Chattanooga Softball Gets Alabama Regional With Alabama, Stanford, Murray State

Role Of Abby Crawford Milton In Gaining Right For Women To Vote Is Celebrated

Monday, October 21, 2019 - by Joseph Dycus
County Mayor Jim Coppinger discusses women's suffrage in the home of voting rights leader Abby Crawford Milton in Fortwood
County Mayor Jim Coppinger discusses women's suffrage in the home of voting rights leader Abby Crawford Milton in Fortwood
- photo by Joseph Dycus

Hamilton County kicked off its historic centennial celebration of women’s suffrage at an equally historic location. Congregating at Abby Crawford Milton’s former estate, a collection of historians, governmental figures, and Hamilton County dignitaries gathered in the stately mansion in Fortwood to formally declare the start of the year-long celebration.

Linda Moss Mines, Hamilton County historian, said, “Her spirit is still here. Every time a woman votes, a woman steps forward to lead a committee, whether it’s Rotary or Kiwanis or on a foundation board, there’s a little bit of Abby Crawford Milton there with them.”

Ms. Milton, a leading suffragette during the movement for equal voting rights, was from Milledgeville, Ga., but had adopted Chattanooga as her home town. She was noted for travelling to all corners of the state in order to lobby for equal voting rights. Tennessee was the deciding state in the battle for women’s voting rights, and Tennessee’s own vote came down to one man named Harry Burn.

Ms. Milton lived until the astounding age of 110, and even recorded an interview just before she passed. Rep. Robin Smith played the recording, where Ms. Milton recounted the story of how Mr. Burn decided to vote for suffrage.

“When Harry Burn voted for the suffragists, he sort of, for the first time, broke the deadlock,” said Ms. Milton on the recording, “His mother had made him promise that if it came to his vote, that he would favor the women. And he kept that promise to his mother.”

Ms. Mines, wearing the attire suffragists would have worn a century ago, believed that even though women’s suffrage was a battle 100 years old, it is one that should not be forgotten.

“It’s incredibly important. I’m a firm believer that we have to know where we have been to understand where we are, and we have to plan appropriately for where we want to be,” said Ms. Mines, “Even today, there are still issues related to the right to vote, and that campaign needs to continue so that all our citizens have the right to vote.

Continuing on this tangent, the historian implored her fellow citizens to not take their voting rights for granted. After all, the woman who they were honoring devoted a large portion of her life to securing half of the population the ability to exercise this right.

“I do really believe it’s our greatest right as Americans and citizens, and it is also our greatest responsibility,” said Ms. Mines, “It’s critical, and Jefferson said this so many times, it’s critical the electorate be informed and that they understand the issues, and they vote for the good of the nation and not for the individual.”

Ms. Mines said the celebrations, which will be announced at a later date, will focus on more than just the life of Ms. Milton. The county will also celebrate the other suffragists, who along with Ms. Milton helped give women the right to vote.

“At a time when women had very little rights, and women of color and European women had fewer rights, they joined together. In many ways, the suffrage movement was also an equal rights movement, and we’re going to celebrate those movements all over the county too.”

Abby Crawford Milton
Abby Crawford Milton

Officer Justin Maples 10-Year Memorial Service Will Be Held May 20

New Hamilton County Marriage Licenses

National Coalition Of 100 Black Women Honors 3 Local Women


The Cleveland Police Department will honor the life of Officer Justin Maples during a short memorial this Friday at 8:30 a.m. Members of the Cleveland Police Department’s Honor Guard will ... (click for more)

Here are the new marriage licenses from the County Clerk's office: TAYLOR PATRICE GESLAK WILLIAM DALE MCDERMOTT 2800 GEORGIAN DR W 2800 GEORGIAN DR W ATLANTA, Georgia 303414824 ATLANTA, ... (click for more)

Three Chattanooga women were honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Chattanooga Chapter on Saturday for outstanding community service. The theme of the 21st Annual Pioneer Women ... (click for more)



Happenings

Officer Justin Maples 10-Year Memorial Service Will Be Held May 20

The Cleveland Police Department will honor the life of Officer Justin Maples during a short memorial this Friday at 8:30 a.m. Members of the Cleveland Police Department’s Honor Guard will present a memorial wreath at the Cleveland – Bradley County Emergency Workers Memorial Wall. The memorial service will be held at Bradley County Fire and Rescue, 200 Inman St. East in Cleveland. (click for more)

New Hamilton County Marriage Licenses

Here are the new marriage licenses from the County Clerk's office: TAYLOR PATRICE GESLAK WILLIAM DALE MCDERMOTT 2800 GEORGIAN DR W 2800 GEORGIAN DR W ATLANTA, Georgia 303414824 ATLANTA, Georgia 303414824 RICHARD DAVID ROBILOTTO TAMARA ANN SCHIRMER 256 SE VIA VISCONTI 1634 SW JANETTE AVE PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL 349525321 PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL 349531189 MAXIE JAMES ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Woman Gets 6-Year Suspended Sentence In 2018 Stabbing Death Of George Deramus

A woman charged in the stabbing death of 60-year-old George Deramus pleaded guilty on Monday morning to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Tavowia Hinton, who was 49 at the time of the Dec. 2, 2018, incident, had been facing a charge of second-degree murder. She was given a six-year prison sentence, but it was suspended. Ms. Hinton was directed not to have any contact ... (click for more)

Florida Man Says Deal Should Go Through To Buy 6,161 Acres In Hamilton, Sequatchie Counties From Pattens

A Florida man has filed suit in Federal Court, saying he had a deal to buy 6,160 acres in Hamilton and Sequatchie counties from Bryan and Cartter Patten, but they are backing out of the deal. C. Lee Eggert, of Brandon, Fla., said the agreed purchase price was over $11.6 million. He acknowledged that he was being furnished the money by a logging company, Consolidated Timberlands. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Election Integrity

I find the complaints about the recent win by Weston Wamp in the Hamilton County mayor’s primary to be interesting and amusing. Interesting because of the attempt by some to portray his win as the result of some kind of nefarious manipulation by a group of clergy to get Black voters to crossover and vote for Wamp. Also interesting because for weeks it was assumed by the local political ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: "Miss Mary Frances"

I have written dozens of obituaries in my life and eulogized many people. I am not ashamed to admit I think I am good at it and I am flattered when a friend’s family approaches me to ask for my help. I have written a number of obituaries on those who are still alive who want to “proof-read” what will be turned into the funeral home and I have honored death-bed requests that this ... (click for more)