Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Edna Alice Andress (Mrs. Julius F.) Stone, 1874-1950
By Jodi Oaks, Reference Librarian and Historical Researcher
Edna Alice Andress was born in Ohio March 16, 1874 to George H. and Permelia (Hutchinson) Andress. Edna attended Ohio State University and was a graduate of the class of 1900. That same year, she married Julius F. Stone of Columbus, Ohio. After graduating, she maintained close ties to the University and participated in a variety of alumnae events, including a rally of women graduates of the University held in 1920. At this gathering of women graduates, Edna conducted a business conference where ideas "were discussed by means of which the alumnae of Ohio State might bring about more progressive plans for the campus." Her husband, a prominent Ohio industrialist and banker, served as a trustee of the University for 28 years, and deeded Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie to the University to be used as a biological laboratory. For many years they lived near the University in Grandview Heights, Ohio. They had five children born between 1901 and 1910, including two daughters and three sons.
In 1912, Ohio held a constitutional convention to revise the State constitution through amendments. Suffragists worked to ensure that women's suffrage was included in the proposed amendments to the State constitution. A special election was held September 3, 1912 to allow Ohio voters to decide which amendments would be approved. In the months leading up to the special election, suffragists conducted a campaign for the suffrage amendment. As part of this campaign, Edna served as chairman of the Ohio Centennial Woman Suffrage Parade Committee, helping to organize a parade of 5,000 people held in August in Columbus. Despite these efforts, Ohio voters rejected the suffrage amendment, with 249,420 ayes and 336,875 noes.
In 1913, Edna spoke at the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association (OWSA) annual convention. That year, a newspaper referred to her as one of the leading suffragists of Columbus, and quoted her saying, "If taxation without representation was tyranny in the Colonial days it is none the less true in the modern days when women seek the ballot and equal rights," and that "women own and manage real estate and business enterprises and yet are not considered wise enough to help elect Constables." In 1914, Edna was elected auditor at the OWSA annual convention, and represented the OWSA as part of a delegation that presented resolutions in favor of women's suffrage to the Republican State Central Committee in Columbus. Also that year, Edna gave a reception at her home for Dr. Harvey W. Wiley of Washington D.C. with members of the Men's League for Equal Suffrage and the Franklin County Equal Suffrage Association.
Edna was supportive of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, out of which the National Woman's Party was eventually created. At the 1915 National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) annual convention, in response to NAWSA leaders' condemnation of Congressional Union tactics, Edna was quoted as saying, "it's jealousy" and that "the brightest young women are in the Congressional Union work, so the leaders are disturbed." That same year, Edna hosted Isabella Mott, a New York suffragist and field worker for the Congressional Union at her home. Later in December, Edna attended the first national convention of the Congressional Union and was present at a reception given by Alva Belmont at Cameron House, Congressional Union headquarters in Washington D.C.
In 1917, Edna was again helping to organize a suffrage parade in Columbus, at which both the OWSA and Congressional Union members planned to march. Edna also served as chairman of the Train Committee for the Mississippi Valley Suffrage Conference held in Columbus in 1917. At that year's annual OWSA convention, Edna was recorded as participating in the discussions and presenting a report as part of the resolutions committee. In June 1919, Edna attended a luncheon in honor of Alice Paul held in Columbus. Later, Edna was affiliated with the Franklin County League of Women Voters, having hosted a party for the League at her home in 1926.
After her suffrage activism, Edna extolled the virtues of the home and women residing in the domestic sphere. In 1927, she was named by the governor of Ohio as a delegate to the American Homes National Congress at Des Moines, Iowa, held under the auspices of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC). The previous year, in discussing reasons why the Congress was needed, general chairman Mrs. John D. Sherman, then GFWC president, stated that the home as an institution was "facing the challenge of the age of science and democracy" with "widespread pessimism as to its stability and its effectiveness." The resulting Congress was organized with the goal of "improvement of the American home, the development of interest in the home, and every activity to raise the ideals and standards of the home." Later, in a 1935 interview, Edna was quoted as saying that for women "the pleasures to be derived in the home are the more mature and lasting ones." She went on to say regarding women's clubs that "for a period of eight years, let us say, a woman can give intensely to such causes" and that after that time "she should step aside to make room for younger women with new ideas."
