PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE
In a pioneer society, little attention is paid to the subject of public health. The portion of the Iowa criminal code adopted by the territorial legislature March 16, 1855, contained a brief chapter on offenses against public health, and another on nuisances and their abatement. Very light penalties for the sale of diseased, unwholesome or adulterated food, drink, or drugs, or of poisons without the prescribed labels, were fixed. A much more serious offense was thus described: "If any person inoculate himself or any other person, or suffer himself to he inoculated with the small pox within this territory, or come within the territory with intent to cause the prevalence or spread of this disease, he shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary not more than three years, or by fine not exceeding $1,000 and imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year." Not quite so serious was the maintenance of certain types of nuisances which menaced public health.
On March 2, 1855, an act to establish the Nebraska medical society was approved. This was the first crude effort at regulation of medical practice, for it provided that no physician would be allowed to practice medicine and surgery who was not a member of this society, and had its license to practice. The society was empowered to appoint an inspector of drugs and to bring sellers of adulterated drugs to justice.
The first act looking to protection from contagious diseases referred to live stock and was approved June 20, 1867. From that time until 1901, the only conttagious (sic) diseases that excited the interest of the legislature were those of domestic animals.
The early special municipal incorporation acts almost uniformly conferred upon the city authorities power to make all necessary ordinances in relation to cleanliness and public health. The first general municipal incorporation act, approved February 15, 1864, made no specific mention of the subject of public health. The general municipal incorporation acts of February 8 and 15, 1861 provided definitely for the establishment of municipal boards of health with necessary powers. Cities of the second class were given specific power to "establish cemeteries or burial places, contiguous to, but without the limits of the city, and to provide for the sanctity of the dead" and "to remove persons having infections or pestilential disease outside of the city limits."
Subsequent municipal legislation has always recognized the necessity of local health departments
A census and vital statistics law was passed by the legislature of 1869. County commissioners were required to cause the precinct assessors in the several counties to make an annual enumeration of population and also a complete return of all births and deaths for the preceeding year. These facts were to be transmitted to the secretary of state, and he was required to tabulate the statistics and have them printed in pamphlet form. This law was repealed by the legislature of 1885.
A new criminal code enacted on February 27, 1873, contained a chapter on offenses against public health and safety. Its provisions related chiefly to the sale of deleterious food and drugs, the pollution of waters, and the cleanliness of distilleries.
The second effort to regulate the practice of medicine is found in an act approved March 3, 1881. This act required persons who wished to practice medicine in the state to file statements of their qualifications with county clerks, who, upon presentation of the required evidence were to register the candidates' named. A person to be entitled to registration must have graduated from a legally chartered medical college having authority to grant the degree of doctor of medicine, or have attended a full course of lectures in such an institution and have practiced medicine continuously for three years, the last one of these
years in Nebraska, or have been practicing medicine for a livelihood for ten years, the last two of them in this state. Persons convicted of practicing medicine without having complied with the provisions of this act were to be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars for each offense. Itinerant vendors of medicines who claimed to cure diseases were considered much more serious offenders.
An act approved March 24, 1887, made similar requirements for the practice of dentistry within the state.
The act creating the state board of health was approved March 27, 1891. The board was composed of the governor, attorney general, and state superintendent whose chief duty was to appoint four medical secretaries to perform the duties of the board. These duties consisted in granting certificates to candidates for permission to practice medicine. These certificates were granted only to persons possessing diplomas from recognized medical colleges according to the rules prescribed by the board. At this same session a city of the metropolitan class was required to have a board of health of which the mayor should be chairman. The commissioner of health and city physician was given large powers. Cities of less than 25,000 population were also given power to regulate the introduction of contagious diseases and to enforce quarantine laws within five miles of the city.
The legislature of 1895 conferred upon cities of the second class and villages definite powers and duties concerning public health, and placed the regulation of the practice of dentistry under the control of the board of health.
