Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Rosetta Rich Haight, 1878-1924
By Elizabeth Schmidt, PhD student, University of California, Santa Barbara
Officer of the Berkeley branch of the California Civic League in 1911; Delegate of the Berkeley Equal Suffrage League to the State Convention in 1911.
Born Rosetta Jane Rich to parents Mr. and Mrs. W.N. Rich in Wheatland, CA in 1878, she had five siblings: Etta, Elberta, Henry, James, and W.P. As a young woman, Rosetta trained to be a primary school teacher, earning her diploma from grammar school in 1895 and receiving her teaching certificate in 1899. She taught at various schools in Yuba, Sutter, and Placer counties in central California. She was an active member of the Daughters of Rebekah, a branch of the International Organization of Odd Fellows. While her home lodge was in Wheatland, CA, where she was elected to the position of Noble Grand in 1903, she also visited the Orinda Lodge in 1902 to witness the initiation of a new member there.
In 1906, Rosetta began studying at the University of California, first taking summer classes while not teaching, and then later enrolling as a full-time student. She took substitute teaching jobs after moving to Berkeley, but qualified to be given a regular appointment in the San Francisco area in 1909. While living in Berkeley, Rosetta joined the American Theosophical Society, and was listed as the Berkeley chapter secretary n the January 1909 issue of The Theosophic Messenger, the organizations periodical. The 1910 census recorded her as a roomer in Berkeley, employed as a teacher.
It was likely there that she met her future husband, Samuel Chase Haight, son of George and Mary E. Haight of Berkeley (who was an active suffragist as well). See MEH's bio sketch here. Samuel was a law student at the University of California, and graduated in 1910. The 1910 census recorded Samuel living with his parents and noted his occupation as lawyer.
Rosetta and Samuel were married. on May 14, 1910 at Rosetta's parents' house in Wheatland; they went on a honeymoon in Yosemite Valley before settling in Berkeley.
After her marriage, probably at the urging of her new mother-in-law, Mary E. Haight. Rosetta joined the fight for suffrage in Berkeley. She helped organize several suffrage rallies in 1911, usually held at Berkeley High School. In September 1911, she was also the chairman of the Movies Pictures Committee of the Suffrage League, which arranged for suffrage films to be shown at several theaters in Berkeley. The Berkeley Suffrage League celebrated the adoption of woman's suffrage by California in October 1911 in the auditorium of Berkeley High School, and Rosetta, along with her mother-in-law and others, also organized a praise service to be held at the Methodist Episcopal church afterward.
In December 1911, the Berkeley branch of the California Civic League met to officially adopt a constitution and elect officers and became known as the Equal Suffrage League (also called the Berkeley Suffrage League); Rosetta was named a temporary officer to facilitate this, along with Miss Blanch Morse, Mrs. C.C. Hall, and Mrs. Allen Sloss (sometimes Schloss). Eventually, Mrs. Hester Harland was installed as the leader of the League, and Rosetta remained on the advisory committee with the others and with her mother-in-law Mary. In the same month, the Berkeley Equal Suffrage League named Rosetta as one of their delegates to the state convention. An article in the San Francisco Call reported "The local league, like the state organization, will not disband although the California fight is won. They will aid in other states as other states aided here."
The 1920 Berkeley census recorded Samuel C. Haight as married and living with his mother, but there does not seem to be any entry for his wife Rosetta.
Even after suffrage was won in California, Rosetta remained an active participant in Berkeley's social and philanthropic scene. A charity theatrical performance to raise money for the Women's Auxiliary saw Rosetta acting as a tourist in "The Tussand Exhibit," and she volunteered a name for a new city park in Berkeley, suggesting "Wheeler Park" in honor of Benjamin Ida Wheeler, president of the University of California.
Rosetta R. Haight passed away at 46 in Santa Clara, CA in April 1924.
"$300,000 Estate is Given to Family." San Francisco Call. October 2, 1913.
"Berkeley League to Hold Suffrage Rally." The San Francisco Call. September 13, 1911.
"Delegates Named by Berkeley Suffragists." The San Francisco Call. December 24, 1911: 29.
"Diplomas Granted by the County Board of Education." Marysville Daily Appeal. June 28, 1895: 1.
"Full-fledged Teachers now." The San Francisco Call. June 27, 1899: 1.
Harper, Ida Husted, ed. History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922. 45. [LINK].
"Meeting will Ratify Adoption of Suffrage." The San Francisco Call. October 21, 1911.
"More Names Offered for New City Park." Berkeley Daily Gazette. July 9, 1914: 1.
"Personals." Marysville Daily Appeal. June 23, 1906: 2.
"Sheridan Happenings." The Placer County Leader. April 10, 1902.
"Smart Set to Act for Charity." The San Francisco Call. April 1, 1913: 7.
"Suffragists Hear Able Speakers." The San Francisco Call. August 3, 1911: 8.
The Theosophic Messenger. Vol. X, No. 4 (January 1909). Chicago: Theosophical Society.
"University Man to Take Bride." The San Francisco Call. May 12, 1910: 10.
University of California Register, 1910-11. Berkeley: The University Press, 1911.
"Wheatland Rebekahs." Marysville Daily Appeal. January 15, 1903.
"Will Wed in Marysville." Sacramento Union. May 14, 1910: 8.