By Addison Arnold
In the late 1800s, Western territories and states were in the forefront of progressive politics and social change. One significant and contentious issue of the period was women’s suffrage – a woman’s right to vote and hold public office. At this time, some felt women were too delicate to be faced with making such an important decision, that they were incapable of understanding the complexities of political or social issues, or that voting had little to do with a woman’s role as a wife or a mother. Like much of the United States, Arizonans were divided on the issue. Citizens of Prescott also held a range of opinions. For many residents, the idea of women being too fragile to vote did not ring true. The area already had a tradition of hard-working, decisive, and resilient women who endured twelve-hour days homesteading, operated businesses, raised families, or ran households.