The Church Historian's Press

Emma Smith

22 August 1848–3 September 1927

Born 22 Aug. 1848 in Roseville, Warren Co., Illinois.[1] Daughter of Birdsey W. Smith and Delia Dolan.[2] Married John H. DeVoe, 20 Jan. 1880.[3] Received a letter from EBW regarding women’s suffrage, 20 May 1895.[4] Hosted by EBW during a visit to Salt Lake City, 4–6 Oct. 1895.[5] Traveled to Idaho, and EBW reported her women’s suffrage activities in the Woman’s Exponent, 1895.[6] Active in Illinois fundraising for women’s suffrage, 1896.[7] Moved to Tacoma, Pierce Co., Washington, 1905.[8] President of the Washington Equal Suffrage Association, 1908.[9] President of the Washington Suffragettes Association, 1909.[10] Appointed as a delegate to a women’s suffrage convention in Washington, DC, as publicized by EBW in the Woman’s Exponent, 1910.[11] Reported on sweeping women’s suffrage victories in five western states, 1910, in Ogden, Weber Co., Utah.[12] President of the National Council of Women Voters, 1911–1920.[13] President of the League of Women Voters of Seattle, 1913.[14] Met with members of Congress to urge the formation of a congressional suffrage committee, 1913.[15] Called on EBW in Salt Lake City to discuss women’s suffrage work, 12 Mar. 1917.[16] Met with Utah governor Simon Bamberger to discuss a child protection bill, 13 Mar. 1917.[17] Vice chair of the Washington State Republican Central Committee, 1922.[18] Assistant member of the Washington State Republican Committee, 1923.[19] Appointed as a member of the Republican National Committee, 1923.[20] Died 3 Sept. 1927 in Tacoma.[21] Posthumously inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, 2000.[22]

 

 

[1] Pierce Co., WA, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificates, 1907–1960, record no. 874, 3 Sept. 1927, Emma Smith DeVoe, microfilm 196639, DGS 7596814, image 283/1808, FHL. 1850 U.S. Census, Warren Co., IL, Emeline Smith. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 16 Mar. 2021), Emma Smith (L1RQ-DM8).

[2] Pierce Co., WA, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificates, 1907–1960, record no. 874, 3 Sept. 1927, Emma Smith DeVoe, microfilm 196639, DGS 7596814, image 283/1808, FHL. 1850 U.S. Census, Warren Co., IL, Emeline Smith.

[3] Tazewell Co., IL, Clerk, Vital Records, 1827–1922, Register of Marriages, vol. 1, 1878–1889, p. 45, no. 676, J. H. DeVoe and Emmia E. Smith, 20 Jan. 1880, microfilm 1314688, DGS 7616361, image 408/718, FHL. Pierce Co., WA, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificates, 1907–1960, record no. 874, 3 Sept. 1927, Emma Smith DeVoe, microfilm 196639, DGS 7596814, image 283/1808, FHL. 1900 U.S. Census, Cook Co., IL, ED 1193, p. 68, Emma S. Devoe.

[4] EBW, Diary, 20 May 1895.

[5] EBW, Diary, 4–6 Oct. 1895.

[6] “Mrs. M.C. Wood’s Speech at the Des Moines Convention,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1897, 119.

[7] “Cantwell Calls a Halt,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 8 May 1896, 8.

[8] “Emma Smith DeVoe,” National Women’s Hall of Fame (https://www.womenofthehall.org/inductee/emma-smith-devoe/, accessed 9 Feb. 2021). Jennifer Ross-Nazzal, “Emma Smith DeVoe: Practicing Pragmatic Politics in the Pacific Northwest,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 96, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 77.

[9] “Mrs. Emma Smith De Voe Calls Suffragists to Order,” Spokane (WA) Daily Chronicle, 2 Oct. 1908, 5. “Tells Why Women Should Get Ballot,” Evening Statesman (Walla Walla, WA), 14 Dec. 1908, 1.

[10] “Crowd of Women Greet Back Platform Oratoresses of Suffraget Yellow Special,” Los Angeles Record, 29 June 1909, 1.

[11] “Notes and News,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Feb. 1910, 51. “She Will Discuss the Divorce Law,” Spokane (WA) Daily Chronicle, 31 Dec. 1909, 15.

[12] “Papers Given Credit for Sweeping Victory,” Salt Lake Herald-Republican, 27 Nov. 1910, 6.

[13] “Women’s Clubs,” Oregon Journal (Portland), 12 Mar. 1911, 4. “Form Branch of National Women’s Organization Here,” Ogden (UT) Standard, 24 May 1916, 5. “Plans a Suffrage Jubilee,” Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), 18 Mar. 1920, 1.

[14] “‘Political Side Wind’ Best Hope for Women,” Salt Lake Herald-Republican, 27 Sept. 1913, 5.

[15] “Creation of Special Suffrage Committee Urged by Women,” Seattle Daily Times, 14 Aug. 1913, 1.

[16] EBW, Diary, 12 Mar. 1917.

[17] “Child Labor Bill Signed,” Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Mar. 1917, 16.

[18] “Women Organize Republican Club,” Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), 22 Aug. 1922, 9.

[19] “Delay G.O.P. Plans,” Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), 9 Aug. 1923, 6.

[20] “Emma Devoe Honored by G.O.P. Women,” Spokane (WA) Daily Chronicle, 17 July 1923, 6.

[21] “Noted Suffragist Dies,” Morning Oregonian (Portland), 8 Sept. 1927, 3. Pierce Co., WA, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificates, 1907–1960, record no. 874, 3 Sept. 1927, Emma Smith DeVoe, microfilm 196639, DGS 7596814, image 283/1808, FHL.  

[22] “Washington Suffragist Honored Nationally,” Olympian (Olympia, WA), 21 Aug. 2000, B4. “Emma Smith DeVoe,” National Women’s Hall of Fame (https://www.womenofthehall.org/inductee/emma-smith-devoe/, accessed 9 Feb. 2021).