The legislature of 1899 created a board of examiners for embalmers to be appointed by the state board of health; a board of examiners for barbers, and a food commission. An appropriation of $1,500 to be used by the state board of health in suppressing contagious diseases was also made.
The legislature of 1901 authorized county boards to make and enforce regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of contagious diseases and to establish boards of health. This legislature also provided for the certification of osteopathic practitioners by the state board of health.
An act of February 20, 1903, authorized the appointment of county boards of health whose jurisdiction should include the unincorporated parts of the several counties. Another important act passed by the same legislature enlarged the powers and duties of the state board of health and created the office of health inspector whose duty is to assist local authorities in enforcing the health laws. Still another act, approved April 3, 1903, requires the state board of health to examine all applicants for certification as physicians--this in addition to the earlier requirement of a diploma.
A new Omaha charter act approved March 9, 1905, provided that a board of health should not be created except in case of a general epidemic. At this same session an act requiring applicants for license to practice osteopathy to pass examination given by the board of health, and another creating a board of dental secretaries to be appointed by the state board of health were approved. Another important act, approved February 16, 1905, provided for a system of vital statistics with the state board of health as state registrar, and various designated local authorities as local registrars. An act regulating maternity homes and boarding homes for infants was passed at this session, and the hospital for deformed, ruptured and crippled children now known as the orthopedic was established. A law providing for the examination, care and treatment of dipsomaniacs, inebriates and victims of the drug habit was also included in the work of this session.
The legislature of 1907 enacted a complete pure food law as a substitute for existing laws, and a law regulating the practice of optometry and creating a board of examiners in optometry.
The legislature of 1909 provided for the collection of marriage statistics by the state board of health, transferred from the board of health to the governor the power to appoint secretaries of this board, created a board of examiners in osteopathy to be appointed by the governor, and a board of examiners of nurses to be appointed by the state board of health.
The legislature of 1911 made it obligatory upon county and village boards, if no local board of health exists, to enforce the quarantine rules and regulations of the state board of health. A new act regulating maternity homes, requiring their licensing by the state board of health was also passed, and a state hospital for indigent tuberculosis patients established.
The legislature of 1913 authorized the state board of health to prohibit the use of common drinking cups, provided for the annual registration of dentists and established a bacteriological laboratory for the state board of health.
The foregoing laws are supplemented by many statutes concerning sanitation and abatement of nuisances, protection of water supply, drainage, the establishment of hospitals and other institutions for the care of sick or insane people.
Since the organization of the state board of health in 1891 licenses to practice medicine have been granted to 5,364. In 1919-20 there were 145 licenses granted.
There were 151 physicians without diplomas who availed themselves of the privilege to register with the state board within six months after the law went into effect. Three certificates since that time have been issued without diplomas, two in 1893 and one in 1895.
The work of the state board of health was transferred to the department of public welfare by the civil administrative code of 1919.
DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM AS ADOPTED AT THE STATE CONVENTION IN OMAHA, MAY 18, 1920.
The Nebraska Democracy assembled in State Convention renews its pledge of fidelity to the principles of the party of Jefferson, Jackson and Wilson.
Human happiness and self-government, personal liberty and progressive reform, equality for all and special privileges to none have long been and must ever remain the guiding principles of this great historic party.
We affirm our devotion to these doctrines and ask the support of all who see in them the guide to social progress and individual advancement.
We glory in the unparalleled triumphs of Democracy under the administration of Woodrow Wilson.
For six years with a Congress Democratic in both branches, the president led the country from achievement to achievement in peace and in war. Not in any other twenty years of American history has there been as much and as important constructive legislation enacted for the benefit of the people as Democracy devised and established under the inspiration of our great leader during that period. It remains today unchallenged by the opposition. The reduction of the tariff for the benefit of the consumer; the Federal Reserve Bank Act for the protection of the depositors and the protection of business; the establishment of Farm Loan Banks to give credit to farmers; the Good Roads Bill to develop internal improvements; the Federal Trade Commission to stop unfair business methods; the Philippine Bill which gave self-government to the Filipinos and brought contentment, progress and prosperity to the islands--all these and other administration measures were forced through Congress against Republican opposition, but remain today immune from attack because vindicated by experience and approved by the people.
