Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mrs. Henrietta Woodward Smith, 1854-1925

By Kendra M. Stachum, Dr. Amy Forss, Professor, Metropolitan (NE) Community College

Henrietta Ingram Woodward was born July 1, 1854, in Liberty, Ohio, named after her paternal grandmother, Henrietta Woodward. Her parents were Clement K. Woodward, born 1828 in Cayuga, New York and Mary A. Woodward (Taylor), born 1831 in New York. Henrietta married Mr. Draper Smith in July 1876, in Ohio. He was an esteemed businessman, known for his strict integrity in business dealings, and a partner in Keenan & Smith, South Omaha Livestock Exchange. Mr. Smith managed the sales for the South Omaha stock yard, averaging 150 car-loads of cattle and hogs each month. Mr. and Mrs. Smith had one son, Arthur Draper Smith, born March 5, 1882. Mrs. Smith passed away on December 13, 1925, from pernicious anemia, at the age of 71. Mr. Smith passed away due to a lingering illness on April 3, 1909, in Omaha NE. The Smiths are buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Omaha NE.

Mrs. Smith was a prominent member of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha. She was well-known for her leadership in the women suffrage movement and a pioneer in countless women's organizations on behalf of women and children. Mrs. Smith was given the term "mother" of the child labor law in Nebraska. September 1918, Mrs. Smith went to Washington D.C., to join the woman suffrage lobby in the Senate. She was called by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Nebraska suffragists looked upon this call as a sign of honor to Mrs. Smith and the State of Nebraska. As Chairman of the Douglas County Republican Woman's Club and County Committeewoman, Mrs. Smith hand-delivered the electoral vote of Nebraska, to Washington, D.C., for the election of Warren G. Harding, as President.

Mrs. Smith is notable for serving as; President of the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association, 1912 to 1915. President, of the Omaha Woman's Club, 1898-1900. Leader of the Social Science Department, 1905-1910. President of the Nebraska Federation of Women's Club, 1901-1903. In 1907-1912, appointed by the Governor of Nebraska, James C. Dahlman, as one of five State Labor Inspectors. Vice-President of the Mothers' Pension League, organized to secure the passage of the bill for Mothers' Pension Law. President of the Nebraska Equal Suffrage Association, 1912. Vice President of the Nebraska State Charities and Correction Conference, 1912. Chairman of the Juvenile Court Committee of Douglas County, by appointment of the Judge of the District Court. Member of the Executive Committee of the Nebraska Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis. Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Omaha Associated Charities. Member of the Board of Directors of the Omaha Settlement Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Omaha Play Ground Association.


Pen and Sunlight Sketches of Omaha and Environs: Handsomely Illustrated (Chicago: Phoenix Publishing, 1892). Accessed online at : WEB

"Stocking Tax Rouses Ire," Chicago Tribune, March 21, 1909, p. 3

"Mrs. Draper Smith," bio sketch in Woman's Who's Who, 1914-15, p. 755. Online at,_1914-15.djvu/743

"Mississippi Valley Suffrage Conference in Dees Moines," Des Moines Register, March 29, 1914, p. 51. Accessed online at

"Society Notes," Lincoln Courier, Sept. 27, 1902, p. 4. Accessed online at

"BLUE BOOK OF NEBRASKA WOMEN;" BY WINONA REEVES (1916); PAGES 102-50. Accessed online at :WEB

Omaha Morning World-Herald, 12 Dec 1925, p. 2.

Special Thanks

Mr. Scott Mahoney, Library Supervisor, Elkhorn Valley Campus, Metropolitan Community College. Mr. Mahoney, played a pivotal role in helping with research for Mrs. Henrietta Smith.


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