Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Mary Phillipine Flanegin, 1876-1916
By Madeline Gattis, Undergraduate, Michigan State University
Mary Phillipine Watts was born on October 20, 1876, in Logansport, Indiana. Her parents were Israel Watts (1814-1883) of Indiana and Maria M. Sizer Watts (1829-1908) of Virginia. She had three siblings, Andrumeta V. "Meta" Watts Henry (1865-1921), Sonora D. "Nora" Watts McMillen (1867-1955), and Clarence A. Watts (1869-1901), and eight half-siblings. Mary worked as a bookkeeper for Artificial Ice and Cold Storage Company.
In 1904 at the age of twenty-eight, she married Charles C. Torr, a prominent young businessman. The couple married in Peru, Indiana. Charles worked at the National Bank for many years, but left the position to become one of the owners and publishers of the Logansport Journal newspaper. In 1908, only four years after the couple was married, Charles died unexpectedly from heart paralysis. He was thirty-four years old. On July 30, 1912, Mary secretly married Lorin A. Flanegin in Toledo, Ohio. Lorin worked at the Flanegin Hardware Company in Logansport. The couple lived together in Logansport and would until her death.
In October 1914, Flanegin attended the fourth annual convention of the Indiana Equal Suffrage Association. It was held at the Broadway M. E. Church in Logansport. There were twenty-eight affiliated societies from around the state at the convention. It was voted to cooperate with the Legislative Council of Women and work for presidential suffrage. The Logansport Pharos Reporter covered the convention. In an article written on October 15th, 1914, they claimed that the "convention will go into history as one of the most vigorous and important conventions of women ever held in the state and its acts set before the women of Indiana a standard that can be carried to victory if the womanhood of Indiana is responsive to the trumpet call of leaders." Flanegin was elected treasurer-secretary and was the only new officer elected in 1914. The association focused on the political, industrial, and moral phases of the suffrage movement. The association was the only state association that was affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association,
Flanegin died at the age of thirty-nine on June 24, 1916, from a kidney-related illness. She is buried next to her late husband Charles and her mother in Mount Hope Cemetery in Logansport, Indiana.
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Find A Grave. "Charles C. Torr" accessed December 2nd, 2019
Find A Grave. "Lorin A. Flanegin" accessed December 2nd,
Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1906, Volume 6. [LINK]
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Logansport Pharos Tribune. February 10th, 1908, p. 5. Accessed December 4th, 2019
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