Democracy claims credit also for the Income Tax reform which transferred to wealth its share of the burdens of government and for the amendment by which Senators are now elected by the direct vote of the people For both of these measures Democrats furnished most of the support in both houses of Congress while Republicans furnished the opposition.
The triumphs of war followed the achievements of peace. Driven by events to enter at last a war which he had for over two years sought to avoid, President Wilson led our great Republic into it in self-defense and in defense of civilization. But long before American soldiers won everlasting glory at Chateau-Thierry and in the Argonne and when they were only beginning to land in numbers upon the blood-soaked soil of France, Woodrow Wilson summoned the Senate and House of Representatives in joint session and made the solemn pledge to Congress, to the people and to the nations of the world that when the time to make a peace settlement should arrive one of the great conditions of that settlement should be that a League of Nations should be established to end wars and to guarantee to all countries political independence and territorial integrity. That pledge made in that great presence and at the critical hour of fate by the official who has the sole right to negotiate treaties for the United States was received with universal acclaim in this country and was accepted in other lands. It was one of the great objects of the war. Men fought for it and died for it. For nearly a year not a voice was heard in either House of Congress to question it. It was incorporated in the conditions of peace when Germany asked for an armistice. Then, and not till then, began the organization of a conspiracy to strike it from the treaty and to destroy its great author.
We warmly endorse the American pledge for a League of Nations to end wars publicly given more than two years ago by the President. We heartily commend him for his heroic efforts to establish such a league. We demand
that the Senate consent to the ratification of a treaty of peace with Germany containing the covenant for the league without nullifying reservations. We uphold the action of Democratic Senators in refusing to accept nullifying Lodge reservations and we denounce Republican Senators for refusing to modify them so as to make ratification possible.
We believe that the welfare of the world requires that peaceful and friendly relations among all nations should be speedily established and permanently maintained, and that the pence treaty of Versailles, with its covenant for a League of Nations, should be ratified by Congress--as it has already been ratified in the hearts and consciences of our people--to the end that a war-worn world, victor, vanquished and neutral, may assemble in solemn congress and there establish an International Code of Justice, Freedom and Equality, applicable alike to the strong and to the weak and based upon the everlasting principles of morality and right. In these efforts we believe Democracy justifies itself. Upon its success rests the hope of mankind, and we condemn the narrow partisanship of self-seeking politicians who, for expediency and present success, would harness the spirit of unrest which now exists, all unmindful of the fact that they will again plunge humanity into the vortex of conflict and despair.
We express our sympathy with all victims of war and particularly with the President, whose broken health is the direct result of his great efforts to serve the nation and perform his duty.
Since the control of Congress passed into the hands of Republican leaders by the election of two years ago, opposition, inaction, stultification and delay have marked its proceedings. Neglect to reduce taxation, failure to consent to the ratification of peace and preparations to return to reactionary policies have kept the country in doubt and uneasiness.
We are in favor of the greatest degree of individual liberty--consistent with good government and law enforcement.
In peace we are opposed to government interference with individual rights or governmental interference with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of press, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.
The conscienceless profiteer and irresponsible promoter of lawless disorganization and destruction are alike enemies of America and we summon the Democracy of the Republic to unrelenting warfare upon both.
We favor the eight-hour day for labor and recognize the right of collective bargaining between capital and labor.
We favor an amendment to the Nebraska constitution extending to women full and equal suffrage in this state, and express the hope that ratification of the national amendment may give the women the right to take part in the approaching election everywhere.
We approve the purposes and aims of the law creating the Commission to study conditions affecting child welfare in Nebraska and to recommend a revision to our laws to bring them into harmony with the best experience of our time, and we pledge our support to such measures as will result in better care and greater protection for the children of our state. We favor legislation to safeguard their health and to improve the condition of those physically or mentally deficient.
