Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mary Hull Prendergast, 1876-1963
By Sean Moore, student, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York
Mary Agnes Hull was born on October 23, 1876, in Kings, New York and lived to 86 before passing on January 8, 1963, in Salisbury, Connecticut. She married William Augustine Prendergast on October 18, 1894. William A. Prendergast was born on May 5, 1867, in Kings, New York and lived to 87 before passing on June 20, 1954 in New York. Her husband was a very prominent business man in New York City for the majority of his life. He was the Controller of New York City for two terms from 1910 to 1917, inclusive. He organized the Department of Finance in order to meet the demands of an up and coming city. He was also largely responsible for elevating the Board of Estimate.
During their marriage the couple had three children, Thomas (1896), Eleanor (1898), and William (1909). The couple lived in New York from the time of their birth until the death of William A. Prendergast in 1954. Mary Prendergast eventually moved to Connecticut for the remainder of her life.
Mary Prendergast was an active member of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party beginning in 1913. On April 30, 1915 she led a parade on a visit to New York Senator James O'Gorman in order to discuss women's rights. On November 25, 1915 she was part of a committee to greet petitioners from western states and escort them to the Reception Committee in New York. Prendergast was responsible for greeting and escorting these voters, leading an escort of honor to receive Western Envoys of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. That same year, Pfrendergast went to Washington, D.C to meet President Woodrow Wilson, in order to ask for aid in their campaign to allow New York State to give women the vote. She was one of only a handful of women able to talk with the president. The 1915 suffrage campaign was unsuccessful, but in 1917, New York state's male voters approved a referendum for women's suffrage.
BRUERE, HENRY. "Tribute to William Prendergast." New York Times, Jun 30 1954.
"PLAN BIG WELCOME TO SUFFRAGE ENVOYS." New York Times, Nov 25 1915.
New York Herald, July 08, 1922, Page 8.
The New York Sun. October 25, 1917, Page 11.