Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Anna Murray (Mrs. Fletcher) Doan, 1853-1916

By Susan J. Ford, Attorney, El Dorado Hills, California, great granddaughter of Suffragist, Frances Willard Munds.

Anna Murray was born in 1853 in Bowling Green, Missouri to Samuel F. Murray and Mary F. Wells Murray. Anna died on November 16, 1916 at the age of 63 and is buried in the Evergreen Memorial Park in Tucson, Arizona, Pima County.

Anna was married to Fletcher M. Doan on December 25, 1873 in Bowling Green, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and from the Albany Law School. He served on the Missouri Supreme Court and on the Arizona Supreme Court. He also served as the District Attorney for Pinal Co, Arizona.

Fletcher Doan was the only one of his brothers to change his last name from Doane to Doan. Fletcher Doan was born July 21, 1846 and died October 28, 1924, after Anna.

Anna's maternal grandfather was Judge Carty Wells, Jr. who sat on the circuit bench in Missouri. One of Judge Carty Wells, Jr.'s brothers, Joseph, was also a prominent attorney, and was a member of the constitutional convention of 1855.

Anna and Fletcher Doan had three sons: John Doan (1875-1935), Frank Wilson Doan (1877-1920) and Leslie Murray Doan who died before his parents' deaths due to an unfortunate accident (1880-1897).

Much of Anna's work for the suffrage movement appears to be by working through various local women's clubs. She had been President of the Woman's Club in Tombstone, Arizona and the organizer of the Women's Club in Florence, Arizona. She was also prominent in the work of the Douglas, Arizona Woman's Club.

On January 21, 1903, at the Meeting of Woman Suffrage Association in Phoenix, Arizona, several prominent suffragists presented papers. Anna, (named as Mrs. Judge Doan of Florence ), who was the representative from Florence, Arizona, presented a paper titled "Woman's Restrictions Under The Law." This topic seems apropos based on the attorneys and judges in her birth family, as well as her husband being a judge and having other attorneys in his birth family.

At the closing session the next day, she was listed as Mrs. F.M. Doan of Pinal County, Arizona, and she was elected as the Recording Secretary for the Woman Suffrage Association of Arizona

The 22nd Arizona Territorial legislative session began on January 19, 1903 and ran for 60 days through March 19, 1903. It is noted that the Arizona Woman's Suffrage Association came close to success in this session when both houses of the territorial legislature passed a suffrage bill, however, Governor Alexander Brodie vetoed it. Brodie also objected to the idea of including women as eligible voters in a proposed state constitution, fearing that including suffrage would hurt Arizona's chance for statehood.

In contrast to the many accounts that the suffrage bill came close to success at this legislative session, it is interesting to note that a portion of the notes from the 22nd Arizona Territorial Legislature session read as follows: "Final passage of a women's suffrage bill occurred on St. Patrick's day 1903.[3] The bill was passed by the House on a lark and the Council did not pass the measure until assured it would be vetoed.[3] Governor Brodie's veto was based upon his understanding that the Arizona Organic Act failed to grant the legislature the needed authority to give women the right to vote." This sets the background for what women had to overcome on their way for the right to vote.

Once Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912, an all-male electorate in November of 1912, passed the women's suffrage bill giving women full voting rights. Arizona was the tenth state in which women won full voting rights.

Sources: Descendants of Carty Wells of Stafford County, VA

Library of Congress: 11/17/1916 obituary in the Tombstone Epitaph 11/19/1916 Weekly Edition re: 11/16/1916 death; Arizona State Library Archives, Image 8

Library of Congress: Arizona State Library Archives, 1/21/1903 Page 2 & 1/28/1903 (Page 3), Weekly Arizona Journal-Miner, Prescott, Arizona

Ida Husted Harper, ed., History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920, Volume 6 (1922) [LINK to AZ state report].

National American Woman Suffrage Association papers (Library of Congress), and National Register nominations from the National Park Service. Sources for this page include Arizona Women's History Alliance, Digital Arizona Library, and Gordon Moris Bakken and Brenda Farrington Encyclopedia of Women in the American West (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., 2003)

Arizona Territory (1903). Acts, Resolutions, and Memorials of the Twenty-second Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona. Phoenix: H. H. McNeil Co. OCLC 17671568 (

Information about Fletcher Doan from the DFA books and

back to top