Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890 – 1920
Biography of Mary Ann Crangle, 1866 – 1931
By Sunu Kodumthara
Associate Professor of History
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
In the January 11, 1919 issue of The Woman Citizen, editors published a letter from Mary Ann Crangle. "Our battle for the ballot in this state has been fought and won," Crangle wrote, "yet the small band of suffragists in the state can hardly realize it." Born on December 18, 1866, in Illinois, very little is known of Crangle, except for what she included in this brief, yet informative letter to the editor. However, it is certain that Crangle considered herself an avid suffragist and a local leader for the movement.
Crangle, who never married, had been active in organizations prior to joining the suffrage movement. In 1912, the Bartlesville Daily Enterprise reported that Crangle had attended the first annual convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Washington County, Oklahoma. Not only did Crangle attend, she delivered a speech entitled, "The Social Evil Versus Conservation." A speech, the writer commented, "which showed she knew whereof she spoke."
According to Crangle, in 1914, she organized a suffrage club in her hometown of Dewey, Oklahoma, a small town near the Oklahoma-Kansas border. Even then, Dewey was a relatively new town, founded in 1899. At first, Crangle and another woman were the only members of the club. It would take months before anyone else would join a suffrage group. Women hesitated to join an organization dedicated to women's political activism. Crangle, however, was not discouraged. Instead, she and her group relied on the NAWSA to "build up and put through the campaign for us." As a result of her efforts and leadership, Crangle would be elected and re-elected to serve as a district vice-president for the Oklahoma Woman's Suffrage Association (OWSA).
Crangle put forth many hours of work and activism to help make woman suffrage possible in Oklahoma. In March 1913, she carried Oklahoma's flag in the suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. She also carried it in 1916 at the Republican Convention in Chicago. And just before the issue of women's suffrage was presented to Oklahoma voters, Crangle was hard at work. "I do believe I walked a thousand miles the fortnight before election getting signers," she claimed. Indeed, Crangle served as a vice-president for the OWSA.
On November 5, 1918, Oklahoma became the twenty-first state in the country to grant women the right to vote. Crangle was proud of her contributions to the work. After years of marching, organizing, and campaigning, "I think I have 'carried equal suffrage," Crangle wrote. Mary Ann Crangle died on August 6, 1931 in Dewey, Oklahoma.
SOURCES: U. S. Census, 1920 and 1930, Dewey, Washington County, Oklahoma; Bill Corbett, "Suffrage Amendment," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=SU002, accessed April 25, 2019; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan Brownell Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Ida Husted Harper, eds., History of Woman Suffrage: 1900 – 1920, (New York City: Fowler & Wells, 1922), 527; Mary Crangle, "Has Carried Equal Suffrage," The Woman Citizen (11 January 1919): 675; The Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, OK) 6 October 1914; The Oklahoma News (Oklahoma City, OK) 28 September 1917; The Chandler (OK) Tribune 8 October 1914; Bartlesville (OK) Daily Enterprise, 7 September 1912; U. S. Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, accessed on Ancestry.com on August 13, 2019.