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Woman's Franchise League records

Identifier: MSS-089

Scope and Contents

This collection includes meeting minutes and membership rolls, newspaper clippings, an auditor's report, programs, a scrapbook, an Indiana Directory, a history clipping, and other material from the Woman's Franchise League in Muncie, Indiana ranging from 1912 to 1919 and 1975 regarding the league's opperations.


  • Creation: 1912-1975

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Historical Note

The Woman’s Franchise League of Muncie was formed in the summer of 1912 with the avowed purpose of gaining women’s suffrage. According to Dick Greene, writing in his column “Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood,” the first meeting of the group was held in the YWCA rooms on Main Street, presided over by Mrs. Jessie Doran, wife of M.A. Doran, a salesman for the Ball Brothers Glass Company. At the organizational meeting, Mrs. Electa Chase Murphy, wife of Horace Murphy, local attorney was elected chairman. The group continued to meet at the YW until the fall of 1913, when members began meeting in various homes. By October of 1913, it was evident that the group had broadened their objectives to include education issues. Some of the early presentations by the group also linked women’s suffrage with the temperance movement, citing liquor as the root of many family problems. Child labor laws, the regulation of milk production and the efforts of the police department to enforce curfews and “rid the streets of loafers” were also issues that the local group discussed. Meetings of the group were social occasions as well as educational experiences, and when held in members’ homes, were often accompanied by the hostess ending the meeting with the serving of tea. The membership roster at one time contained more than 250 names, including many wives of prominent businessmen. During 1917-1918, some of the meetings were held in the First Universalist Church meeting rooms.

The minutes show that the meetings continued into 1916, after which there is a gap, probably due to World War I. Meetings resumed again in 1919 and continued until April 1920. The 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote was proposed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratification was certified by the Secretary of State on August 26, 1920, and so the League’s primary goal was accomplished.

The Woman’s Franchise League of Muncie held its last meeting April 19, 1920 in the Kirby Hotel. The League accepted all bills against the organization’s treasury and then turned over the balance of its funds, $12.42, to the Armenian Fund. (There was much media coverage in 1916 concerning the starving people in Armenia.) A motion was presented to dissolve the local League, since similar action had already been taken by the state organization. The motion made the point that the League’s good will should be transferred to the League of Women Voters. This motion, “after much difficulty was finally carried, as all present seemed to hate very much to vote in the affirmative.”


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1991/04/15 by K. Dean. EAD finding aid created 2009/06/30 by Maren Read. EAD finding aid revised 2013/10/02 by Lindsey Vesperry.

Woman's Franchise League records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA