Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Martha McInerny Reid, 1865-1934

By Rusti P. Liner, Geography Instructor and GIS Professional: River Parishes Community College, Gonzales, LA

Daughter of Irish Immigrants, Grandmother to a WW II Naval War Hero and activist in the Suffrage movement

Martha McInerny Reid was born in New Orleans, LA on February 14, 1865 and died on December 10, 1934 at the age of 69. Her parents were Patrick McInerny and Anna Walsh. A native New Orleanian and daughter of Irish immigrants, not much is written about her specifically, but her family tree is quite fascinating. Martha had four siblings, two brothers and two sisters. They were in order of birth: Jennie, Edward, Charles, Annie and Martha, who was the youngest. Her oldest sister, Jennie was fourteen years her elder.

Martha married William Wallace Reid on June 18, 1888 in New Orleans, LA. At the time of their marriage, William was 38 and she was 23. William and Martha lived together in New Orleans probably from 1888 until William's death in 1931.They are recorded in the four federal censuses for New Orleans, 1900-1930. He had three children from an earlier marriage and they had five children from their marriage. He worked as an engineer for these three decades; she had no occupation listed in the census in this period. By 1930 they owned their own home valued at $6,000. Martha passed away in New Orleans in December 1934.

In the History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, Martha is noted as having been a charter member of the Woman Suffrage Party, indicating that she was probably an original member of the group when it was founded in April 1913. Unfortunately I have found no further information about Reid's suffrage activism.

Beverly William Reid, the grandson of Martha McInerny Reid, attended Redemptorist College in New Orleans, LA. In June of 1935, Beverly enlisted in the United States Navy. Over time, he decided to attend flight training and worked his way up the ranks to become a well-known fighter pilot.


Cressman, Robert J. "Battle of Midway." The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II, by Robert J. Cressman, Naval Institute Press, 2016, pp. 114-115.

Anthony, Susan B. and Ida Husted Harper. History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. IV (1883-1900). Rochester, N.Y., 1902 [LINK].

Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. History of Woman Suffrage. Vols. V [LINK] and VI [LINK] (1900-1920). N.p.: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922.

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether, eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America. Bloomington: Indiana U.P., 2006.

Withrow, A. "Martha Louise McInerny, 7 Jan. 2006,

U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population censuses, New Orleans, 1900-1930.

Death records, Martha Louise Reid and William Wallace Reid, New Orleans. Ancestry Library Edition.

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