Click to magnify
SHSI Iowa City. Charles City Political Equality Club records.

Women’s clubs exploded into existence in the latter half of the nineteenth century and were extremely important to the suffrage movement.

Some, such as the Charles City Political Equality Club, were devoted almost solely to getting the vote. Others, such as the Proteus Club of Des Moines and the Cary Club of Marion, were focused on intellectual and community improvement. These clubs provided an established network of active women ripe for conversion to the suffrage cause.

In 1907, IESA officers lived in cities and towns across the state, including Chariton, Des Moines, Hull, Ida Grove, Mason City, Maquoketa, Ottumwa, Panora, Sheldon, Shenandoah, and Sioux City. Map created by Christine Mastalio.

Click to magnify
IWA. Iowa Suffrage Memorial Commission records.

In July 1912, Iowa suffragists staged an automobile tour from Des Moines to Highland Park, Valley Junction, and Mitchellville. They would arrive at a stop, play cornets to announce their arrival and then give speeches.

Another automobile tour was launched in September 1913, going from central Iowa to the eastern border. An estimated 7,500 people in 30 towns saw the mobile caravan.