Title

Nina Graves Huston Darroch and Small-Town Suffragism in Montana

Presenter Information

Henry Curtis

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

I intend to investigate, document, and explore the life of Nina Graves Huston Darroch, a Missouriborn housewife who became involved with local- and state-level efforts for women's suffrage in twentieth-century Montana. Upon marrying her second husband, state senator and Livingston area sheep rancher J.M. Darroch, Nina gradually became involved in the suffrage movement, eventually speaking at meetings of the Park County Women's Suffrage Association and participating in parades. Though she appears to have held no major leadership positions or positions of statewide prominence, by examining her life we can gain further understanding of the rank-and-file small-town Western suffragist.

To do Mrs. Darroch justice, I am conducting research in census records, local newspapers, contemporary publications, and suffragist material from Missouri and Oklahoma to Idaho and Montana. By examining the life of this seemingly ordinary woman, I hope to provide further insight into her life and the grassroots nature of the suffrage movement. In so doing, I will also be examining the organization, recruitment, and methods of the Park County Women's Suffrage Association and its statewide umbrella organization, to place her into a broader context in her community.

My research on Nina Graves Huston Darroch will broaden understanding of the suffragist movement's most rural and localized branches, and help scholarship move beyond limiting itself to the upper echelon of national and statewide leaders. Her story gives further depth to the study of women's history in Montana and the Rocky Mountain West, which heretofore has largely concentrated on state-level movements and statewide figures, rather than the women who did much of the legwork for the advancement of equal rights. I hope to demonstrate the impact of Mrs. Darroch and her Park County comrades in advancing the cause of female suffrage.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 17th, 2:00 PM Apr 17th, 2:20 PM

Nina Graves Huston Darroch and Small-Town Suffragism in Montana

UC 332

I intend to investigate, document, and explore the life of Nina Graves Huston Darroch, a Missouriborn housewife who became involved with local- and state-level efforts for women's suffrage in twentieth-century Montana. Upon marrying her second husband, state senator and Livingston area sheep rancher J.M. Darroch, Nina gradually became involved in the suffrage movement, eventually speaking at meetings of the Park County Women's Suffrage Association and participating in parades. Though she appears to have held no major leadership positions or positions of statewide prominence, by examining her life we can gain further understanding of the rank-and-file small-town Western suffragist.

To do Mrs. Darroch justice, I am conducting research in census records, local newspapers, contemporary publications, and suffragist material from Missouri and Oklahoma to Idaho and Montana. By examining the life of this seemingly ordinary woman, I hope to provide further insight into her life and the grassroots nature of the suffrage movement. In so doing, I will also be examining the organization, recruitment, and methods of the Park County Women's Suffrage Association and its statewide umbrella organization, to place her into a broader context in her community.

My research on Nina Graves Huston Darroch will broaden understanding of the suffragist movement's most rural and localized branches, and help scholarship move beyond limiting itself to the upper echelon of national and statewide leaders. Her story gives further depth to the study of women's history in Montana and the Rocky Mountain West, which heretofore has largely concentrated on state-level movements and statewide figures, rather than the women who did much of the legwork for the advancement of equal rights. I hope to demonstrate the impact of Mrs. Darroch and her Park County comrades in advancing the cause of female suffrage.