Biographical Sketch of May (Mae) E. Sa(u)nders

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Dr. May (Mae) E. Sa(u)nders, 1868-1923

By Petra Gunderson-Leith, Graduate Student, North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D.

Founding member of the Grand Forks Votes for Women Club, member of the Women's Civic league

Dr. May E. Sanders (also spelled as Mae Saunders) was born May Emogene Dickinson in Guilford, New York around 1868. Her parents were William and Jane Dickinson and she had a sister, Adella. In the 1890's May Dickinson met Orr Sanders who was private secretary to North Dakota governor Eli Shortridge. They married in 1897 in Bismarck, N.D and lived there for a short time before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both Orr and May Sanders studied Osteopathic medicine in Minneapolis. The Sanders moved to Grand Forks, N.D. and by 1903 they were both practicing Osteopathic medicine at a joint practice in Grand Forks.

Dr. May Sanders was an active participant in the campaign for women's suffrage in Grand Forks. She was a founding member of the Grand Forks Votes for Women Club and served as its first Vice President. As vice-president she often attended annual meetings of the Votes for Women League of North Dakota. As a member of the Women's Civic League Dr. Sanders served as chairwoman of the pure food committee and organized talks, film showings, and events about public health and hygiene. She also served for a time as chairman of the women's philanthropic organization the Florence Crittenton Circle of Grand Forks.

In April of 1920 Orr Sanders passed away after a bout of influenza. Dr. Sanders left Grand Forks shortly after the death of her husband and moved to Nampa, Idaho. Three years after the death of her husband Dr. May Sanders passed away from complications related to kidney disease on October 15, 1923. She was buried in La Plata, Missouri next to her husband's grave.

SOURCES:

Bismarck weekly tribune. (Bismarck, Dakota [N.D.]), 04 Feb. 1898. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042588/1898-02-04/ed-1/seq-8/>

May E. Saunders. Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/67429984

The evening times. (Grand Forks, N.D.), 06 March 1911. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042373/1911-03-06/ed-1/seq-8/>

The evening times. Grand Forks, N.D.), 28 Oct. 1912. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042373/1912-10-28/ed-1/seq-5/>

Grand Forks herald. (Grand Forks, N.D.), 05 Oct. 1916. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042414/1916-10-05/ed-1/seq-8/>

Grand Forks herald. (Grand Forks, N.D.), 10 Nov. 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042414/1917-11-10/ed-1/seq-10/>

Grand Forks herald. (Grand Forks, N.D.), 22 Sept. 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042414/1917-09-22/ed-1/seq-2/>

Grand Forks herald. [volume] (Grand Forks, N.D.), 13 April 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042414/1920-04-13/ed-1/seq-1/>

Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, N.D.), 17 October 1923.

Grand Forks, North Dakota. City Directory (Grand Forks, ND: Pettibone Directory Co. p. 127, 1903) "U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995," database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com)

Idaho. Department of Health and Welfare. Death Index and Images, 1911–1967. Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Boise, Idaho. database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com)

Jamestown weekly alert. (Jamestown, Stutsman County, D.T. [N.D.]), 03 Dec. 1896. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042405/1896-12-03/ed-1/seq-7/>

Minneapolis, Minnesota. City Directory (Minneapolis, MN: Davison's, p. 1131, 1899) "U.S. City Directories, 1822- 1995," database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com)

Minneapolis, Minnesota. City Directory (Minneapolis, MN: Davison's, p. 1091, 1898) "U.S. City Directories, 1822- 1995," database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com)

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