Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Florence Louise Nye, 1881-1950

By Esteban Rojas, Student, University of California San Diego

Florence Louise Nye was born on September 22, 1881, daughter of William and Cora Nye. She did not marry. Florence's family were her mother, father, and younger brother. Harold G. Nye was the younger brother, born around 1885, just four years after Louise. William Henry and Cora Ella Nye had a second daughter that passed away in less than a year from being born. Grace Colby Nye was born around 1863 and passed in 1864. The family resided in Clinton, in Kennebec County, Maine.

One of the first pieces of evidence of Florence's suffrage activity comes from the Official Register and Directory of Women's Clubs in America published in 1913 that states her as Chairman of Publicity, for the Meeting of the Maine Federation of Women's Clubs. She also had a representative role for the Lewiston Journal. As the Chairman of Publicity it is documented in the Program of the Twenty-Second Mid-Winter Meeting of the Maine Federation of Women's Clubs, in the Penney Memorial Church, Augusta, Me., January 21, 1914, published by Maine Women's Publications, Florence writes and presents a letter stating, "Since the annual meeting in Lewiston in 1913, three hundred and nineteen letters have been sent by the Publicity Committee to the newspapers of the State. This means that all the daily newspapers of Maine have received items of Federation interest on an average of every two weeks during the year. Almost without exception all material offered has been published in full. This proves that the press of Maine stands ready to cooperate with the club women. They may not go after Federation news, but will publish what is submitted. The mid-winter meeting in Augusta was widely advertised and advance reports, held for release on the day of the session, were in the office of every daily in the State before the opening of the meeting.". Florence L. Nye used her skill set in publicity and publication over the span of her involvement with women's suffrage work.

Florence L. Nye also utilized her role at the Lewiston Journal as documented in The History of the Women's Suffrage: "July 1 to September 10, 1917, Mrs. Rose L. Geyer, a member of the staff of the Woman Citizen, official organ of the National Suffrage Association, conducted the publicity work in connection with Miss Florence L. Nye, the State press chairman. On August 18 the Lewiston Journal issued a supplement for the State association, edited by Miss Helen N. Bates, of which 65,000 copies were distributed through twenty-two newspapers. On September 8 former President Roosevelt sent the following telegram addressed to the Campaign Committee: "I earnestly hope that as a matter of plain justice the people of Maine will vote 'yes' on woman suffrage."

Florence L. Nye was documented to be still be part of the Lewiston Journal, in Lewiston, Me during the year 1920 as well as part of the Maine State Suffrage Campaign Committee, in Bangor, Maine as being referenced as "friends and family" in the Sagamore Sociological Conference, in 1920, at Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts published digitally by Stanford University Libraries. Unfortunately it was reported by the Oxford Democrat Newspaper on November 22, 1921, that "Miss Florence L. Nye, formerly of the Lewiston Journal staff and well and most favorably known in the state, who has been in Massachusetts for the past few years, is reported to be ill at a Boston hospital. For the past year she has been head of the social settlement work at Fall River, Mass.". Health became an issue to Miss Florence at this time.

Florence Louise Nye moved frequently in the later years in her life. In 1935 she lived in Lewiston, in Androscoggin County, Maine. She then moved to Fall River, in Bristol County, Massachusetts, in 1940. She eventually died in February 1950, in Worcester, Mass., at the age of 68. Florence Nye was buried in Auburn, in Androscoggin County, Maine.

Sources:

"Chapter IV: California." History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 6: 1900-1920, edited by Ida Husted Harper. New York, NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, pp. 39-40.

Official Register and Directory of Women's Clubs in America. United States, Helen M. Winslow., 1913.

Sagamore Sociological Conference, Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts. United States, n.p, 1907.

Staff, Maine Federation of Women's Clubs, "Maine Federation of Women's Clubs - Yearbook 1914-1915" (1915). Maine Women's Publications - All. 637. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/maine_women_pubs_all/637

1900 United States Federal Census. FamilySearch.org, ancestors.familysearch.org/en/KCZ4-KDR/florence-louise-nye-1881-1950.

The History of the Women's Suffrage: The Flame Ignites: The Trailblazing Documentation on Women's Enfranchisement in USA, Great Britain & Other Parts of the World (With Letters, Articles, Conference Reports, Speeches, Court Transcripts & Decisions). N.p., e-artnow, 2017.

"The Oxford Democrat: Vol. 86, No.47 - November 22,1921, p. 2-no title.https://digitalmaine.com/oxford_democrat/1454

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