Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Lucia Hatch Faxon Additon, 1847-1919
By Barbara Ryken, retired medical librarian, Oakland, CA
Ardent temperance worker, speaker, debater, journalist, philanthropist, Fifth President WCTU of Oregon with special expertise in labor and tobacco, President of Oregon Women's Press Club.
Lucia Hatch Faxon was born in the year 1847 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Her parents were Lucius Faxon, a shoe manufacturer and Harriet Jones Faxon. She was one of ten children in a loving family. In 1867 she married Otis Richard Additon, a businessman and a veteran of the Signal Corps during the Civil War. Four years later the couple had a son named Alton Sidney.
Lucia's long career as an articulate activist began in the early 1880s when the family moved to Corvallis,
Oregon where Otis continued in the dry goods business. As a young mother and a music teacher she tells of the roots of her involvement in the women's temperance movement: "I felt I must do something. There were seven saloons and a brewery in town and I had a boy to raise".
During her 45 years in Oregon she devoted herself primarily to the temperance movement as well as to the pursuit of equal rights for women. She served as the fifth President of the WCTU in the state of Oregon. She traveled throughout the state speaking, debating and writing in support of her beliefs. Her spirited debates with both men and women were said to win over many supporters to the temperance movement. She also was involved on the national level and traveled throughout the United States as a speaker.
The temperance movement has rightly been described as a proto-feminist movement. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was intentionally a women's movement. In fact, it was the largest women's organization in the country at that time. It afforded women the opportunity to hold leadership positions, engage in public speaking and challenge the traditional role of women. For a woman to speak in public at the time was newsworthy in and of itself.
Women in the temperance movement supported the suffrage movement. The 1891 Pacific Coast Conference of WCTU held in Portland passed a resolution that "declared for an educational test as a qualification for the vote instead of the accident of sex". Oregon temperance workers also supported limiting child labor and banning the sale of tobacco to children.
Oregon suffrage activists did not necessarily support women in the temperance movement. There was the not unjustified fear that the liquor industry would work against the suffrage movement if they suspected the women's vote would lead to prohibition in the state. Leaders of the woman suffrage movement in Oregon, while not necessarily opposed to temperance, declined to openly support the Oregon WCTU for tactical reasons.
Oregon's male voters defeated woman suffrage in 1884, 1900, 1906, 1908, and 1910. Under the leadership of Lucia Faxon Additon and Ada Wallace Unruh the state and national WCTU lent support to the 1912 Oregon referendum campaign for votes for women. In November 1912 52% of the male voters supported women's suffrage.
When Additon registered to vote in 1914 at the age of 60, she rightly listed her occupation as journalist.
In November 1914 prohibition passed statewide in Oregon--5 years before national prohibition.
Among her journalistic endeavors was her history of the Oregon Temperance movement, "Twenty Eventful Years of the Oregon Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1880-1900: Statistical, Historical and Biographical, Portraits of Prominent Pioneer Workers."
Her efforts in support of girls and women were not limited to temperance and suffrage. Her efforts as social economics expert of WCTU was instrumental in the legislature's passing protective child labor laws. She established a building called Noon Rest in Portland's financial district for young women. Counseling and assistance finding work were provided as well as respite from unwanted male attention. Additon personally offered temporary housing in her own home for hundreds of women who were down on their luck until permanent homes could be found.
In 1915 her husband and her son died within weeks of each other.
Lucia Faxon Additon died January 4, 1919 in Portland, Oregon. Otis and Lucia were buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Additon, Lucia H. Faxon. Twenty Eventful Years of the Oregon Women's Christian Temperance Union, 1880-1900. Statistical, historical and biographical. Portraits of prominent pioneer workers. Portland, OR: Gotshall, 1904.
Bordin, Ruth. Women and Temperance: The Quest for Power and Liberty, 1873-1900. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1981.
"Equal Rights Indorsed: W.C.T.U. Behind Movement to Give Women Ballot," Oregonian, January 06, 1912, 16. http://centuryofaction.org/index.php/main_site/News_Articles/equal_rights_indorsed
Find A Grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/72581878
Gaston, Joseph. Oregon Pictorial and Biographical. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912. p. 117. Accessed via http://www.civilwarsignals.org/brown/signalmen/notinbrown/otisradditon/otisradditon.pdf
Hardy, Sarah B. Temperance and Beyond: The Oregon Woman's Christian Temperance Union and Progressive Reform during the First World War. Senior Seminar: Hist 499 Professor Kimberly Jensen, Western Oregon University. May 25, 2010.
Jensen, Kimberly. "Woman Suffrage in Oregon." The Oregon Encyclopedia. Oregon Historical Society. May 1, 2019. Accessed via https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/woman_suffrage_in_oregon/#.XRl5c-hKjIU.
"Lucia Faxon Additon Promoted," The Union Signal: A Journal of Social Welfare, Vol 45-46. January 23, 1919, Page 10
"Woman Suffrage Gets Aid From the W.C.T.U.," Portland Evening Telegram, March 1, 1912, 14. Accessed via http://centuryofaction.org/index.php/main_site/News_Articles/woman_suffrage_gets_aid_from_the_w.c.t.u
"Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 15 January 2020. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FC7R-NJ3
National American Woman Suffrage Association Convention. Proceedings of the Thirty-seventh Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Held at Portland, Oregon, June 28th to July 5th, Inclusive, 1905. Publisher: The Association, 1905, Warren, Ohio. Accessed via https://books.google.com/books?id=ZX8EAAAAYAAJ&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&printsec=frontcover&vq=Additon&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=Additon&f=false
Soden, Dale E. , "The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in the Pacific Northwest: The Battle for Cultural Control," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 94 No. 4 (Fall 2003): 197-198
"State Suffragists Prepare for Fight Part 1," Oregonian, November 01, 1912, 4 http://centuryofaction.org/index.php/main_site/News_Articles/state_suffragists_prepare_for_fight_part_1
"Woman Suffrage Gets Aid From the W.C.T.U.," Portland Evening Telegram, March 01, 1912, 14 http://centuryofaction.org/index.php/main_site/News_Articles/woman_suffrage_gets_aid_from_the_w.c.t.u
Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds. History of Woman Suffrage, Vol 6 (1922) [LINK].