Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Miss Riddell, dates unknown
By Joyce Weaver, Director of Library & Archives
The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Founding member of the Morganton Equal Suffrage League, Morganton, North Carolina
Miss Riddell, known by her surname only, was present on July 10, 1913 at the home of Mrs. Isaac M. Taylor in Morganton after the 4th of July suffrage parade in order to organize “into a club those in sympathy with the women's suffrage movement.” At that meeting, officers were elected and three women, Mrs. Mary Hughson, Mrs. Isaac Taylor and Miss Julia Ervin, were selected to “formulate the aims and purposes” of the newly-created Morganton Equal Suffrage League, believed to be the first established suffrage league in the state. Only one other published instance of Miss Riddell found is from August of 1913 and she is noted as being in attendance at a small reception hosted by Mrs. Hughson honoring a Miss Toomer of Wilmington.
With no census information on Miss Riddell or any other published mention, we can only speculate as to any other particulars to her life. The two mentions above however do provide some possibilities. Miss Riddell is associated in both instances with Mrs. Mary Hughson who was administrator of Grace Hospital in Morganton. Census records from Morganton over multiple decades show Mrs. Hughson being head of household for a “dormitory” of young women, identified as nurses. The Miss Toomer of Wilmington being honored was certainly Miss Lois (L.A.) Toomer from the North Carolina State Nurses Association. It is likely that Miss Riddell was a nurse, or nurse in training, living in the dormitory under Mrs. Hughson's supervision.
Asheville Gazette News (Asheville, NC) Aug 15 1913, “Morganton Notes” Newspapers.com (accessed Jun 23, 2017)
Harper, Ida Husted, ed. “North Carolina,” The History of Woman Suffrage, Vol 6. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922. [LINK]
Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC) June 14 1910 “State Nurses' Association: Annual Meeting held in Asheville Last Week – Miss L.A. Toomer, of Wilmington Elected Secretary”