Biographical Sketch of Marie Victoria Ackerman Herren Garvin

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Marie Victoria Ackerman Herren Garvin, 1875-1940

President, Yuma Equal Suffrage League; Member, Arizona Equal Suffrage Central Commission; Founder and Officer, Yuma Valley Women's Club; First Vice-President, Woman's City Club of Yuma; Chairman, Merit System Department, Arizona Federation of Women's Clubs; Member, Ocotillo Club of Yuma; Member, City Club of Los Angeles

By Amanda Ritter-Maggio, Associate Professor of English, Texarkana College, Texarkana, TX

Marie Victoria Ackerman was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1875 to Christian Ackerman, a German immigrant, and Teresa Hunt Ackerman. Her siblings included Clara Louise, Friedrich, Albert, Pearl, Mary Theresa, and Cora. She earned her high school diploma from Western Springs High School in Illinois.

Victoria, as she was known, married Harry Hubert Herren, a dentist, on June 28, 1899 in Chicago. Soon after, the couple migrated to Los Angeles, California. Sadly, Harry Herren died on November 27, 1902 in Pasadena at the age of twenty-eight.

Victoria lived in Los Angeles as a single woman until she married again, this time to James Stewart Garvin in December of 1905. James was a Kansas native who came to California with his parents around 1900. The couple moved to Arizona, establishing a large farm near Yuma. James Garvin served on the board of directors for several local utility boards, including Special Road District board of directors.

Victoria was quite involved in the suffrage movement and several women's clubs in Arizona. In November of 1910, she represented the Woman's Club of Somerton in lobbying for suffrage at the territorial capitol. She was a member of Arizona Equal Suffrage Central Committee in 1911; that same year, she addressed a convention of the Arizona Federation of Women's Clubs.

In January of 1912, Victoria was elected to board of directors of the Yuma County Political Equality League; newspapers reported that "Mrs. J.S. Garvin is circulating a petition directed to Governor-elect Hunt, asking him to recommend in his first message to the Arizona legislature that a constitutional amendment providing for female suffrage be submitted to the people of the new state at the first election."

In 1913, Victoria published a "Suffrage Column" in the Yuma Examiner refuting the anti-suffrage sentiments encountered during the state suffrage organization's most recent campaign. The column reads, in part, "'Who will rock the cradle, when mother goes to the polls,' is asked the suffragist. Ans[wer]--The same hand that rocks the cradle when she goes to pay her taxes." She included in her column a list of "Proverbs for Suffragists": "The woman who hesitates is bossed. The early word catches the public. Man is a jack-of-all-trades, but master of no woman. Too many men spoil the nation. Men rush in where women would tread softly. Time and women wait for no man. Barking 'antis' seldom bite. Woman will ultimately win."

In April of 1914, Victoria presided over and addressed a joint women's clubs meeting in Yuma on the topic of woman suffrage. She was elected President of the Yuma Equal Suffrage League and was a member of the Arizona Equal Suffrage Central Commission. She also founded the Yuma Valley Woman's Club. Victoria's suffrage activism and accomplishments were noted in Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915. She continued active membership in many women's clubs in Yuma and Somerton though the 1920s.

Victoria Ackerman Herren Garvin died in Somerton, Arizona in 1940 and is buried alongside James Garvin and his parents in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Sources: and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Arizona, U.S., Death Records, 1887-1960 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016. California, U.S., County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2017. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

"Brevities." The Arizona Sentinel 10 November 1910.,

"Death Record." The Los Angeles Times 30 November 1902.,

"Equality League Appoints Directors." Arizona Sentinel and Yuma Weekly Examiner 18 January 1912.,

Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 16 July 2021), memorial page for Victoria A. Garvin (1875-1940), Find a Grave Memorial ID 82540069, citing Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Ann (contributor 46964942).

Garvin, Mrs. J.S. "Suffrage Column." Yuma Examiner 09 April 1913.,

"Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. "Marriage Records, 1871-present." Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.

Leonard, John W. "Garvin, Victoria A." Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915. Columbia UP, 1914.'s%20Who's%20Who%20of%20America.%20A%20biographical%20dictionary%20of%20contemporary%20women%20of%20the%20United%20States%20and%20Canada&f=false

"Vital Statistics." Los Angeles Evening Express 06 December 1905.,,0.65980476,0.5648858,0.7391556&xid=3398&_ga=2.126132228.848143964.1626385027-277744048.1622824811

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