For the last ten years of her life, Edna lived in Santa Monica, California. Her husband died in Santa Monica in 1947. In November 1949 she went back to Ohio to be with friends and family. She died at the University Hospital in Columbus on February 19, 1950. Her death certificate states that she was cremated, but her name is included on a family gravestone in Andress Cemetery on Gore Orphanage Rd in Henrietta, Ohio.
Image of Edna Alice Andress Stone with her five children and husband, Julius F. Stone:
Stone Family, Moment in Time Feature - ThisWeekGrandview, Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff (Ohio) Historical Society, https://ghmchs.org/thisweek/photo-listing28.htm#stone.
On her suffrage work, see Stone, E. A, Letter, August 12, 1912, Mrs. Julius F. Stone to Dear Madam [Martha McClellan Brown], https://corescholar.libraries.wright.edu/special_ms147_correspondence/33/; "Noted Women to Appear in Parade," Celina Democrat, August 23, 1912, 5; "Big Suffrage Parade," Akron Beacon Journal, August 24, 1912, 4; "Suffragists To Number of 3,000 In Big Parade," Chronicle-Telegram, August 28, 1912, 1; "Ohio Suffragettes Make Final Appeal," Cincinnati Enquirer, August 28 1912, 1; "Suffrage Affair to be Elaborate," Times Recorder, November 14, 1912, 7; "Suffrage Convention of Ohio," Cincinnati Enquirer, November 16, 1913, 13; "Columbus Suffragettes Not to Follow Dr. Anna Shaw in Refusing to Pay Income Tax," Cincinnati Enquirer, December 24, 1913, 4; "Aye! Aye! Votes for Regular Predominate at Session of G.O.P. Committee," Cincinnati Enquirer, April 29, 1914, 9; "Columbus," Cincinnati Enquirer, August 2, 1914, 45; "Suffragists May Seek Amendment," Akron Evening Times, December 5, 1914, 12; "Women Censure Heckling Wilson by Suffragists," Chicago Tribune, June 9, 1915, 7; "Columbus," Cincinnati Enquirer, October 10, 1915, 62; "Request of Suffragists For Privilege to Speak in House is Likely to be Swatted," Cincinnati Enquirer, November 30, 1915, 9; "Society," Washington Herald, December 8, 1915, 13; "Women Envoys Guests, Mrs. Belmont Entertains at Big Reception to Suffragists," Washington Post, December 8, 1915, 11; "Women to Have Big Part in the Parade," Telegraph-Forum, January 9, 1917, 6; "Mississippi Valley Conference," Hutchinson News, April 28, 1917, 18; "Program for Suffragists Made Public," Dayton Herald, October 19, 1917, 29; "Suffragists of Ohio Gathering for Convention," Dayton Daily News, October 24, 1917, 1, 17; "Society," Dayton Daily News, June 25, 1919, 5; "Miss Burton Will Be Honored By Columbus League," Times Recorder, May 19, 1926, 5; "Chapter XXXIV: Ohio," in The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI, ed. Ida Husted Harper (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 508-19. On her work for Ohio State University and her later club work, see "Class of '00," Ohio State University Monthly, Vol. 7, no. 1, July 1915, 36-7; "The Co-eds Rally," Ohio State University Monthly, Vol. 12, no. 3, December 1920, 30, 70; "National Homes Congress Scheduled for November," Utah Payroll Builder, August 1926, 12; "Donahey Names Home Delegates," Circleville Herald, March 4, 1927, 7; "Women's Place in Background, Says Mrs. Julius F. Stone, Sr," Miami News, 18 April 18, 1935, 7. On her death, see "Mrs. Stone Stricken," Sandusky Register, February 20, 1950, 12; "Mrs. Julius F. Stone," New York Times, February 21, 1950, 26; "Edna A Stone, 19 Feb 1950" in Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953, FamilySearch; "Edna Andress Stone," Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/133430112/edna-stone. On her husband, see Julius F. Stone Papers in Ohio State University Archives; Julius Stone Collection at Northern Arizona University Special Collections and Archives; "Julius F. Stone, 92, Industrialist, Dies," Sandusky Register, July 26, 1947, 1, 10. For Census and vital records, see "Edna Andress" in Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003, FamilySearch; "Edna Andress in household of George Andress, Henrietta, Lorain, Ohio, United States," United States Census, 1880; "Julius F Stone and Edna A Andress," Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, FamilySearch; "Edna Stone in entry for Julius Stone," United States Census, 1920; "Edna A Stone in household of Julius Stone, Franklin, Franklin, Ohio, United States," United States Census, 1930.