New Exhibit – Women’s Right to Vote

New Exhibit – Women’s Right to Vote

This exhibit will be here from September 1st - October 16th, 2020.

 The Dakota County Star Quilters (DCSQ) is pleased to present this display of small quilts
celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution—the women’s suffrage amendment.

Diane Murtha — Bettendorf, Iowa

The idea for this quilt challenge began four years ago, when the presidential election was the first to feature a female candidate from a major political party. The day after the election, a groundskeeper at Lakeside Cemetery in Hastings, Minnesota, found a note stuck on a old gravestone being held in place by an “I Voted” sticker. The note said, “She was a suffragette.”The grave belonged to Maria Van Hoesen. The groundskeeper brought the note to the Hastings Pioneer Room, the local historical records museum. The three volunteers there were intrigued; they’d never heard of any particular suffragist activity in Hastings. They began researching. What they found was significant.

The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) was formed in Hastings at a temperance meeting at the First Presbyterian Church on September 20, 1881. This church is still standing on Vermillion Street and is on the Historical Register. Of the 14 women who founded the MWSA, three were from Hastings. The researchers also discovered that the first women to vote in the U.S. (in a previously closed election) after the 19th amendment went into effect did so in South Saint Paul, Dakota County, Minnesota. Because of this rich history, the curator of the Hastings Pioneer Room went to DCSQ and asked them to host a Suffrage Small Quilt Challenge, which invited quilters from across the country to commemorate the anniversary.

The exhibit includes 36 quilts from 16 states across the country. After the quilts are shown in South Saint Paul, the display will tour around the country to various quilt conferences and quilt guilds. However, those plan may have changed because of the pandemic.


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