Women’s Rights in Westford

Women’s Rights in Westford timeline

1780                   Massachusetts State Constitution restricts voting to males only but omits “male” as a qualification for holding public office.

1819                   Susan Prescott becomes the first woman assistant preceptor (assistant principal and teacher) at Westford Academy.

c1833               Led by Mrs. Patty Blake, wife of Rev. Caleb Blake (former minister of First Parish), and Mrs. Rebecca E. G. Luce, wife of Rev. Leonard Luce (pastor of the Union Congregational Church), 254 Westford women sign a petition to the Board of Selectmen “not to appropriate any to receive license for the Sale of ardent spirit within this town. …”

Aug. 9, 1837      Angelina and Sarah Grimké, abolitionists and early women’s-rights advocates, speak in Westford to an audience of “only 250.” The Grimké sisters defended women’s right to speak out against slavery in public.

1850                   Lucy Stone and several other New England women organize the first National Woman’s Rights Convention in Worcester. Sojourner Truth is among the speakers. Annual conventions continue until 1860.

1869                   Miss Amanda M. Hale and Miss Eliza H. Herrick are the first women to serve on a Westford town board, as members of the Library Committee.

1875                   Miss Eliza M. Babbitt and Miss Olive A. Prescott are the first women to serve on the Westford School Committee.

1879                   The Massachusetts Legislature votes to allow women to vote for School Committees.

1879/1880?         Seven Westford women “request their names [be] placed on the list of voters” to vote for School Committee. They are Catharine Abbot, Elizabeth R Abbot, Eliza A. Babbitt, *Emily F. Fletcher, Betsy Groce, Eliza J. Herrick, and Clara A. Smith. (*Emily F. Fletcher is on the 1879/80 list & is still listed as a woman voter in 1920.)

Jan. 8, 1880        In his first inaugural address, Massachusetts Gov. John D. Long, a former Westford Academy preceptor (1857-1859), tells the Legislature: “I repeat my conviction of the right of woman suffrage.” In his next inaugural address, the following year, he explicitly calls for a Constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote “because suffrage is a right and not a grace.

Mar. 7, 1881       “Westford Town Meeting dismisses an article placed on the warrant at the request of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association: “To see whether the Town will, by its vote or otherwise, ask the Legislature to extend to women who are citizens, the right to hold Town offices and to vote in Town affairs on the same terms as male citizens.”

Mar. 6, 1882       Westford Town Meeting again dismisses article requested by the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association.

Nov. 5, 1895       Massachusetts holds a non-binding referendum concerning allowing women to vote in municipal elections. Although women are allowed to vote, the vote statewide is overwhelmingly against the referendum. Ninety-six percent of women vote yes (23,000 out of 24,000; but only 4% of eligible women voted); only 32% of male voters (87,000 of 274,000) voted yes. In Westford 91 men and 11 women vote yes; 134 men and no women vote no.

June 1, 1914        At a meeting at the home of Miss Ella Hildreth [10 Hildreth St.], “a society for the promotion of suffrage was formed with the following officers: Miss Ella F. Hildreth, pres.; Miss May Balch, sec.; Mrs. Homer M. Seavey, treas. Suffrage literature was distributed to those present.”

Oct. 16, 1915      Six Westford women attend a rally in Boston in support of the ballot question to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to grant women the right to vote in Massachusetts. They are Mary (May) Balch, Mary Etta Fletcher, Jennie Abbot Hartford, Alice M. Lambert, Flora May Merritt, and Gertrude Skidmore.

Nov. 2, 1915       With only men voting, ballot question to give women the right to vote in state elections fails, with only 35% statewide voting yes. Westford votes no, too, by a vote of 184-no to 165 yes, though it passes in precinct 4 (Forge Village) by one vote: 29-28.

Feb. 24, 1919      22 suffragists are arrested in front of the Massachusetts State House for trying to picket President Woodrow Wilson during his visit to Boston and are sentenced to eight days in jail. They are the last women arrested in a suffrage protest.

May-June 1919   US House and Senate approve the Susan B. Anthony 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

June 25, 1919      Massachusetts becomes the 8th state to ratify the 19th Amendment.

