Women’s suffrage passed the Utah Territorial Legislature unanimously in 1870. But with the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887 many men and women in Utah became concerned about women’s suffrage and polygamy hindering their chance at statehood. Women in Northern Utah took the lead to regain their right to vote by rallying like-minded people, hold speeches, giving speeches at Relief Society meetings and talking with those in their circles to gain support.
In northern Utah, suffragists- both women and men- were also:
* organizing local suffrage chapters through the Weber, Davis and Cache counties
* joining other women across the country at events.
* lobbying male delegates and voters.
* submitting the first petitions
Leaders of Northern Utah’s women suffrage movement were Emily S. Richards, Franklin S. Richards, Lorin Farr, Lorenzo Farr, Jane H. Molen and many more women and men who went and advocated for suffrage.
Utah Constitutional Convention (1895)
Held March 4- May 8, 1895 (66 days), the Utah Constitutional Convention became a social and political hotbed as individuals for and against women’s suffrage debated on whether to allow the clause in Utah’s constitution. Despite some opposition at the Convention, suffragists prevailed. Delegates submitted signatures for and against equal suffrage clause in the Utah Constitution:
* 5,366 (against)
* 24,801 (in favor)
Both women’s rights to vote and to hold office were included in the Utah Constitution. On January 4, 1896, Utah became the 45th state. It was third to extend women’s suffrage- passing the act on January 14, 1896- after Wyoming (1890) and Colorado (1893). Idaho soon followed on November 1896.