We believe in the principles of co-operation between producer and consumer, and we favor such legislation as will facilitate this reform.
We condemn the mutilation of the State Primary Law which took place in 1919 legislative session and favor the repeal of all amendments then adopted.
We condemn the wholesale issuing of paroles, pardons and furloughs by the present Republican state administration, nullifying the just decrees of courts anti juries and breeding, as it does, contempt for constitutional authorities.
We endorse the candidacy of John H. Morehead for Governor and recommend to the voters of Nebraska his election as the proper antidote for the inefficiency and reckless extravagance fostered by the McKelvle code system.
We heartily endorse the entire state ticket as worthy of the support of the voters of Nebraska.
REPUBLICAN PLATFORM ADOPTED BY THE NEBRASKA REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION IN LINCOLN, MAY 18, 1920
FIRST. The Republican party in delegate convention assembled do hereby again affirm our faith in the party of Lincoln, McKinley and Roosevelt, and pledge our undivided support to the principles of Americanism for which the Republican Party now stands and has ever stood.
SECOND. We congratulate the Republican Congress upon its efforts to bring order out of the chaotic condition evolved through the Democratic mismanagement of affairs during the world war. We urgently recommend our Senators and Congressmen from the State of Nebraska to exercise their efforts to the fullest extent to bring about the adoption of a budget system which will reduce the cost of government and lighten the burdens of taxation.
THIRD. The Republican Party, true to its traditions and ideals, pledges itself, to the defenders of our country's cause. That it will protect and provide for the dependents of those who fell or were disabled in our country's service. And to do full justice to all survivors of our country's war. To that end we favor the immediate enactment of the Fordney Four-Option Adjusted Compensation Bill in its present form now pending in Congress.
FOURTH. We repudiate the Covenant of the League of Nations as brought back from Europe by the self-appointed American delegate and would only accept the compromise alternative of the covenant as safeguarded by the Lodge reservations as a last resort in the interests of early peace. We endorse the Knox resolution providing for an immediate peace.
FIFTH. We favor the strict enforcement of all laws, state and national, enacted for the purpose of placing in operation the state and national prohibition constitutional amendments.
SIXTH. The Republican party in Nebraska reaffirms and pledges its hearty support to the proposed amendment to the State Constitution known as Amendment No. 18 which reads: "Every Citizen of the United States who his attained the age of twenty-one years, and has resided within the state six months and within the county and voting precinct for the terms provided by law shall be an elector."
SEVENTH. We commend the Legislature and the State's Administration for the redemption of all the party's pledges made in the platform of 1918 and we endorse the principles of the Civil Administrative Code.
EIGHTH. We especially commend Governor McKelvie and all the State Officers for their successful efforts in the fulfillment of the duties devolving upon them as such officers, and for their success in presenting an efficient and economical business administration.
NINTH. We favor material amendments to the Primary election laws which will increase the functions and broaden the jurisdiction of the County and State Convention and favor further amendments to prevent the manifest abuses of said primaries.
TENTH. We urge upon all Republicans the faithful and united support of the party and its candidates in Nation, State, County and Municipalities. This is the time when the people look to our party for relief, and we need only make, the effort to bring to our banner the greatest victory the party has ever known.
GRAND ISLAND PLATFORM ADOPTED AT MASS CONVENTION OF FARM, LABOR AND PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATION
AT GRAND ISLAND, MAY 4,1920.
1. We favor the exemption of farm improvements from taxation, and a limited exemption from taxation of all homes.
2. We favor state ownership and operation of packing plants, flour mills, stockyards, creameries, terminal elevators and beet sugar factories, in so far as necessary to restore competition and break monopolistic control.
3. We favor municipal ownership of cold storage plants, warehouses, and of all public service utilities.
4. We favor state ownership and development of the water power of Nebraska, and state or federal ownership and operation of telephone and telegraph lines.
