Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Edna Beveridge, 1870-1957
By Whitney Andrews, Teacher at Randolph School; MA, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL and Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, SUNY Binghamton
Edna Annette Beveridge was born in New York in 1871 and was recorded in 1900 living in the household of her widowed brother Winfield and nephew in Baltimore. Their widowed mother Edmonia also lived with them in 1900. Edna had attended three years of college. Winfield and Edna continued to reside together in 1910. Winfield was a merchant in 1900 and a real estate agent in 1910. Edna was not recorded with an occupation in either census year and probably was keeping house and helping raise her nephew Edwin. Edna is missing from the 1920 census but in 1930 she and Winfield were living together in Los Angeles; both were working as real estate agents. By 1940 she had moved to San Francisco and at 70 continued to be employed as a researcher in government work. She boarded in a household with 78 lodgers.
Before her work as an active proponent of women's suffrage, Beveridge also defended the employ of women as auxiliary police. She wrote a piece titled "Establishing Policewomen in Maryland in 1912," and authored two state laws in Maryland that codified female presence on auxiliary police forces. She presented in favor of female police at various charity conferences, including The Social Welfare Forum and the National Conference of Charities and Correction. When she interviewed the Maryland attorney general, he "assured her the appointment of women as auxiliary police would be unconstitutional and without precedent," which Beveridge contradicted: "Baltimore already had police matrons." She then promoted Anna Howard Shaw's statement that in order to "stop the white slave traffic and keep boys and girls away from vicious moving pictures, restaurants and dance halls, you must have women policemen." She continued her support for female police as chair of the auxiliary committee on women police of the Suffrage Club, in addition to championing issues involving child labor, minimum wage, and prison reform. She formed the "Committee of 100" in Maryland, as a means to "look after the interest of laws" pertaining to women and children.
Edna Annette Beveridge was active in the woman suffrage movement at local and national levels. She served as an officer of the Maryland Woman Suffrage Association for more than a decade, including as vice-president. She also worked as an organizer for NAWSA, with duties that included traveling to special sessions of legislatures, lobbying, and interviewing legislature members, even staying in Charleston, SC for three and a half months to do so. Her involvement in the New York Suffrage movement in 1917 and in Oklahoma's campaign in 1918 is of special note in her biography. Beveridge traveled to attend the special session of the Tennessee state legislature that ratified the Nineteenth Amendment in August 1920.
Edna Beveridge left a handwritten biography, which is in the Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers in the University of Houston's collection.
She never married and died in Sonoma, California on March 29, 1957.
Kerry Segrave, Policewomen: A History (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1995).
Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922) [LINK]. Readers will find numerous references to Beveridge's suffrage work in several state reports.
Beveridge, Edna A. "Establishing Policewomen in Maryland in 1912." The Social Welfare Forum: Official Proceedings [of The] Annual National Conference. Volume 42; pp. 418-421
"For Mrs. A. N. McCallan, a handwritten biography of Edna Annette Beveridge." Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers, University of Houston Digital Collection. http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Federal Manuscript Censuses of Baltimore, 1900 and 1910; Los Angeles, 1930; San Francisco, 1940 for links with entries for Winfield and Edna Beveridge.
Death record for Edna Annette Beveridge in Find-a-Grave website at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/193746937/edna-annette-beveridge