Biographical Sketch of Ann Owens Card

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Ann Owens Card, 1867-1950

By Caryn E. Neumann, Associate Teaching Professor, Miami University of Ohio

Suffragist, Humboldt County, Nevada

Annie T. Owens Card played an important yet minor role in the fight for suffrage for Nevada women. Born in 1867 in San Francisco to Irish immigrant Thomas Owens and his American-born wife, she came to Winnemucca, Nevada as a baby when her father obtained a job with the Central Pacific Railroad. This early arrival, about 1868, made her into a pioneer Nevadan. Ann began her teaching career at Spring Valley, north of Paradise Valley, a successful silver camp in 1880s Nevada. She also taught at the Stewart Indian School, the only non-reservation school for Native Americans in Nevada. Card spent 22 years as an elementary teacher at the Winnemucca School in Humboldt County before retiring in 1937. She married Albert W. Card (1865-1927), a Western Pacific Railroad trainmaster, in 1895 and is identified in suffrage records as Mrs. A.W. Card.

Card worked with the Humboldt County Equal Suffrage League. To secure the required second passage of a state constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote and to obtain popular ratification by the male voters, the women suffragists of Nevada organized into the Nevada Equal Franchise Society. Each of the 16 counties had a chair, with Card assisting Humboldt County's chair Mrs. M.S. (Helen) Bonnifield. The Nevada women focused their attention on the smaller, more rural counties, such as Humboldt, out of fear that liquor and gaming interests would have too much sway in more populated areas. The Nevada suffrage amendment followed the customary pattern by simply striking out the word "male" from the constitution. When voters approved the amendment in November 1914, Nevada women were removed from the list of traitors, criminals, idiots, and insane people who were also denied the ballot. Nevada joined Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Washington, California, Arizona, and Kansas in giving women the vote.

At this point, Card disappears from the political record. A social woman with a passion for bridge, it is possible that Card joined the suffrage movement as a recreational outlet. It is also possible that she had no political interests beyond winning the vote. A Catholic, such as Card, would have been unlikely to support the growing Prohibition movement. She did attend a state meeting of the National Council of Catholic Women in 1934 but any further involvement with this organization is unknown. Card died on December 2, 1950 and is buried with her husband in Winnemucca Cemetery. The couple had no children.

Sources:

Ida Husted Harper, ed. The History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. VI. New York: J.J. Little and Ives, 1922 [LINK]

Austin E. Hutcheson, ed. "The Story of the Nevada Equal Suffrage Campaign: Memoirs of Anne Martin," University of Nevada Bulletin, vol. 42, no. 7 (August 1948): 1-17.

Megg Mueller, "The 19th Amendment Gave Women a Voice, and an Obligation," Nevada Magazine, (Jan-Feb 2020) https://www.nevadamagazine.com/issue/january-february-2020/12180/

back to top