5. We favor co-operative banks, and better and cheaper credit facilities for farmers and working men.
6. We favor all possible legislative encouragement to the organization or farmers and wage earners cooperative associations.
7. We favor state inspection of dockage and grading of grains and other products.
8. We favor the right of collective bargaining by farmers and working men through their own chosen representatives and up-to-date labor legislation that will insure decent hours and working conditions.
9. We favor better schools and an increase in pay for all school teachers in accordance with the importance and responsibility of their work.
10. We favor added guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and freedom of the press.
11. We favor public ownership of the railway systems of America, as proposed by the Plumb plan, and the retirement to private life of Senators and Congressmen who voted for the Cummins-Esch Bill.
12. We condemn proposal No. 333, Ballot No. 38, submitted by the Constitutional Convention to the voters, which makes possible the creation of an industrial court.
13. We condemn the activities of the Nebraska Fair Price Commission as now operated as useless, needless and an economic waste.
14. We condemn the "Code Bill" as written and administered, as a dangerous centralization of power.
15. We favor the adoption of an anti-injunction law, limiting the power of courts to grant injunctions and prohibiting the issuing of restraining orders and injunctions in labor disputes.
16. We favor equal suffrage for women.
17. We favor a bonus to soldiers, by both the federal and state governments, and to be paid in the main by the sixteen thousand additional millionaires created by the war.
18. We favor and urge co-operation between the city worker and the farmer in electing officials and securing progressive legislation.
The Grand Island Mass Convention of May 4, 1920, was held under the auspices of the Nebraska Nonpartisan League. The convention was called to order by C. A. Sorensen, attorney for the Nebraska Nonpartisan League, who, after stating the purpose of the convention, turned the meeting over to the delegates. The delegates elected James Elliott of Scottsbluff, chairman and Frank M. Coffey of Lincoln, secretary. The convention was made up of accredited delegates from the Nebraska Nonpartisan League, the State Federation of Labor, seven Central Labor Unions, the locals and lodges of the various railway brotherhoods, the Committee of 48, the Workers Nonpartisan League, a number of Farmers' Union locals and Women's Nonpartisan League clubs. In addition to the above named accredited delegates, a number of persons participated in the convention as individuals representing no one but themselves. The convention limited its action to the adoption of a platform and the nomination of three candidates for state office as follows:
For Governor, Arthur G. Wray of York.
For Attorney General, Floyd L. Bollen of Wayne.
For Lieutenant Governor, Robert D. Mousel of Cambridge.
The first appeal to the men of Nebraska to grant the ballot to the women of Nebraska was made by Mrs. Amelia Bloomer of Council Bluffs, Iowa, on the evening of January 8, 1856, in the hall of the house of representatives in the territorial capitol at Omaha. This address was made before the members of the legislature and others, and was in response to an invitation signed by the Hon. William Larimer, Jr., and twenty-four other members of the second territorial legislature. The tangible result of this address was House File No. 79 "An Act describing the qualifications of electors and electees." This bill was introduced in the house by Represeentative (sic) Hoover on January 16, 1856, and on January 25, 1856, passed the house by a vote of 14 for to 11 against. The bill then went to the council. The following day, January 26, Representative Decker moved to reconsider the vote by which H. F. No. 79 was passed. The motion passed, ayes 16, nays 5, Representative McDonald immediately moved to postpone the bill indefinitely. This was carried, ayes 16, nays 3. At once there was despatched to the council the following message:
"Mr. President: I am instructed to inform your Honorable Body, that the House have rescinded the vote by which H. F. No. 79, An Act describing the qualifications of electors and electees was passed, and have indefinitely postponed the further consideration of the same, and request the council to return said bill to the House. I. L. GIBBS, Chief Clerk."
