Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Kate Rowe Green, 1851-1909
By Janzel Comafay, Student, University of California San Diego
Kate Rowe was born on February 21, 1851 in Allegan, Michigan. She married Robert E. Green, in Lawrenceburg, Pennsylvania on November 25, 1873. They had six children, three daughters and three sons: Mollie, John M, George L, Julia, Gratia, and Philio. In 1894, the family moved from Buffalo, New York to Boise, Idaho, where Mr. Green assumed charge of the Ridenbaugh Canal. In 1900, she moved to the Greenhurst Ranch in Nampa, Idaho, which she stayed until her death. Kate's mother was alive at the time of her death and her father died in 1890.
She served on the Press Committee of the Idaho chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). In November 1896, an amendment for women's suffrage was on the Idaho ballot. After the final tally of 29,516 votes, it seemed that a third of the voters didn't vote on the amendment issue. Of the 18,408 voters who actually did vote on the amendment (12,126 for and 6,282 against), it looked like a clear majority won out. However, the Board of Canvassers argued that the proposition needed to win a majority of the 29,000+ people who voted in the election. Because of this ruling, the amendment was dismissed. Idaho suffragists were quick to challenge this decision. Green, serving as the named plaintiff, filed an appeal with the Idaho Supreme Court against the Board's decision (Kate Green v State Board of Canvassers). Three of Idaho's most prominent attorneys at the time - James Hawley, William Borah, and Miles Tate - volunteered to represent Green pro bono. After two days of argument, on December 11 1896, the justices present - Chief Justice John Morgan, Justices Isaac Sullivan and Joseph Huston - unanimously agreed that women be given the right to vote
On September 19, 1909, Green passed away in her home at Greenland Ranch. She was sadly involved in a runaway accident that caused her to hemorrhage in her stomach. The shock of these injuries coupled with her diabetic trouble led her to die shortly afterwards. She was interred at Kohlerlawn Cemetery in Nampa, Idaho.
Burch, Dan. Gone but Not Forgotten: Nampa's Pioneers at Rest in Kohlerlawn Cemetery: Turn of the Century through 1910. Nampa, ID: Dan Burch, 1989.
Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/110312018/katherine-green : accessed 20 May 2021), memorial page for Katherine "Kate" Rowe Green (21 Feb 1851-18 Sep 1909), Find a Grave Memorial ID 110312018, citing Kohlerlawn Cemetery, Nampa, Canyon County, Idaho, USA ; Maintained by Cheryl Hanson (contributor
Grasham, Debora Kristensen. "Early Women Lawyers Who Helped Secure the Right to Vote in Idaho." The Advocate. 63, no. 11/12 (2020): pg. 19
"Our Women Can Vote!" Lewiston Teller, December 17, 1896., pg. 5 https://newspaperarchive.com/lewiston-teller-dec-17-1896-p-5/
(Idaho was fourth state giving vote to women), Nampa Idaho Free Press, February 27, 1976., p. 83-- https://newspaperarchive.com/nampa-idaho-free-press-feb-27-1976-p-83/
Year: 1900; Census Place: Boise Ward 1, Ada, Idaho; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0003; FHL microfilm: 1240231