Feb. 14, 1920      National League of Women Voters is formally organized during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

May 27, 1920      League of Women Voters of Massachusetts is organized.

Aug. 26, 1920     U.S. Secretary of State certifies ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Aug. 28, 1920     121 Westford women register to vote. In total, 279 Westford women register to vote before the November 1920 Presidential election. (18 women had previously registered to vote in School Committee elections only.)

Mar. 7, 1966       Alice Hildreth is the first woman elected as Town Clerk.

Nov. 1968           League of Women Voters of Westford recognized as a local League.

Mar. 6, 1972       Ellen Harde becomes the first woman elected to Board of Selectmen.

June 30, 2019      Of 242 elected and appointed Westford town officials, 116 (48%) are women.

(This is part of Westford Celebrates Women’s Right to Vote, a joint project of the Westford Historical Society, Westford League of Women Voters and Westford Cultural Council. With special thanks to Bob Oliphant.) 

Catherine S. (Kate) Hamlin (1847-1937)

REMINISCENCES of Westford: Immediately after the war, and probably for years before, to a certain extent, the question of “Women’s Rights” was constantly brought up.  It is largely to the brave women of those days that we are indebted for the many blessings we enjoy today. When the agitation was at its height, I attended a Women’s Suffrage meeting in Boston one day.  On the platform, sat Julia Ward Howe, Susan B. Anthony, and many other women, all earnest workers for the cause. On the platform sat Wendell Phillips, a staunch advocate. He was called upon to speak. Absolute quiet was in the vast audience, for all knew of his eloquence.  His speech consisted simply of the following story: “In Concord, on the morning of the Concord fight, a woman walked behind the militia with a broom on her shoulder. She was jeered at, and asked what she could do with that broom. She replied, “I can show which side I’m on!’”

This meeting of the women Suffragettes was during the popular lecture period.  This period, which lasted for several years after the close of the war, was a most delightful and inspiring influence after the death and horror of four years.  Lecture courses were a prominent feature in every town, and the most intellectual and eloquent speakers were to be heard. In cities, the largest halls were filled to the very doors with eager listeners and the conversation everywhere was of the latest lecture.

When a town was not large enough, or rich enough, to arrange for an independent course of lectures, several towns would unite; a part of the lectures being given in one town and a part in other towns.  The audience then composed of subscribers from all the places. The sleigh rides over the snow to the jingling of many bells was not the least of the pleasures. My memory fails me to name all those we heard: Julia Ward Howe, Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, John F. Gough, are but a few of them.

Although far from the excitements of city life, and knowing comparatively little of the questions and movements of the world at large — save that gleaned from the newspapers — news of what was passing elsewhere, occasionally, reached the quiet of the town.  Click here to read more  of Kate’s REMINISCENCES of Westford Massachusetts

Registration of Westford Women Voters 1920

Title on spine: “Town of Westford Annual Registration of Voters” in Town Hall vault

Title at top of most pages: Annual Registration of Voters, Town of Westford, 1920, except p. 135 (says 1921), p. 136-139 (say 19_) pp. 113-140

Transcribed Jan. 29- Feb. 7, 2020 (Lynn Cohen)

