Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Louise Stadtmuller Martin, b.1851-d.1931
By Mona Reno, Nevada Women’s History Project
Louise Martin was the mother of Anne Martin, President of the Nevada Equal Franchise Society; opened her home for traveling suffragists and for suffrage events and receptions, 1912-1920
Louise Stadtmuller was born in 1851. Her parents have not been identified. In 1870 she came to Nevada to visit the Fredrich and Anna Stadtmuller family in Empire, Nev. She married William O’Hara Martin on July 2, 1873 in Carson City, Nev. He was a mercantile owner and then became the president of the Washoe County Bank in Reno. The Martins had seven children: Harry, Anne, Gertrude, Clara, William, Karl, and Margaret.
Louise was an active, wealthy socialite in the Reno area. She was elected President of the 20th Century Club in 1896. Following her husband’s death in 1901, Louise Martin spent much time traveling with her children. Often to the west coast for the winter, but longer trips to Europe with her daughter Anne Martin. They spent more than a year together traveling in 1905-06.
Louise Martin may have not played an immediate role in Nevada women’s suffrage as an officer and organizer, but her behind the scenes role was one of financial and business support. It is not missed in Nevada suffrage history that the state headquarters of the Nevada Equal Franchise Society (NEFS) were in the Washoe County Bank building, which was founded by Louise Martin’s husband and Anne Martin’s father. Mrs. Martin gave Anne Martin a privileged and educated life and provided respectability and connections to the power-brokers in northern Nevada. Her financial resources enabled Anne to travel across the U.S. to conventions and organizational meetings. When Anne was in Nevada, she lived in her childhood home with Louise. The Martin home was big and elegant and the perfect place for receptions.
In February 1912 following the state suffrage convention a reception for delegates, alternates and officers was held at Louise Martin’s home. In June of 1913, several pro-suffrage women were in automobiles in a combined suffrage and Grand Army of the Republic veteran’s parade. The only militant event came from an anti-suffrage woman who hissed at the women in the parade. Louise Martin was one of the women in the automobiles.
On the evening before the second annual meeting of the NEFS when Mrs. and Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw of New York spoke at the Majestic Theater in Reno, on February 3, 1914, Louise Martin was on the platform of honored guests. When Dr. Anna Shaw came to Reno in October 1914 to speak, the reception was held at Mrs. W.O.H. Martin’s home.
The Reno Evening Gazette noted in 1931 that the Martin’s home “became a kind of auxiliary headquarters for the Nevada equal suffrage campaign from 1911 to 1914 … and later for Miss Anne Martin’s  campaign for the United States senate.”
Louise Martin sold the family home in Reno in 1921, and she and Anne moved to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California where they lived together until Louise’s death on July 26, 1931.
Debbie Hinman. “Ladies of the Neighborhood,” FootPrints, Newsletter of the Historic Reno Preservation Society, Spring 2020, Vol. 23, No. 2, pg. 1.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan Brownell Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage and Ida Husted Harper, editors. History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920. Vol. VI. Chapter XXVII, pg. 397.
Nevada State Journal. “Suffragists to Meet Tomorrow,” February 24, 1912, pg. 1
Nevada State Journal. “Dr. Anna Shaw speaker at the Majestic Tonight,” October 5, 1914, pg. 6.
Reno Evening Gazette. “Militancy Used Against Suffragists,” June 17, 1913, pg. 2.
Reno Evening Gazette. “State Society Holds Meeting,” February 24, 1914, pg. 8.
Reno Evening Gazette. “Former Pioneer Reno Resident is Dead,” July 27, 1931, pg. 2.
Reno Evening Gazette. “Nevada in Letters and in News,” September 19, 1931 pg. 5. A story about the old W.O.H. Martin home on Mill Street in Reno.Weekly Nevada State Journal. “Election of Officers,” June 13, 1896, pg. 3.