910), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11166002, citing Concord Cemetery, Loring, Madison County, Mississippi, USA; Maintained by NatalieMaynor (contributor 46770385).
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed January 2019), memorial page for Delia B. Randel (12 Jan 1846–27 Jul 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11166025, citing Concord Cemetery, Loring, Madison County, Mississippi, USA; Maintained by NatalieMaynor (contributor 46770385).
Fourth Annual Report of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association 1908, University of Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections, Lily Thompson Collection.
Jackson Daily News [Jackson, Mississippi], February 8, 1914.
“Locations.” The Osteopathic Physician, vol. 9, no. 1, 1906.
“Locations and Removals.” The Osteopathic Physician, vol. 19, no. 5, 1911, p. 16.
Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association 77th Annual Session, University of Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections, Lily Thompson Collection.
“New Year Receptions.” Washington Post, January 2, 1905, p. 7.
“Official Record of Members of the American Osteopathic Association and Non-Members Registered at the Kirksville Meeting, August 3-8, 1908.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, vol. 8, no. 1, 1908, p. 22.
“Official Register of Members in Attendance at the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the American Osteopathic Association, Kirksville, Mo., Aug. 3-8, '08.” The Osteopathic Physician, vol. 14, no. 2, 1908.
Ottumwa Tri-Weekly Courier [Ottumwa, Iowa], August 20, 1910, p. 6
“Our Pen and Pencil: Scraps of Information on Every Conceivable Subject for Our Readers.” Georgetown Times [Georgetown, South Carolina], April 15, 1908, p. 1.
“Personals: Will Spend Summer at Lakes.” The Journal of Osteopathy, vol. 19, no. 6, 1912, p. 384.
“Removal Notices.” The Journal of Osteopathy, vol. 13, no. 3, 1906, p. 95.
“Removals.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, vol. 7, no. 4, 1907, p. 191.
“Removals.” The Osteopathic Physician, vol. 9, no. 2, 1906, p. 16.
“Removals.” The Osteopathic Physician, vol. 13, no. 4, 1908, p. 16.
Sixth Annual Report of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association 1910, University of Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections, Lily Thompson Collection.
“Sunday School Convention.” Ottumwa Sunday Democrat [Ottumwa, Iowa], September 15, 1889, p. .
Upton, Harriet Taylor, editor. Fortieth Annual Report of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association, October 15th to 21st, inclusive, 1908, Published at Headquarters, Warren, Ohio.
Weatherford, Doris. Women in American Politics: History and Milestones. CQ Press, 2012; Table 1.9.
Wellington, Pat. Concord Cemetery, Madison County, Mississippi.
“Woman Suffrage Convention in Governor's Mansion.” The Star-Herald [Kosciusko, Mississippi], May 1, 1908, p. 1.
“The Women Suffragists.” Jackson Daily News [Jackson, Mississippi], March 27, 1908, p. 6.