*Man in household registered on same day

Page # Precinct Last Name First Name Street Enrollment Remarks
113 1 Abbot Anna Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
113 1 Anderson Clara B. Flagg Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
113 1 Anderson Susan D. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
113 1 Atwood Lillie B. Graniteville Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
113 1 Atwood Mary Graniteville Rd Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
113 1 Atwood Sarah C. Graniteville Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
113 3 Abrahamson* Henrietta B. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
114 1 Balch Agnes D. Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 1 Balch Mary G. Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 1 Banister Margaret H. Lowell Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 1 Bartlett Helena M. Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 1 Blaisdell* Elizabeth A. S. Chelmsford Rd Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 1 Blaney F. Edith Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 1 Buckshorn Adeline M. Depot St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 1 Burnham* Addie M. Chelmsford Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
114 4 Baker Charlotte Pleasant St Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
114 4 Brown Mary C. Bradford St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
114 2 Blood Lucy A. Broadway Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
114 2 Benson Alma S. Main St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
114 4 Baker Elizabeth E. Pine St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
114 4 Bennett Priscilla Pleasant St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
114 3 Barretto* Bella Groton Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
115 1 Carter Eliza A. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
115 1 Bennett? Grace E. Main St. Reg. Oct. 20, 1920
115 3 Baum Rebecca Nabnassett St. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
115 3 Baum Winifred Nabnasset St. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
116 4 Collins Bertha M. Pleasant St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
116 4 Collins Efcie Pleasant St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
116 4 Collins Emily Pleasant St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
116 4 Cavanaugh Cecelia F. Bradford St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
116 4 Comey Susannah Pine St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
116 2 Carmichael Annie L. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
116 2 Conley Catherine J. River St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
116 2 Carpentier Emma M. River St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
116 2 Counter Ella M. River St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
116 2 Charlton Agnes F. Fourth St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
116 2 Charlton Catherine C. River St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
116 2 Charlton Mary C. Fourth St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
116 4 Carmichael Harriet Union St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
116 4 Costello* Annie V. Central St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
117 1 Day Ada A. Graniteville Rd Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 1 Drew A. Mabel Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 1 Drew Sarah J. Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 3 Edwards Annie E. Nabnassett St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 4 Edwards Laura S. Pine St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 3 Edwards Louisa Nabnassett St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 1 Emilson Linnea S. Boston Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 1 Feeney Adrith C. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
117 4 Daley Hannah H. Central St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
117 4 Davis Elizabeth Pleasant St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
117 2 Eaton Hilma M. Main St. Gr. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
117 2 Eaton Jennie Fourth St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
117 4 Daley Katherine C. Pleasant St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
117 4 Davies Maria Orchard St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
117 4 DeLaHaye Alice M. Union St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
117 4 Dugdale Ellen N. Orchard St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
117 3 Dunn Agnes J. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
117 3 Edwards Flora M. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
117 3 Edwards Mary E. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
118 1 Felch Mary A. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
118 1 Flagg Lucy M. Howard Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
118 1 Flagg Ruth A. Howard Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
118 1 Flanders Alma E. Boston Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
118 3 Fletcher Carrie H. Groton Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
119 3 Fletcher Edith P. Groton Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
119 1 Fletcher Eva E. Lincoln St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
119 1 Fletcher Gertrude D. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
119 1 Fletcher Ida M. Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
119 1 Fletcher Mary Etta Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
119 2 Fletcher Dora B. Main St. G. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
119 4 Flanagan Della D. Central St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
119 2 Furbush Margaret C. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
119 1 Ferguson Carrie M. Main St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
119 1 Fletcher Etta W. Plain Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
120 1 Green Laura W. Chelmsford Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
120 1 Green Mary F. Chelmsford Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
120 1 Grieg Clara A. Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
120 1 Griffin* Artemus J. Griffin Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
120 1 Griffin Nellie M. Griffin Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
120 2 Gilson Alice M. Fourth St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
120 2 Gould Alma L. Gould Rd. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
120 2 Gilson Mattie E. Fourth St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
120 1 Greig Charlotte P. Main St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
120 1 Goodwin* Nellie J. Chelmsford Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
121 1 Hamilton Isabella Littleton Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Hamlin Annie Hildreth St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Hartford Hazel B. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Heald Alice K. Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Hildreth Edith L. Hildreth St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Hildreth Ella F. Hildreth St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Hildreth Ella S. Hildreth St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Hildreth Gladys D. Hildreth St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 1 Howard Alice M. Howard Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
121 4 Hanley Catherine A. Central St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
121 4 Hanley Mary F. Central St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
121 2 Hanson Esther F. Main St. Gr. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
121 2 Hanson Sophia M. Main St. Gr. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
121 2 Harrington Elizabeth J. Cross St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
121 2 Harrington Mary A. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
