Biographical Sketch of Sarah Garretson Pringle

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Sarah Garretson Pringle, 1849-1931

By Margaret Hanson, graduate student, History, University of California, Riverside

Press secretary, corresponding secretary and auditor for the Susan B. Anthony Club; delegate state suffrage conventions in 1904 and 1908.

Sarah W Garretson was born on April 22, 1849 in Racine, Wisconsin to Jane and Nathan Garretson. The Garretson family moved to Benicia, California in the 1850s. In 1880 Garretson was still living with her parents and had begun working as a public schoolteacher. In 1885, Sarah married George W. Pringle. By 1900, she was living with him on Haight St. in San Francisco. Her mother and her sister Frances lived with the couple. By 1910, Pringle's mother had died, and her sister was living elsewhere. By that time, Sarah and George Pringle were running a boarding house of out their homes. Sarah also continued working as a public school teacher during this time.

Sarah Pringle came into an unexpected inheritance in 1910. That year, the "eccentric mountaineer," Horace Whitaker died. He left his estate, valued at $55,000 to the heirs of N. H. and J. H. Garretson, Sarah Pringle's parents. According to newspaper reports, Pringle was one of at least seven heirs entitled to share the inheritance. Those reports describe Nathan and Jane Garretson as Whitaker's "friends," but give little insight into the relationship, or why he might have left his estate to their descendants. Despite the increased financial freedom offered by her inheritance, Pringle took over the running of the boarding house when her husband, George, died in 1913. She also consolidated her ownership of the property on Haight Street after his death. George had transferred the title to a lot on Haight Street into Sarah Pringle's name in 1909. In 1913 she bought adjoining lots on Haight St. from her stepchildren, Edward Pringle and Ida de Sart.

By 1903, Pringle had joined the Susan B. Anthony Club, and had been elected press representative for the organization. She served in this role consistently between 1904 and 1913. Pringle apparently fulfilled this role admirably: during her tenure as press representative, the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Call, and The San Francisco Examiner all reported regularly on the activities of the Susan B. Anthony Club, announcing officers, listing members, describing events and lectures, and noting meeting times. In addition to her press work, Pringle was selected as a delegate to state suffrage conventions in 1904 and 1908. She also served as the club's corresponding secretary in 1906 and 1911, and auditor in 1917.

Despite her many responsibilities as a teacher, boardinghouse keeper, and activist, Pringle found time for world travel. In 1909, she went on an "extended trip" through Southern California and Mexico. And in 1921, when she was 72 years old, Pringle toured Europe, visiting France, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Belgium, and the British Isles.

Sarah Pringle died in San Francisco on August 20, 1931.

Sources:

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1850; Census Place: Racine, Racine, Wisconsin; Roll: M432_1004; Page: 41B; Image: 86

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1860; Census Place: Benicia, Solano, California; Roll: M653_69; Page: 301; Family History Library Film: 803069

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1870; Census Place: Clermont, Fayette, Iowa; Roll: M593_391; Page: 25A; Family History Library Film: 545890

Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Year: 1900; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0159; FHL microfilm: 1240104

Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Year: 1910; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 37, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_99; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0167; FHL microfilm: 1374112

Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 26, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_135; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 98

Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1591; Volume #: Roll 1591 - Certificates: 28126-28499, 02 May 1921-03 May 1921

"Died at Sonoma." Petaluma Daily Morning Courier (Petaluma, California); Jan 4, 1913 pg. 8.

"Low's Candidacy Indorsed." The San Francisco Call; Oct 23, 1913 pg. 8.

"New Suits Filed." Daily Delta (Visalia, California); Oct 7, 1893 pg. 4.

"Susan B. Anthony Club Holds Meeting." San Francisco Chronicle; July 20, 1904 pg. 9.

"Susan B. Anthony Club is 21." The San Francisco Examiner; Oct 28, 1917 pg. 80.

The San Francisco Call; Oct 3, 1904 pg. 5.

The San Francisco Call; Dec 26, 1904 pg. 7.

The San Francisco Call; Dec 24, 1906 pg. 8.

The San Francisco Call; Dec 24, 1911 pg. 29.

The San Francisco Call and Post; Dec 20, 1913 pg. 14.

The San Francisco Examiner; Sep 26, 1908 pg. 9.

The San Francisco Examiner; July 18, 1909 pg. 34.

The San Francisco Examiner; Dec 18, 1909 pg. 18.

"Whitaker's Will Cuts off Relatives." Hanford Kings County Sentinel (Hanford, California); Oct 27, 1910 pg. 6.

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