Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Ruth Roberts Haggart, 1878-1929
By Tracy Hill, graduate student, North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D.
Auditor for the North Dakota Votes for Women's League, founder and Regent of the North Dakota chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
Ruth Roberts was born on December 2, 1878 in Fargo, North Dakota. Her parents, Samuel G. and Jennie Roberts, are the namesake for Roberts Street in downtown Fargo. Her father was a pioneer and prominent lawyer in Fargo and took part in determining the location of North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University). He also participated in the Dakota Territorial Council.
Ruth grew up in Fargo and lived there most of her life. She attended Fargo public schools where she graduated in May 1898 and, for a brief time, she attended the University of Minnesota, studying general courses and Latin. When she returned to Fargo, she married Gilbert W. Haggart on November 21, 1900. Gilbert was the first white child born in the city limits of Fargo and the son of the first Sheriff of Cass County and Town Marshall of Fargo, John E. Haggart. Gilbert later founded Haggart Construction Company in Fargo and served in the North Dakota State Senate. Together they had one son, John Roberts Haggart, who would also be influential in the development of Fargo through the Fargo Chamber of Commerce and other service organizations.
Ruth Roberts Haggart was active in many organizations and social reform movements. She is listed as the auditor for the North Dakota Votes for Women's League in 1916, and earlier, in 1912, she served on its membership committee. In 1913 she helped host a series of suffrage teas to get more women interested in the movement. In May of 1914 the Fargo Forum reported that she hosted a luncheon at her home for the leading suffragists of the city, and in July of 1914, she helped staff a suffrage booth at the merchants' pavilion in Fargo. In December of 1916 the newspaper reported that she would be attending a dinner and social to discuss suffrage. Attendees were described as "leading suffrage sympathizers of the city". She was active in the war effort at home through the Red Cross. In 1918, she was the assistant host for the bridge and knitting party that raised funds for the war relief effort. After the war she continued to be involved in the First Presbyterian church as well as the Round Table Study Club. She was also the founder and Regent of the North Dakota chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Haggart passed away on April 3, 1929 after a long struggle with illness but was remembered by all as a dedicated and influential person that worked hard for the benefit of Fargo and its residents.
"Cass County, N.D. Marriage License Index: Samuel G. Roberts, Jennie Baldwin Marriage License," North Dakota State University Archives, https://library.ndsu.edu/db/marriage/.
The Fargo forum and daily republican. [volume] (Fargo, N.D.), 07 Dec. 1916. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042224/1916-12-07/ed-1/seq-7/
The Fargo forum and daily republican. [volume] (Fargo, N.D.), 05 June 1913. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042224/1913-06-05/ed-1/seq-5/
"Fargo has lost a Good Woman." The Fargo forum and daily republican (Fargo, N.D). January 11, 1911 from Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Lib. of Congress, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042224/1911-01-11/ed-1/seq-10/.
J. Roberts Haggart Papers, Institute for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University, Fargo.
Fargo (N.D.) Police Department Photograph Collection, Institute for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University, Fargo.
University of Minnesota, email message to Office of the Registrar, November 13, 2019.
"Laying the cornerstone of 1st Presbyterian Church, Fargo, N.D., Sept. 29, 1906," Institute for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University, Fargo from Digital Horizons, http://digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/uw/id/7999/rec/20.
"Mrs. G. W. Haggart Funeral Conducted" The Bismarck tribune (Bismarck, ND) April 25, 1929 from Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042243/1929-04-25/ed-1/seq-8/.
"War Thrift Stamps Prizes at Writer's Section Party," The Fargo forum and daily republican (Fargo, ND), May 18, 1918 from Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042224/1918-05-18/ed-1/seq-6/.
"Votes for Women League of North Dakota," The Bottineau courant (Bottineau, ND), March 8, 1917 from Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88076086/1917-03-08/ed-1/seq-9/.