Biographical Sketch of Kathrine Belanger MacDonald

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Kathrine Belanger (Mrs. N.C.) MacDonald (Tiffany), 1877-1978

By Kirra Griffith, Undergraduate, University of California, San Diego

Kathrine ("Kittie") Belanger was born in August 1877, in Neillsville, Wisconsin, to Ferdinard and Margery (née Johnston) Belanger. Ms. Belanger graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1902, earning her Bachelor's degree in English. In 1904, Ms. Belanger married educator Neil Carnot MacDonald. Neil C. MacDonald, during the beginning of their marriage, had been the superintendent of Lidgerwood (WI) Schools. Mrs. MacDonald herself had taught English at Lidgerwood High School, all while pursuing her Master's degree in English, which she earned in 1908. Mrs. MacDonald kept advancing her higher education throughout her lifetime, attending institutions like the University of Chicago and Harvard University. Mr. MacDonald would be appointed as a state inspector of elementary schools, and eventually, he was chosen as state superintendent of public instruction in 1916 in North Dakota. In the year after, Mrs. MacDonald assumed the role of deputy superintendent.

While Mrs. MacDonald was a prominent figure in education in North Dakota, she was also active as a suffragist. Mrs. MacDonald had been active within the North Dakotan sector of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), which campaigned for women's suffrage and the prohibition of alcohol, tobacco, and various drugs. Our evidence illustrating her activity within the movement began on September 12, 1912, with the issue of Weekly Times-Record, which stated that Mrs. MacDonald would host a meeting regarding organization and planning for the W.C.T.U.'s year. Mrs. MacDonald was primarily active with the W.C.T.U between 1914 and 1918, with 1914 being her most active year. Mrs. MacDonald participated in the annual W.C.T.U convention, either as a part of the executive committee or as a delegate, giving fitting responses at events. According to The Complete History of Women's Suffrage - All 6 Volumes in One Edition, Mrs. MacDonald had been active in the North Dakota sector of Votes for Women; and she was on the committee of organization. Her activity with the W.C.T.U seems to dwindle around 1918, with the last newspaper account from The Weekly Times-Record noting that she gave a speech regarding the topic of social reconstruction at a W.C.T.U convention.

Mrs. MacDonald's husband, as state superintendent of public instruction, to improve rural schools by increasing attendance of students and consolidating districts, making them eligible to qualify for state aid. However, when Mrs. MacDonald's time with the W.C.T.U dwindled, the couple was subjected to a smear campaign by newspapers, as conservative North Dakotans tried painting Mr. MacDonald, a member of the Nonpartisan League, as a corruptive socialist to children. Ultimately, Mr. MacDonald lost the re-election for state superintendent of public instruction to Minnie J. Nielson. After the loss, the MacDonalds decided to relocate to Washington, accepting a new position at Seattle Pacific College. Unfortunately, Neil C. MacDonald died an untimely death of uremic poisoning in 1923, leaving Kathrine B. MacDonald as a widow.

As a widow, Mrs. MacDonald taught English at Seattle Pacific College and then, later on, taught English and Rhetoric at Whitworth College. Eventually, Mrs. MacDonald would remarry to the President of Seattle Pacific College and the Dean of Whitworth College, Orrin E. Tiffany. Now, as Kathrine B. Tiffany, she would go on to teach at Wheaton College in Illinois. Mrs. Tiffany was on the faculty for eighteen years, teaching English and being an outstanding teacher. It is unclear if Mrs. Tiffany continued any suffrage work during her relocation and new marriage. In 1950, her second husband, Orrin E. Tiffany, passed away.

Kathrine B. MacDonald Tiffany died on April 18, 1978, at the Presbyterian Home in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. There is no indication that she had children with Neil C. MacDonald or Orrin E. Tiffany.


"Annual Convention of W.C.T.U. Sept. 14." Bismarck daily tribune (Bismarck, N.D.), 18 Sept. 1914.

"Attended Convention." The Weekly Times-Record (Valley City, N.D.), 01 Oct. 1914.

"Local Happenings." Courier Democrat (Langdon, N.D.), 10 Sept. 1908.

Robinson, Elwyn B. "Kathrine B. Tiffany Papers." Department of Special Collections. University of North Dakota, 1985.

Robinson, Elwyn B. "Neil C. MacDonald Papers." Department of Special Collections. University of North Dakota, 1988.

"School Officers." The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, N.D.), 28 June 1917.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Gage, Harriot Stanton Blatch, and Ida H. Harper. The Complete History of Women's Suffrage - All 6 Volumes in One Edition. Oklahoma: Musaicum Books, 2017.

"Story of Perfidy of N.P.L. Leaders by Miss Nielson." Jamestown Weekly Alert (Jamestown, N.D.), 24 June 1920.

"Subjects of Wartime Interest Feature W.C.T.U. State Meeting." The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, N.D.), 16 Sept. 1918.

"Twenty-Fifth Annual Convention of W.C.T.U. In Fargo Sept. 24 to 28." The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Fargo, N.D.), 10 Sept. 1914.

"W.C.T.U... Banquet was Large Affair." The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Fargo, N.D.), 25 Sept. 1914.

"W.C.T.U. Convention." The Weekly Times-Record (Valley City, N.D.), 25 June 1914.

"W.C.T.U. Convention Coming Here Next Year." The Weekly Times-Record (Valley City, N.D.), 26 Oct. 1916.

"W.C.T.U. To Map Out Work For Year." The Weekly Times-Record (Valley City, N.D.), 12 Sept. 1912.

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