Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Leona Huntzinger, 1882-1937
By Christian Sheffey, undergraduate, Rosemont College
Leona Huntzinger was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania around 1882. Very little is known about her immediate family, but Huntzinger herself reported to have spent her early childhood and teenage years in Texas with her parents. While she never married, she enjoyed a lifelong friendship with Elizabeth Hopkinson whom she met in her early 20's as a lace factory worker in the place of her birth. Huntzinger and Hopkinson continued to live in Pennsylvania for most of their lives, although they traveled extensively throughout the Northeast. Huntzinger was buried on August 16, 1937 at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.
Her penchant for activism can be seen early in her adulthood, and in a 1913 interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer Huntzinger weighs in on the labor-focused Walnut Bill. This legislation directly affected her as a factory worker, and she was not shy in stating that she was in favor of the revised bill "especially as to the reduction of hours." An official organizer for the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association by 1915, she was also a guest speaker and organizer for many suffrage events in Pennsylvania and beyond. She gave speeches in places as small as a Fulton county Methodist church, and assisted in the organization of the Pennsylvania suffragist role in a national parade in Chicago in 1916. In 1917 Huntzinger and Hopkinson spent much of the year touring New York state in a modified Ford. Promoting women's rights throughout many of the rural areas of the state, the two represented the Industrial Section of the State Woman Suffrage Party in Binghamton.
In the early 20's Huntzinger had begun managing farms, therefore, she expanded her political activism to include not only women's rights but also the interest and concerns of the working-class farmer. Just as she did in earlier years, Huntzinger was a fixture in local government and at political events representing the voice of women in the farming community. Eventually buying a farm in East Whiteland, Pennsylvania she and Hopkinson, who also never had children, opened their doors to become a foster farm to troubled youths in need of a stable home and second
"16 May 1913, Page 18 - The Philadelphia Inquirer at Newspapers.com." Newspapers.com. Accessed May 01, 2017. https://www.newspapers.com/image/169016645/?terms=Leona%2Bhuntzinger.
"2 Oct 1917, p. 7 - Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin at Newspapers.com." Newspapers.com. Accessed May 01, 2017. https://www.newspapers.com/image/261100959/.
"22 May 1916, Page 4 - Harrisburg Daily Independent at Newspapers.com." Newspapers.com. Accessed May 01, 2017. https://www.newspapers.com/image/88950655/?terms=%22elizabeth%2Bhopkinson%22.
Death certificate, Leona Huntzinger, 1937. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.