Ida B. Wells said, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” Kaysville women (and men) shone a light on the importance of women having a voice in the public sphere.
Kaysville women played an important role and held prominent positions in the suffragist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many women wanted the right to vote to continue legally practicing polygamy, but their crusade continued through the end of polygamy in 1890, and beyond. Kaysville suffragists were a small part of the larger state, national, and even international movement of women working together to win the right to vote to have an equal say in the governance of their communities.
Kaysville suffragists held public and private meetings, balls, concerts, and some attended the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 to gather support and demonstrate the importance of equal suffrage. They also wrote articles, lead and were members of the Columbian Club, Woman Suffrage Association, and other civic organizations.
2020 is a yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of Utah women receiving the right to vote making them the first women to vote in the United States. 2020 is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act which protects the voting rights of all United States citizens regardless of race or gender.
This year, the Kaysville – Fruit Heights Museum of History and Art is honoring the sacrifices made by suffragists. We are indebted to them for their foresight and labor in our behalf.
Kaysville has grown substantially since 1870, 1920, and 1965. Some descendants of Kaysville suffragists still live in our community and are now joined by many neighbors and friends from near and far. We look to these women of the past with gratitude for securing voting rights for women, and we recognize our responsibility to continue to exercise that right.
Mother-Daughter Suffrage Duo #1: Sarah Ellen Barnes Layton and Sarah E. Layton Taylor Coombs