122 2 Ingalls* Zina L. Main St. G. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
122 1 Jarvis Florence M. Griffin Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
122 1 Johnson Amy L. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
122 1 Judd Edith A. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
122 1 Judd Elva T. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
122 2 Healy* Bridget E. Broadway  St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
122 2 Healy Elizabeth Second St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
122 2 Healy Margaret A. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
122 2 Herbert Nellie A. Broadway  St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
122 2 Healy Ellen F. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
122 2 Healy Mary E. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
122 4 Hosmer Janey H. Pleasant St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
122 4 Hunt Annie M. Orchard St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
122 1 Irish Amy B. Nutting Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
123 1 Keyes Lucy A. Providence Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 1 Kimball Nellie F. Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 2 Lambert Amelia W. Keyes Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 1 Lawrence Florence M. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 4 Lawrence Grace Pleasant St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 4 Lord Eva M. Pleasant St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 4 Lord Marion E. Pleasant St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 1 Lydiard Dorothea D. Concord Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
123 4 Kelly Margaret Orchard St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
123 4 Kelly Sarah A. Orchard St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
123 4 Kavanaugh Annie E. Pershing St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
123 4 Kavanaugh Ellen Chestnut St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
123 4 Kavanaugh Ellen C. Pershing St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
124 4 Lord Mary Central St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
124 2 Ledwith Jennie M. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
124 4 Leahy Jennie Pleasant St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
124 3 Lundgren Helga L. Nabnassett St. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
125 3 MacGregor Margaret J. Nabnassett St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 Mason* Olga Boston Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McCoy Helen M. Flagg Rd Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McCoy Lettie C. Flagg Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McDonald Alice M. Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McDonald Gladys K. Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McDonald M. Madeline Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McDonald Margaret R. Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McDougall Hattie L. Boston Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 McMaster Martha A. Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 Meyer Lillian E. Flagg Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 Nesmith Hattie K. Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 1 Miller Edna M. Main St Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
125 4 May Alice Union St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
125 4 May Elizabeth A. Chestnut St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
125 2 McCarthy Frances T. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
125 2 McCarthy Ruby A. River St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
125 2 McCullough Rose V. Main St. Gr. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
125 2 Nelson Emma F. First St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
125 2 McEnaney Cora M. Fourth St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
125 4 McKniff* Emily A. Orchard St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
125 4 McKniff Hannah M. Orchard St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
125 4 Monahan Lena T. Union St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
125 4 Nutting Mary E. Union St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
125 3 MacNaughton Isabella Nabnasett St. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
125 3 MacNaughton Jessie E. Nabnasett St. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
125 3 Marshall Hulda Nabnasett St. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
125 3 Mayberry Julia A. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
125 1 Mills Rose E. Providence Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
125 1 Martin Clara Concord Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
125 1 Nutting Josephine Nutting Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
126 4 O’Connor Annie Central St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
126 4 Orr Annie L. Central St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
126 2 O’Brien Harriett A. West St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
126 4 O’Connor Mary Cecilia Central St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
126 4 Orr Jennie Central St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
127 2 Palmer Minnie A. Main St. G. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Parker* Emma F. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Peterson Nellie Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 2 Picking** Margaret G. Keyes Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Pitkin* Mabel L. Lowell Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 4 Plummer Mary E. Pleasant St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 4 Prescott Ella M. Pine St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Prescott Hattie M. Boston Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Prescott Josephine Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Prescott Lucinda E. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Prescott Mabel M. Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 1 Prescott Marjorie S. Hildreth St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
127 4 Precious Annie O. Pleasant St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
127 2 Parker Issie A. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
127 2 Provost Mary A. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
127 3 Pickux* Blanche E. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
127 3 Pickux Eliza E. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
127 3 Prairie Annie Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
127 1 Prescott Alexina Depot St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
128 1 Robinson Ida M Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
128 1 Rosenberg Annie A. Chelmsford Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
128 1 Roudenbush Evelyn M. R. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
128 2 Reed Florence West St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
128 1 Raney Grace E. Lincoln St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
128 3 Rudkin Kate G. Nabnassett St. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
129 1 Sargent A. Gertrude Chamberlain Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 1 Shaddick* Colette M. Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 2 Shea Inez F. Cold Spring Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 1 Sherman Jessie M. Cold Spring Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 4 Spinner Edith E. Central St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 4 Spinner Elizabeth E. Central St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 4 Spinner Elizabeth S. Central St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 1 Stiles Nellie F. Boston Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
129 1 Sutherland Matttie L. Boston Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
