Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890 - 1920

Biography of Edith Johnson Wright (Brashear), 1885-1972

By Linda D. Wilson, Independent Historian

Oklahoma suffragist Edith Johnson Wright was born December 21, 1885, in Nebraska. Her father Hiram W. Johnson, who was in the mercantile business, married Tilley Kenton at Alma, Nebraska, in 1883. The family moved quite often, from Colorado, Montana, and eventually to Perry, Oklahoma Territory, where Hiram Johnson again established a mercantile business. He died in Perry on October 21, 1906.

At age seventeen Edith Johnson married John R. Wright on October 15, 1903, at Noble, Oklahoma Territory. They had two children. As early as April 1911, Edith Wright was a member of the Willard W.C.T.U. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Musically inclined, her singing provided music at the temperance meetings. In October 1914 Edith Wright was one of two auditors of the Woman Suffrage Association of Oklahoma. Jence Cornelia Fenquay of Chandler, Oklahoma, served as president, Adelia C. Stephens as vice president at large, and Kate Stafford as recording secretary. When suffragists organized in Oklahoma City in December 1914, Edith Wright was elected president. That organization's legislative committee members included Adelia Stevens, Kate Stafford, Mary Goddard, and Edith Wright. This appears to be her first involvement with the suffrage movement. In November 1917 Mabel Vernon and Natalie Grey organized a local branch of the National Woman's Party in Oklahoma City. Wright was elected as corresponding secretary.

Following the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Edith Wright continued to be active in the Oklahoma City Willard chapter of the W.C.T.U., serving as publicity director in 1932. In October 1940 Wright was elected as first vice president of the state W.C.T.U.

Her first husband John R. Wright died on May 9, 1925, in Oklahoma City. She married David Claude Brashear on June 26, 1929, in Logan County, Oklahoma. They moved to California in September 1943, where she continued to write books and articles and worked as society editor of the local newspaper. In 1933, while living in Oklahoma, Wright won first place for a short story placed in the annual contest of the Oklahoma Writers' club. She also produced oil paintings, mostly landscape scenes of Shell Beach, Baywood Park, and Morro Bay in California. Edith Brashear was a member of the San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay and El Camino art associations. She died in July 1972 at Pismo Beach, California. Her husband David Claude Brashear also died in California on January 20, 1978.

SOURCES:

"Claude Brashear," Oklahoma, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1890-1995, accessed on February 16, 2021. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK), October 29, 1932 and August 22, 1943. "David Claude Brashear," California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997, accessed on Ancestry.com on February 16, 2021. "Death of H. W. Johnson," Perry (O.T.) Republican, October 26, 1906. "Edith Brashear," U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014," accessed on Ancestry.com on February 16, 2021. Ida Husted Harper, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage, 1900-1920, Vol. 6 (NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922): 527. "Edith Johnson," Oklahoma, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1890-1995, accessed on Ancestry.com on February 15, 2021. "Local Leader Elected Head of W.C.T.U.," Stillwater (OK) Press, October 10, 1940. "Militant Suffragette Meets Cool Reception in Oklahoma," Harlow's Weekly, 13, No. 21 (November 21, 1917): 7-8. Oklahoma City (OK) Daily Pointer, April 24, 1911. Oklahoma City (OK) Star, April 14, 1961. Oklahoma City (OK) Times, November 3, 1922. Perry (O.T.) Republican, October 26, 1906. Stillwater (OK) Daily Press, October 10, 1940. Zoe Tilghman, "Among Oklahoma's Literary People," Harlow's Weekly 40, No. 8 (February 25, 1933): 14. "Suffragists Organize at Okla. City," Ada (OK) Weekly News, December 10, 1914. "The Shell Beach Scene," Arroyo Grande (CA) Valley Herald Recorder, May 25, 1962. U.S. Census, 1900, Omaha Ward 6, Douglas County, Nebraska. "Votes For Women: Woman Suffrage Association of Oklahoma," Messenger (Shawnee, OK), October 15, 1914. "War or No War, We Want Ballot," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK), November 19, 1917. "John R. Wright," Find A Grave, accessed on Ancestry.com on February 16, 2021.

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