Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Bessie Hughes
By Brittani Ricks, student, Michigan State University
Bessie Hughes was born in Logansport, Indiana. Her career as a woman suffragist started in her hometown. In April of 1908, Mrs. Anna Nolan, from Logansport, IN, formed committees for people interested in women's suffrage because Indiana had been inactive for some years on the woman suffrage front. These committees were eventually formed to merge into the Women's Suffrage Association (WSA). The WSA held their first annual convention in Logansport, IN on March 16th and 17th, 1909. Seven of the fifteen local committees that paid their dues sent delegates.
The Logansport Pharos Tribune and Kokomo Daily Tribune, local newspapers, reported on the convention. The authors stated that a lot of non-members, men and women, were present, including the mayor at the time, Mayor McKee. The first day, they discussed the national petition for equal suffrage that would be sent to President Taft, that was signed by both men and women at the convention. On the following day in the convention Bessie Hughes was appointed corresponding secretary and local delegate for the Women's Suffrage Association.
"Indiana Suffragists to Take Case to White House." Kokomo Daily Tribune, 2.
"Local Women Named." Logansport Pharos Tribune (March 17, 1909), 5.
Stanton, E. C., Anthony, S. B., Gage, M. J., & Harper, I. H. eds., The History of Woman Suffrage Volume 6 (1922) [LINK to IN state report]