130 1 Sutherland E. Lilian Boston Rd. . Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
130 4 Sweatt Edith E. Central St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
130 1 Symmes Laura E. Old Lowell Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
130 1 Taylor Elizabeth C. Stony Brook Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
130 3 Treat* Sarah E. Groton Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
130 1 Tuttle Ruth Boston Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
130 4 Sullivan Mary E. Pleasant St. Reg. Oct. 11, 1920
130 2 Sargent Mary H. Main St. G. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
130 2 Sawyer Bertha L. Broadway Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
130 2 Shackleton Ann N. Broadway Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
130 2 Symmes Anna H. Graniteville Rd. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
130 2 Symmes Mattie W. Graniteville Rd. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
130 1 Sargent Elizabeth A. Main St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
130 3 Swanson Lena G. Chamberlain Rd. Reg. Oct. 22, 1920
130 2 Sargent Maude G. Main St. Gr. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
130 1 Spalding Fannie B. Leland Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
130 1 Sargent Elta M. Chamberlain Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
130 1 Sweetser Jessie H. Acton Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
131 1 Vose Martha E. Old Lowell Rd Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Walker Sarah M. Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Weitz Louise C. Concord Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 3 Wheeler Susie J. Tyngsboro Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 3 Whidden Bessie Oak Hill Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 3 Whidden Stella M. Oak Hill Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 White Lena D. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 2 Whitley Miriam A. Broadway St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Whitney Ida F. Main St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Wilson Augusta E. Carlisle Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Wilson J. Florence Carlisle Rd. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Woodbury Bertha M. Concord Rd. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 2 Wright* Emma M. North St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Wright Eva F. Main St. Rep. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 1 Wright Ruby C. Depot St. Reg. Aug. 28, 1920
132 2 Wall Etta Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
132 2 Wall Julia B. Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
132 2 Wood Emma M. Third St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
132 2 Wright Lillian G. Groton Rd. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
132 2 Wood Mary F. Third St. Reg. Oct. 16, 1920
132 4 Whigham Ada Pine St. Reg. Oct. 18, 1920
132 4 Weaver Jessie C. Central St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 1 Bosworth Hilda E. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Bunce Mary P. Boston Rd. (Women Voters)
133 1 Cameron Lucy A. Graniteville Rd. (Women Voters)
133 1 Fletcher Emily F. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Fletcher Julia H. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Hartford Jennie A. Depot St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Hildreth Stella E. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Isles Phonsie E. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 2 Lambert Alice M. Keyes Rd. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Loker Sarah W. Boston Rd. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Robinson Maud E. Main St. (Women Voters)
133 1 Seavey Marjorie M. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Sweetser Rebecca E. Carlisle Rd. (Women Voters)
133 3 Taylor Alta M. Lowell Rd (Women Voters)
133 1 Wells Alice M. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Wheeler Mary H. Main St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Wright Edith A. Hildreth St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 1 Wright Janet Hildreth St. Rep. (Women Voters)
133 2 York* M. Isabelle Broadway St. Reg. Oct. 13, 1920
133 4 Ward Kathlyn C. Union St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 1 Williams Nellie M. Carlisle Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 2 Whitton Winifred E. Cold Spring Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 2 Whitton Goldia A. Cold Spring Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 1 Wright M. Aurilla Hildreth St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 1 Wetmore* Ina M. Concord Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 1 Whitney Bertha L. Carlisle Rd. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 2 York Charlotte Bridge St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
133 2 York Blanche N. Bridge St. Reg. Oct. 23, 1920
134 1 Bridgford Lizzie M. Providence Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
134 1 Brownsey Mildred C. Main St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
134 1 Balch Clara Main St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
134 3 Clement Viola M. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct., 22, 1920
134 1 Cameron Joanna S. Graniteville Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
134 1 Cameron Eleanor A. Graniteville Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
134 1 Connell Mary K. Hildreth St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
134 1 Crocker Martha A. Lincoln St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
134 1 Cutting* Mary E. Main St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
135 1 Comstock A. Gertrude Concord Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
135 1 Chandler Emma A. Main St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
135 2 Carr Amelia Main St. Gr. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
135 1 Desmond Ellen F. Littleton Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
135 1 Day May E, Graniteville Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
135 3 Dandley* Margaret M Makepeace Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
135 3 Dandley Mary Edith Makepeace Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
136 3 Hale* Louisa F. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct., 22, 1920
136 3 Haley Margarete E. Stony Brook Rd. Reg. Oct., 22, 1920
136 3 Holt Alice A. Brookside Rd. Reg. Oct., 22, 1920
136 1 Herrington Amy A. M. Providence Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
136 1 Hildreth Lucy M. Main St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
136 3 Hutchins Florence M. Groton Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
137 3 Knowlton* Julia E. Chamberlain Rd. Reg. Oct., 22, 1920
137 1 Knight Mary F. Lincoln St. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
137 1 Kimball Annie W, Littleton Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
138 1 O’Brien Lillian A.M. Providence Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
138 3 O’Brien Mary A. Stony Brook Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
138 3 O’Brien Margaret S. Stony Brook Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
138 3 O’Brien Rose A. Stony Brook Rd. Reg. Oct., 23, 1920
These women were among those listed in the 1920 pages of the book but registered in 1921
Page # Precinct Last Name First Name Street Enrollment Remarks
113 1 Allen Catherine E. Hildreth St. Reg. Feb. 5, 1921
119 3 Foye Mary E. Oak Hill Rd. Reg. Feb. 5, 1921
122 3 Johnson Emma R. Groton Rd. Reg. Feb. 3, 1921
133 2 Wyman Elizabeth A. North St. Reg. Feb. 2, 1921
136 1 Hildreth Bertha C. Hildreth St. Reg. Feb. 5, 1921
139 2 Stuart Flora B. Broadway Reg. Feb. 2, 1921
139 3 Whidden Elisabeth M. Oak Hill Rd. Reg. Feb. 5, 1921
p. 140 Board of Registrars of Voters Males Females Total
Alfred W. Tuttle Prec. 1 208 143 351
Robert J. McCarthy Prec. 2 127 60 187
Leon F. Hildreth Prec. 3 64 39 103
Charles L. Hildreth Prec. 4 85 54 139
Total 484 295 780
Oct. 23, 1920