To this request the council evidently gave no heed as the bill was read a first and second time and referred to the committee on elections which brought in majority and minority reports. The majority recommended the passage of the bill; the minority made no recommendation. No action was taken by the council upon either report so that the bill failed to pass. The failure of this measure to reach a vote in the council was due to several influences, one of which was that it was the last day of the session, the other because of legislation which was felt to be of more importance. The fact that stands out in this first contest of the women of Nebraska for the right of the ballot is that the granting of this privilege was met by strong opposition. This is evidenced in the closeness of the vote by which the measure passed the house and by the later vote which reconsidered and then indefinitely postponed it.
The interest thus early aroused on this question manifested itself again at Omaha on November 15, 1867, at which time addresses upon the question of woman suffrage were made by Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Miss Susan B. Anthony and George Francis Train. The next most important step was that taken in 1871 when the women of the state petitioned the legislature to grant them the ballot. This petition, was accompanied by a special message from Governor David Butler. On February 4 (1871), the same day that the petition and message were presented Representative Quinby, by unanimous consent, introduced a resolution requesting the attorney general to give his opinion "whether ,by accepting the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution of the United States we grant the right of suffrage to women." On February 6 the attorney general replied. This reply, together with the petition of the women of the state and the accompanying message of the governor, was referred to the house judiciary committee. This committee made the following report:
"Mr. Speaker: Your Committee on Judiciary, to whom was referred the petition and memorial of the women of Nebraska praying the legislature of this state to so amend the election laws that women may hereafter exercise the right of the elective franchise in this state; also, the special message of his excellency, the governor, and the opinion of the attorney general of this state relating thereto, have had the same under consideration, and herewith respect
fully report a preamble and resolution recommending that the same be adopted. "Whereas, The constitution of the state of Nebraska prohibits the women of said state from exercising the right of the elective franchise; and,
"Whereas, taxation without representation is repugnant to a republican form of government, and applies to women as well as all other citizens of this state; and,
"Whereas, all laws which make any distinction between the political rights and privileges of males and females are unbecoming the people of this state in the year 1871 of the world's progress, and tend only to deprive the latter of the means necessary for their own protection in the various pursuits and callings of life, therefore be it
"Resolved, by the house of representatives of the state of Nebraska, that the constitutional convention to be begun and holden on the -- day of May, 1871, for the purpose of revising and amending the constitution of this state, are hereby most respectfully and earnestly requested to draft such amendment to the constitution of this state as will allow the women thereof to have and exercise the right of elective franchise, and afford to them such other and further relief as to that honorable body may be deemed wise, expedient, and proper; and
"Be it further resolved. That said convention is hereby most respectfully and earnestly requested to make such provision--wben said amendment shall be submitted to a vote of the people. of this state--as will enable the women of Nebraska to vote at said election for the adoption or rejection of the same.
"Resolved further. That the secretary of state is hereby instructed to present a copy of this resolution to said convention, so soon as the same shall be convened and organized for the transaction of business."
The motion to adopt the resolution carried, ayes 19, nays 17, absent and not voting 3. The peculiar feature of this resolution was its request that the women of Nebraska be permitted to vote for the adoption or rejection of the proposed suffrage amendment.
The question of woman suffrage was as strenuously debated and commanded as much attention as any one question before the constitutional convention of 1871. This convention finally agreed to submit the following proposition as a separate amendment:
"The legislature may extend by law the right of suffrage to persons not herein enumerated, but no such law shall be in force until the same shall have been submitted to a vote of the people at a general election, and approved by a majority of all the votes cast on that question at such election."
The electors rejected this proposition by a vote of 3,502 for to 12,668 against.
Immediately following this defeat and until 1879 the cause of woman suffrage languished in the state. But on January 30, 1879, Mr. E. M. Correll, editor of the Hebron Journal, offered the women a column in his paper to be wholly devoted to their interests and to be edited by them. The women of Thayer county at once appropriated this unique offer. As a result of this new interest Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was secured to address the women of Thayer county on the question of suffrage and at the same time, April 15, 1879, she effected the "first Woman's Suffrage Association in the state, namely: The Thayer County Woman's Suffrage Association, with a membership of 15.' By 1881 the membership had increased to 61.
