Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Rose Ellen Redding Randall, 1863-1945
By Evelyn Rose, PharmD, Project Director, Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project, San Francisco, California--www.GlenParkHistory.org
Rose Ellen Randall, Suffragist of Arizona Mining Country
Born on August 26, 1863, Rose Ellen Redding Randall was the second of two daughters of Matthew Redding, a farmer in Bainbridge, Ross County, Ohio, and his wife, Lovenia Gault. Sadly, her mother's joy over their new arrival would be short lived. Just one month later, while serving as a private in Company I of the Ohio 54th Infantry, Matthew is reported to have been drowned near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Afterwards, Lovenia Redding never remarried, choosing to work as a milliner and raise her two daughters alone in Bainbridge.
What drew Rose to the American West and how she made her way there as a young adult are unknown. Yet, on November 23, 1897, she married George Albert Randall in Denver, Colorado, her first marriage and his second. Born in 1841, George was a native of Palmer, Hampden County, Massachusetts. Like Rose's father, George had served as a private in the Union Army during the Civil War, enlisting for service in 1864. Trained as a machinist and civil engineer, George's skill set was likely in high demand in the rapidly developing western states. Employed as a mining superintendent in the Denver area, he stated his occupation in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as "mining man."
In 1900, George moved to Gila County, Arizona, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix. He had been hired as the general superintendent of the Grand Prize Mine in Gila County, a rich, underground deposit of gold and copper. After making improvements to the mine and settling in, Rose, their two-year-old daughter Julia, and George's daughter from his previous marriage, CeCe, joined him in 1901.
For the duration of their stay on the mining property, the Randalls lived in a cabin along Sycamore Creek. In 1904, George assisted the local Tonto Apaches in gaining title to 160 acres of land in the district as compensation from the federal government for their work during the Indian Wars. He was appointed postmaster of the district in 1905.
When the mine closed for good in 1908, the Randall family moved about 10 miles south into the town of Payson in Rim County. From 1908 to 1918, George served as Payson's notary public and justice of the peace, presiding over court cases, weddings, and funerals. Rose's entrepreneurial skills became apparent with her purchase of the McDonald Saloon in Payson. After converting it into a mercantile store, the Randalls lived at the store until they were able to build a home just north of Main Street.
Rose's pioneer and entrepreneurial spirit seems to have caught the attention of Arizona suffrage leader Frances W. Munds of Prescott. The State of Arizona was about to become the 48th state of the Union, an event that would occur on February 14, 1912. In December 1911, Rose was appointed to the Arizona Equal Suffrage Association Central Committee with many other prominent women from across the state.
While the women of the Central Committee had campaigned hard in two Arizona constitutional conventions (1891 and 1910) to include a woman's right to vote, their efforts had been unsuccessful. Despite approval by both houses of the Arizona legislature in 1891, Territory Governor Alexander Brodie vetoed it because of perceived constitutional issues. In 1910, he forbade its inclusion fearing that suffrage would jeopardize the acceptance of statehood by President William Howard Taft. Yet, the submitted constitution had included the right to recall judges, a clause to which Taft had already stated his objection. Before approving statehood, Taft forced them to remove the clause.
Without a woman's right to vote in the state's constitution, the suffragists quickly implemented Plan B. By July 12, 1912, they women had acquired enough signatures to qualify a woman's suffrage initiative for the state's first election later that year.
The Arizona suffragists opened their campaign headquarters in Phoenix in September 1912, and their goal in the weeks leading up to the November election was to "wage a vigorous campaign" for the right to vote with "vim and enthusiasm." Using California as their model, the women planned a campaign without militancy, one that would be "a clean, dignified campaign with intelligent contention as the keynote." Speeches, distribution of promotional flyers, and mass meetings were scheduled throughout the state. Because of their cumulative efforts from 1891 to 1912, Arizona became only the tenth state in the United States to approve a woman's right to vote.
Ratification of the 19th Amendment would occur on August 26, 1920, Ellen's 57th birthday. Sadly, and like her mother's loss just after Ellen's birth, a time of celebration became one of grief after George Randall passed away a month earlier on July 19. After his death and until 1942, Rose spent her remaining years as a trustee of the Payson Women's Club, a civic organization also actively supported by her daughters, Julia Randall and CeCe Gibson. It appears part of the club's fundraising was through the acquisition and sale of mines, as all three women are documented as having approved transactions bequeathed to the Payson Women's Club in the 1930s.
After a long illness and at the age of 81, Rose Ellen Randall passed away in Payson on March 16, 1945. She is buried in the Payson Pioneer Cemetery, a fitting site for the matriarch of a pioneer Arizona mining family.
1. Mary Jane Pyle Family Tree. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
2. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
3. U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required)
4. Matthew Redding. Find-A-Grave. Available at Find-A-Grave.com.
5. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Bainbridge, Ross County, Ohio. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
6. Chaffin, W.L. A Biographical History of Robert Randall and his Descendants. Grafton Press: New York City, New York, 1909, pg 276. Available at Archive.org.
7. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
8. Massachusetts State Census, 1855. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
9. Brown S. Characters Under the Rim - Julia Viola Randall, Part 1. Payson Roundup, April 15, 2016, pg 5B. Available at Issuu.com.
10. U.S. Compiled Military Records, 1812-1865. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
11. U.S. Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917-1940. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
12. 1900 United States Federal Census, Denver, Colorado. Available at Ancestry.com (subscription required).
13. Brown S. Back When: Rim Country Places. Chapter 17: Grand Prize Mine. In the Rim Review, April 10, 2013, pg 4. Available at Issuu.com.
14. Grand Prize Mine, Payson, Arizona. Available at United States Geological Service.
15. The Oasis (Arizola, Arizona), August 31, 1912, pg 6. Available at Newspapers.com (subscription required).
16. Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona), September 1, 1912, pg 3. Available at Newspapers.com (subscription required).
17. Digital Arizona Library. Women's Suffrage. Available at the Arizona State Library, Archive, and Records.
18. Tucson Citizen (Tucson, Arizona), December 17, 1911, pg 4. Available at Newspapers.com (subscription required).
19. Bommersbach J. How Arizona Almost Didn't Become a State. Arizona Republic, February 13, 2012. Available at the Arizona Republic.
20. The Oasis (Arizola, Arizona), August 31, 1912, pg 6. Available at Newspapers.com (subscription required).
21. Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona), September 1, 1912, pg 3. Available at Newspapers.com (subscription required).
22. Index for The Payson Woman's Club Collection, Accession # 1991.1.9 and 1995.20, Rim Country Museums and Zane Grey Cabin, Payson, Arizona. Available at Rim County Museums.
23. Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona), March 17, 1945, pg 6. Available at Newspapers.com (subscription required).
24. Rose Ellen Redding Randall. Find-A-Grave. Available at FindAGrave.com.
[Caption]:Grand Prize Mine, Payson, Arizona, 1902. Mrs. Rose Ellen Randall may be the woman standing next to the man holding the toddler. Image courtesy of the Payson, Arizona Photographs 1890s-1940s, CP SPC 21, Arizona State University, Image 46. Image courtesy of Arizona Archive Online.