Biographical Sketch of Mary I. Barber

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890 - 1920

Biography of Mary I. Barber (Goddard), 1875 - 1949

By Trista Wilmot, Student, University of Central Oklahoma

Mary I. Barber was born March 17, 1875, in Goshen, Ohio, to John Barber and Hannah S. Venable. She ventured out on her own and lived in Blackwell, Oklahoma for a time until she moved to Oklahoma City prior to 1910. She married Henry Lewis Goddard on July 3, 1912 and the couple had one daughter. Mary divorced Henry on July 11, 1940. She died on August 13, 1949 in Oklahoma City.

Mary was a schoolteacher in Oklahoma City for most of her life. According to the Oklahoma City Directory of 1916, she taught at Whittier School. She was greatly involved with the Oklahoma Women's Suffrage Association, a NAWSA chapter. In 1910, she was elected alternate to attend the National Convention in Washington D.C. on April 14-19. Although she would not be called upon to attend this convention, Mary was elected President of the Women's Suffrage Association. While she was in office the association's meetings were entertaining and educational. She often brought her skills as a teacher into her meetings. The women held debates and those attending were given "stock" objections to suffrage while other attendees responded to them. She also held roundtable discussions in which each member conducted small speeches on questions assigned to them. Mary is found often in newspapers as the host and speaker of a number of suffrage meetings in Oklahoma City. She also participated in field work throughout the state encouraging men and women to sign petitions to grant women the right to vote.


United States Federal Census, 1880, Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio; United States Federal Census, 1900, Blackwell, Kay County, Oklahoma; United States Federal Census, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma; Oklahoma State Register, (Guthrie, OK), 31 March 1910; Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973, accessed on, 21 August 2019; Oklahoma City Daily Pointer (Oklahoma City, OK), 29 April 1910; Oklahoma City Daily Pointer (Oklahoma City, OK), 20 May 1910; Oklahoma City Daily Pointer (Oklahoma City, OK), 9 June 1910; Oklahoma, County Marriage Records, 1890-1995, accessed on, 21 August 2019; United States City Directories, 1822-1995, Oklahoma City Directory, 1916, 1917, and 1921, accessed on, 21 August 2019; United States Find A Grave Index, 1600s - Present, Mary B. Goddard, accessed on, 29 August 2019; Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, Divorce Index, 1923-1942, Mary Barber Goddard and Henry Lewis Goddard, accessed on, 29 August 2019; Ida Husted Harper, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage, 1900-1920, Vol. 6. (New York: J. J. Little and Ives Company, 1922), 525. [LINK]

back to top