In 1880 there were elected to the legislature, E. M. Correll, representative. and C. B. Coon, senator, both from Hebron, Thayer county, and members of the Thayer County Woman's Suffrage Association. Mr. Correll introduced H. R. No. 59, but later withdrew this bill and substituted H. R. 162 a joint resolution embodying the proposition to submit the question of woman suffrage. This bill passed the house by the following vote: ayes 51; nays, 22; absent, 11; and the senate: ayes, 22; nays, 8. This joint resolution was signed by the governor February 26, 1881, and was as follows::
Section 1. That the following amendment to article VII, section titled 'rights of Suffrage,' of the constitution of the state of Nebraska shall be submitted to the electors of this state for their adoption or rejection in accordance with the provisions of section one, article XV of said constitution, and an
act entitled 'An act to provide the manner of proposing amendments to the constitution, and submitting the same to the electors of this state,' approved Feb. 13, A. D. 1877.
"Sec. 1. Every person of the age of twenty-one years or upwards belonging to either of the following classes who shall have resided in this state six months, and in the county, precinct or ward for the term provided by law shall be an elector.
" 'First. Citizens of the United States.
" 'Second. Persons of foreign birth who shall have declared their intention to become citizens conformably to the laws of the United States, on the subject of naturalization at least thirty days prior to an election'.
"Sec, 2. The ballots at the election at which said amendment shall be submitted, shall be in the following form: 'For proposed amendment to the constitution, relating to rights of suffrage'. 'Against proposed amendment to the constitution relating to rights of suffrage'.
"Approved February 26, A. D. 1881."
This proposed amendment was defeated November 7, 1882, by the following vote: 25,756 for and 50,693 against.
While this amendment was in the making other events connected with the question were going forward. On January 26, 1881, a mass convention of women was held in the opera house at Lincoln for the purpose of effecting a permanent state organization and on January 27, 1881, The Nebraska Woman's Suffrage Association was organized by the election of the following officers:
"President, Harriet S. Brooks, Omaha, Neb.; Vice-President at Large, Mrs. C. B. Colby, Beatrice; VicePresident, First Judicial District, Mrs. B. J. Thompson, Hebron; Second, Mrs. E. L. Warner, Roca; Third, Mrs. P. Nicholls, Omaha; Fourth, Mrs. J. S. Burns, Scribner; Fifth, Mrs. C. C. Chapin, Riverton; Sixth, Mrs. D. B. Slaughter, Fullerton; Recording Secretary, Mrs. M. C. Bittenbender, Osceola; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. J. B. McDowell, Fairbury; Treasurer, Mrs. L. Russell, Tecumseh; Executive Committee, Mrs. M. J. DeLong, Tecumseh; .Mrs. Dr. Dinsmore, Omaha; Mrs. J. C. Roberts, David City; Mrs. C. B. Parker, Mrs. J. B. Finch, Lincoln; Mrs. E. M. Correll, Hebron; Mrs. J. H. Bowen, Hastings."
In order that this newly formed organization might have a proper medium through which to express its views and also for the purpose of defending the recently proposed amendment, Mr. E. M. Correll established at Lincoln in April, 1881, the Western Woman's Journal. Because of Mr. Correll's interest in and labors and sacrifices for the cause of woman suffrage he was elected to the presidency of the American Woman Suffrage Association at their eleventh annual meeting held in Louisville, Ky., October 26 and 27, 1881.
