Historic Markers Across Florida



Birthplace for Equal Suffrage for Women in Florida



Marker ID: FLHM F-519
Location: on North Broadway Street (County Route 507), Fellsmere, FL
County: Indian River
Coordinates: N 27° 46.383    W 080° 36.077
  27.77305    -80.60128333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None
 



Text:

The population of Fellsmere is of a high type of intelligence, with lofty ideals and wise execution. Progressive in all things, perhaps no better indication of the fact may be given than the unanimous vote of the town granting unrestricted suffrage to women. Fellsmere Tribune, March 8, 1916. At a February 1915 meeting at the Dixie Theater, Fellsmere citizens accepted the articles of incorporation unanimously. The charter included a unique proposal that women be granted full and equal privilege for suffrage in municipal elections. Local bills seldom received close scrutiny from legislators, and the equal suffrage provision went unnoticed. In signing the act that created the town of Fellsmere, Governor Park Trammell, in effect, gave women the right to vote in its municipal elections. In the June 19, 1915 city election, Mrs. Zena M. Dreier was the first woman to cast a ballot in Fellsmere, in all of Florida, and south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The town residents took much pride in this unique womans right, and urged neighboring municipalities to follow the Fellsmere Way to equal suffrage. In 1919, a U.S. Constitutional amendment granted suffrage to women. But history will note that Fellsmere led the way.

Sponsors: the National Organization for Women--Indian River and the Florida Department of State


Notes:

City: Fellsmere, FL