Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890 – 1920
Biography of Charlotte D. Davidson, 1845-1913
By Nirali Patel, undergraduate student, Michigan State University
Charlotte Dibble was born on November 1, 1845 in Indiana to mother Charlotte Phelps Dibble from Indiana and a father from New York. There is little information found on her childhood life, but on February 20, 1866 Charlotte married David T. Davidson in Carroll County, Indiana. After their marriage, the couple moved to Xenia, Greene County, Ohio where David's father, Joseph, was a baker with a shop on East Main Street. David also followed that profession for some time. David also served two years in the Civil War, but was captured at Nolensville, TN in 1862, and was discharged in 1864 as a Captain. In 1866, after the marriage, he served for a time on city council. In 1871, he was appointed and served for almost thirty years as the Chief of the Xenia Fire Department. According to his obituary, when he left office, he was probably the oldest fire chief in the US.
According to the 1910 United States Census on Ancestry.com, Charlotte had one child with David and lived on 20 East Main Street of Xenia, Ohio. She was able to read and write English, and was the head of her home at age 62 after the death of her husband.
As for her contribution in history, Charlotte was the senior-vice president of the 28th National Convention of the Women's Relief Corps or the WRC for the state of Ohio. The WRC was founded soon after the American Civil War. The role of the WRC is to express the importance of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) to the public--to honor them as a way of showing great patriotism to our country. As a leader of this women's organization another role she had to fulfill was to provide aid to veterans and their families. As a board leader, she also had to write rules and regulations that the GAR could eventually approve of that run along similar doings of the GAR. One of the main reasons for these rules was to "maintain true allegiance to the United States of America" and teach patriotism and "love of country".
On March 11, 1913, Charlotte Dibble Davidson died in her place of residence in Xenia, Ohio. An obituary in Everywoman noted that she had been active in the unsuccessful 1912 statewide suffrage referendum. The obituary quoted one woman who commented: "Her going has made a void not alone in our suffrage circle (to which she was devoted), but also in other lines of public usefulness." Her gravestone can be found at Woodland Cemetery in Xenia at plot Section A, Lot 74, Grave 5, where she rests in peace next to her husband.
"Charlotte Dibble Davidson (1845-1913) - Find A..." Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42882152/charlotte-davidson.
Federal manuscript census, Xenia, OH, accessed online via Ancestry.com.
"Charlotte D Davidson in the 1940 Census | Ancestry®." Google, Google, https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/Minnesota/Charlotte-D-Davidson_3f4pzt/amp
"Capt David T. Davidson (1835-1904) - Find A Grave..." Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42882098/david-t_-davidson. "Charlotte D. Phelps (1815-1902) - Find A Grave..." Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42882967/charlotte-d_-phelps.
Reference to the Will of Charlotte D. Davidson, accessed online at https://www.greenecountyohio.gov/Blog.aspx?IID=165
Obituary for Charlotte D. Davidson, 1913, accessed online at https://www.greenecountyohio.gov/Blog.aspx?IID=165.