After the signal defeat of the suffrage amendment in 1882 the question rested again. Signs of revival, however, made their appearance on January 6, 1887, when the first state convention of the woman suffrage association was held. This convention was addressed by Miss Susan B. Anthony. A bill, S. F. No. 253, was introduced by Senator Snell during the legislative session of 1887. This bill was an "Act to enable women possessing the necessary qualifications to vote on certain questions." The qualification necessary was ownership of real estate and the exercise of the franchise was limited to questions submitted to a vote of the people for any county or municipal purpose. The women were barred from voting for any officer. This bill did not pass the senate. It was again introduced as S. F. No. 91 in the legislative session of 1889 by Senator J. L. Linn. It also failed to pass the senate. The question again came up from a different angle, and from the house end in the session of 1891. Representative J. W. Faxon introduced H. R. No. 43. "An act conferring upon woman the right to vote at city and village elections." This proposed law required no property qualifications and would permit women to vote for municipal officers and upon questions affecting municipal government. This bill failed to pass by a narrow margin, the vote standing: ayes, 44; nays, 49; absent, 7. The persistence of the subject is again noted in the legislature of 1893. Two bills were introduced in the senate, S. F. No. 30 and S. F. No. 195, and two in the house, H. R. No. 100 and H. R. 212 All four failed to pass their respective houses.
The insistence of the supporters of the program for the granting of suffrage to the women of the state kept manifesting itself in similar attempts to obtain favorable legislation by statute or constitutional means from 1893 to 1913. It was not until the principle of the initiative and referendum was adopted as part of the constitution of the state in1912 that an opportunity was afforded the women of the state to obtain an expression of opinion from the voters on the question of woman suffrage. An initiative petition for the purpose of submitting the question at the general election in 1914 was circulated in every county in the state during the spring and summer of 1913, and the names of 48,035 voters appended thereto. With the required number of signatures secured which assured the submission of the question to the voters the women turned to the labor of a state wide campaign. National as well as local workers were enlisted both for and against the principle. The features that stood out in the campaign were: (1) The well organized campaign methods of the women; (2) the utility of the automobile; (3) the "Omaha Manifesto" signed by twenty-nine leading business and professional men of Omaha against suffrage; (4) the activity of the Women's Anti-Suffrage League and German Alliance in opposition. Despite the. ability with which the campaign was conducted and the influence exerted by nearby states which had already adopted the principle the proposition for woman suffrage again met defeat by a vote of 90,738 for and 100,842 against,
An act approved June 24, 1867, granted school suffrage to "every inhabitant of the age of twenty-one years, residing in the district and liable to pay a school district tax therein." The legislature of 1875 limited the school suffrage to "every male citizen and unmarried woman of the age of twenty-one years, residing in the district and owning property therein which is taxable for school purposes in such district." The present law relating to school suffrage was approved March 1, 1881. School suffrage was limited to residents of the school district having either property within the district taxed in their own names at the last assessment or children of school age.
The legislature of 1917 passed a partial suffrage law granting to women all the voting rights within its power. These excluded all officers mentioned in the constitution, that is the legislature, elective executive state officers, and the judiciary,--and included president and vice-president, some county officers and nearly all municipal and precinct officers. The operation of this law was suspended on July 22, 1917, by the filing of a referendum petition against it by the anti-suffrage organization. Upon inspection this petition was believed by suffragists to be fraudulent. After months of taking evidence and trial, the court's final decision in June, 1919, held that wholesale forgeries had been committed. and the petitions were illegal.
On August 2, 1919, the legislature, at a special session called by Governor McKelvie, unanimously ratified the suffrage amendment to the federal constitution, being the fourteenth state to ratify.
The constitutional convention, sitting in 1919-20 submitted, among other proposals, one providing for universal suffrage, and also that the women of Nebraska should be entitled to vote on the entire list of proposals submitted. On September 21, at a special election, the suffrage proposal carried by the most favorable vote accorded to any of the forty-one proposals, all of which were adopted. Although the nineteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States had been proclaimed in Washington on August 26, 1920, Nebraska has, by the act of her own people, removed the political status of her women from the realm of controversy.
The League of Women Voters
The struggle for the right to be full-fledged citizens ended the endeavor to use the ballot intelligently and conscientiously began. The Nebraska woman suffrage association on June 15, 1920, became the Nebraska league of women voters, affiliated with the National league of women voters. The avowed objects of the league are to educate for citizenship and to support improved, legislation. The organization to entirely non-partisan and is endeavoring to enroll, every woman