Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists 1890-1920

Biography of Ida L. Chittenden (Moore), 1864-1954

By Sami Luke, student, Michigan State University

Ida Lunette Chittenden was born on June 16, 1864 to Mary Jane Chittenden and William Fletcher Chittenden in Yorkshire, New York. In 1895 she moved to Lansing, Michigan where she worked as a florist and grew violets for the commercial market as the owner and operator of the Maplewood Violet Houses in Lansing. In 1917 Chittenden married Newton Moore, who died in 1936.

Chittenden was active in local civic organizations, including serving as president of the South Lansing Women's Club and as a board member of the Associated Charities. As a participant in the Michigan State Farmers' Institute she delivered an address in the 1910-1911 session that recognized rural women as equal partners on the farm. At that time she declared that "I never have been a suffragette, but I confess such work as that done by our sex in Washington puts me on the fence and I don't know yet on which side I shall alight." The following year however, as director of the Women's Committee of the Michigan State Grange, Chittenden allocated $1,000 in support of efforts to add a women's suffrage amendment to the Michigan constitution. In 1912 the state legislature voted to put the measure on the ballot in that year's general election. Pro-suffrage advocates' support of a prohibition on the sale and distribution of alcohol conflicted with liquor interests in Michigan which had allied with anti-women's suffrage activists in that state. Despite early press reporting indicating the women's suffrage amendment had passed by a substantial margin, a recount requested by an association of alcohol brewers and distributors resulted in a loss by over 700 votes, an unexpected outcome that was attributed to the fraudulent destruction of pro-suffrage ballots. The measure failed again in 1913. Despite those defeats, Chittenden continued to spearhead the Women's Committee's support for the state suffrage amendment, which finally succeeded in 1918. During World War I Chittenden acted as chair of Lansing's Red Cross Drive and in 1920 she joined the newly formed Michigan chapter of the League of Women Voters. On March 8, 1954 Chittenden died at the age of 89 and was buried in Mount Hope cemetery in Lansing.


"Ida L. Chittenden," Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952[database], .

Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States 1920-Population. "Ida L. Chittenden,"

"Annexation Help to City's Future." The Lansing State Journal, March 31, 1917, p. 2.

Chittenden, Ida. "Business Methods on the Farm." Michigan State Farmers' Institutes, vol. 17, 1910/1911, pp. 185-91. Accwessible online at hittenden&source=bl&ots=17hwsAApQd&sig=ACfU3U2wYiTfHasvq7puBvzqxkOnhAa0Zg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjm4J-a__vlAhXkJTQIHSdeCYIQ6A.

Hinkley, Justin A. "How Michigan Women Earned the Right to Vote." The Lansing State Journal, January 23,

National American Woman Suffrage Association. The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI 1900-19120, Ida Husted Harper, ed. New York NY: J.J. Little and Ives, 1922, p. 306.

"Ida Moore, Violet Grower, Succumbs," State Journal (Lansing, Michigan) March 9, 1954, p. 22.

"Ida Lunette Chittenden Moore." Find a Grave, 28 Jan. 2008,

"Lansing, Mich." The Weekly Florists' Review, Volume 30, number 755, May 23, 1912, p. PA74&dq=ida+l+chittenden+violet+houses&source=bl&ots=xGYfOStbsE&sig=ACfU3 U3_ryxqpEYeDXE9hDz6o2QRnmksPQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiErMHfr4.

Louise, Marie. "Violets." The American Florist, Volume 15, June 30, 1900, p. +chittenden+violet+houses&source=bl&ots=Eu-EuvD008&sig=ACfU3U3U- Er1l1DswtLUjDC92nh0HpEVaQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiErMHfr4nmAh.

"Michigan State Grange / Women in the Michigan Grange." The Michigan Historical Marker Web Site.

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