1913 Pro-Suffrage Parade
In March 1913, a group of women met at City Hall to form the Elmira Equal Suffrage League. They elected officers, choosing Frances Farrar as their chair. The league organized a suffrage parade and brought nationally-renowned suffragist marcher “General” Rosalie Jones to Elmira to lead it. On June 20, 1913, Jones gave a “red hot” suffrage speech in Wisner Park in which she implored Elmira business- and homeowners to decorate their buildings in yellow and white, the colors of the Suffrage Party.
The parade featured women from Elmira College, a bicycle and children’s division, a motorcade of automobiles, and floats and wagons from local political parties. Suffrage leaders from around the country and from England came in to help lead the efforts. Howe’s Art Store on East Water Street sold “Votes for Women” pennants. The parade began at the corner of Church and Hoffman Streets at 3pm on Saturday, June 21. The more than 300 women paraded from Walnut Street to Water Street to Lake Street, before ending at Riverside Park.
Frances Farrar attended Elmira and Vassar Colleges and was active in progressive political organizations by 1912. She assumed the leadership of the Elmira Equal Suffrage League in 1913. She remained an active suffragist through the 1915 and 1917 campaigns. Farrar led an Elmira Suffrage Study Club and attended state suffrage conferences. In addition to her suffrage work, Farrar was an artist and art teacher. She maintained a studio on East Hill where she preserved and manufactured stereopticon slides, her collection of which grew to over 25,000.
Suffrage parade in Elmira, June 21, 1913