Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Sarah K. H. Walling, 1861-1941

By Laura Annan, Independent Researcher

Sarah Katherine Hodges Walling (Mrs. Stuart D. Walling), Denver, CO (1861 - 1941)
Colorado Equal Suffrage Association, Denver's Women Club, Colorado State Federation of Women's Club, Jane Jefferson Club, Ladies Relief Society, Board of Charities and Corrections, Children's Hospital, State Industrial School for Boys, Presidential Elector

Sarah Katherine Hodges was born in Mississippi on November 15, 1861. Her family moved to Junction City, Kansas, where she grew up. Sarah married attorney Stuart Douglas Walling on June 12, 1888, in Junction City, Kansas. After an extended trip to the east coast, they returned to Denver.

As a political leader in Colorado, Sarah Walling became the first President of the Jane Jefferson Club (1905-1910), one of the oldest Democratic women's political clubs in Denver. She was also the director of the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association, a charter member of the Denver's Women Club, and Treasurer of the Colorado State Federation of Women's Clubs.

Following the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, Sarah participated in a peaceful march and vigil calling for federal protections, and was chosen for a special committee to visit the House of Representatives and demand to meet with Governor Ammons. Their efforts paid off when Ammons sent a telegram to President Wilson requesting an appeal for protection. Several days later, federal troops were dispatched, ending the violence at the mining camps.

During the 1916 Presidential election, Sarah Walling was the President of the Woodrow Wilson Women's Club of Colorado and became the first female presidential elector. To help advance the national campaign of the Federal Suffrage Amendment, Colorado suffragists pressed the Governor to call a special congressional session urging immediate passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. On January 2, 1919, as acting director of the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association, Sarah went before the Colorado Legislature asking for favorable action for women.

As a social leader in Denver, Sarah Walling was involved in many civic and charitable organizations helping women and children. Sarah was one of the founders of the Children's Hospital. She served on the board of trustees of the Ladies Relief Society of Denver. Sarah also worked with the Judson Society of Central Presbyterian Church and gave talks around town about her work with the Board of Charities and Corrections.

After a year-long illness, Sarah Katherine Hodges Walling died on October 22, 1941. Her grave is located in Highland Cemetery, Junction City, Kansas.


"A Last Word to the Voters," The Craig Empire (Craig, CO). November 1, 1916.

"A Special Trip for Special Sessions," The Woman Citizen. Vol IV, No. 22 (December 20, 1919).

"All Aboard for Children's Hospital Picnic at Gardens," The Denver Post. July 12, 1908.

"Army of 1,000 Women Storm State Capitol And Force Gov. Ammons To Ask Wilson For Aid Of Federal Troops," The Rocky Mountains News and Times. April 26, 1914.

"Club News," The Daily News (Denver, CO). August 20, 1905.

"Club Women Have Premier Program," The Rocky Mountain News. July 22, 1905.

Harper, Ida Husted. The history of woman suffrage. Vol. VI. National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922.

"How to Vote for Wilson," Lafayette Leader. Vol. XII, No. 39 (November 3, 1916).

"Local Brevities," The Craig Empire, (Craig, CO). August 21, 1918.

"Official Vote of Larimer County at November Election," Weekly Courier (Fort Collins, CO). November 7, 1916.

Oldfield, Sybil. "The International Woman Suffrage Alliance." International Woman Suffrage: Volume 1, July 1913 - October 1914. June 1, 1914.

"Roosevelt Requested to Protest Against the Outrages in Russia," The Daily News (Denver, CO). November 16, 1905.

"Sarah K. H. Walling." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed August 1, 2019.

Semple, James Alexander. Representative Women of Colorado: A Pictorial Collection of the Women of Colorado Who Have Attained Prominence in the Social, Political, Professional, Pioneer and Club Life of the State. Denver, C.O.: Williamson Haffner Company, 1911. Portrait of Sarah K. H. Walling, p. 116.

"Suffrage and the Liberty Loan," The Woman Citizen. Vol III, No. 1 (June 1, 1918).

"Walling - Hodges" marriage announcement, The Daily Herald Democrat (Leadville, CO.). June 12, 1888.

"Will Attend Meeting of Electors," The Herald Democrat (Leadville, CO). January 7, 1917.

"Women Unite in Democratic Club," The Rocky Mountain News. November 16, 1905.

"Women's Club in State Resume Serious Work with Passing of New Years Holidays," TheRocky Mountain News. January 9, 1910.

"Would Be Electoral Messenger," Middle Park Times (Grand County, CO). November 24, 1916.

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