Local Efforts

Local Suffragists

Alice T. Knapp

Alice T. Knapp served as the vice-president of the Woman Suffrage Party of Chemung County during the 1917 campaign. She was the founder of the Women’s League for Good Government and served as president of the Elmira Women’s Civic League. Both she and her husband, District Attorney Wilmot E. Knapp, were involved in the temperance movement. During the 1918 campaign to turn Elmira dry, Knapp’s efforts to organize the city’s women in favor of the measure proved instrumental in the law’s passage. At the time of her unexpected death in 1918, she was being considered for police commissioner.

Clutha Ralyea

Clutha Ralyea was the treasurer of the Woman Suffrage Party of Chemung County during the 1917 campaign and organized various fundraising efforts including a stand at the weekly public market. During World War I, she was also involved in fundraising for the Red Cross. A graduate of Vassar College, Ralyea did some post-graduate studies at Cornell University. As the daughter of a wealthy tobacco dealer, she appeared frequently in the social pages hosting and attending parties and bridge tournaments. In 1918, she married Rev. Charles E. McAllister of Maryland and moved away from the area.

Revs. Samuel and Annis Eastman

Harriet Frasier

Harriet Frasier was a resident of Wellsburg and a member of the Woman Suffrage Party of Chemung County. She volunteered as a census taker in that village for the Census and Inventory of the Military Resource of the State of New York in the spring of 1917. As part of her duties, she visited every home in Wellsburg and took the time to spread the suffragist message in the course of her official duties. In addition to her suffragist work, she was an active member in the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and served as the chairwoman of the Wellsburg Liberty Loan Committee.  Her husband Robert was a commercial artist who served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the war.

Clutha Ralyea

Clutha Ralyea was the treasurer of the Woman Suffrage Party of Chemung County during the 1917 campaign and organized various fundraising efforts including a stand at the weekly public market. During World War I, she was also involved in fundraising for the Red Cross. A graduate of Vassar College, Ralyea did some post-graduate studies at Cornell University. As the daughter of a wealthy tobacco dealer, she appeared frequently in the social pages hosting and attending parties and bridge tournaments. In 1918, she married Rev. Charles E. McAllister of Maryland and moved away from the area.

Reba Pickering

Reba Pickering was the chair of the Woman Suffrage Party of Chemung County at the time of the 1917 referendum. Both she and her daughter Dorothy had also worked in the 1915 campaign. Deeply concerned with politics, Pickering was involved in the Women’s League for Good Government, a non-partisan group working to end political corruption, and ran for local office in the 1920s.  She was active in the League of Women Voters for the remainder of her life. In addition to her political activities, she was also involved in the Women’s Federation for Social Services, worked as a fundraiser for various charitable causes, and enjoyed whist. She was the wife of a prosperous dye manufacturer and thus had the money and time to devote herself to charity and politics.