 18 women who had registered to vote in school elections prior to 1920
 121 women registered on Aug. 28, 1920 of 279 women who registered in 1920, or 43%.
(Complied by Lynn Cohen) 

Mary G. (May) Balch (1875-1962)

Westford Wardsman Saturday, October 23, 1915

Miss Mary G. Balch represented Westford in the suffrage parade in Boston last Saturday afternoon. Among interested Westford women who viewed the parade were Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher, Mrs. W. J. Merritt, Mrs. A. W. Hartford and Mrs. Gertrude C. Skidmore. We understand Mrs. Alice M. Lambert, of North Westford marched with the Lowell delegation.

Women on the Board of Selectmen Westford, Massachusetts

1972-1974         Ellen S. Harde – first woman elected to the board

1974-1978          none

1978-1981          Marjorie Cook

1981-1982          none

1982-1985          Avis S. Hooper

1985-1992          none

1992-1998          Madonna McKenzie – first woman to serve two terms; first woman to serve as chairman, 1994

1996-2008         Dini Healy-Coffin first woman to serve four terms; first time two women were on the board, 1996

1999-2002          Elaine McKenna

2005-2014          Valerie Wormell

2007-2010          Nancy Rosinski (2007: first year three-women majority on the board)

2010-present    Andrea Peraner-Sweet

2017-2020          Elizabeth Almeida

2020 to present Anita Tonakarn-Nguyen

A 20/20 Perspective with Barbara Berenson

Barbara Berenson’s second talk will address women’s rights after they finally achieved access to the ballot in 1920.  How have women fared politically and legally over the past century? Berenson will consider how women activists have built alliances and shaped laws in an effort to combat stereotypes, discrimination, and gender-based violence at home, at work, and in the public sphere.  She will review some of the key developments over the past century and include a discussion of the long and still-ongoing campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment. She will also discuss the historical connections between women who opposed suffrage and those who oppose women’s rights today. Following Barbara’s talk we will have a discussion with Westford Women Leaders: Elizabeth Almeida, Ellen Harde and Beth Morrison.