By Mona Reno, Nevada Women’s History Project
State Equal Franchise Society, 1911, one of twenty-one founding directors. President, Lyon County Branch of the Equal Franchise Society of Nevada, 1912.
Mary Elizabeth Simpson was born on February 3, 1866 in Wellington, Nevada to Daniel and Elizabeth Hunter Simpson. Her parents were pioneer ranchers in Smith Valley, south of Yerington. Mary was married to Frank O. Stickney on June 9, 1891, at the home ranch of her parents in Wellington, NV. In 1906 Mary and Frank moved to Yerington, NV. Mary was active
in the civic affairs of Yerington through the Yerington Women’s Club which is affiliated with the National Federation of Women’s Clubs and was an active member of the Eastern Star. Frank Stickney was elected to the Nevada State Assembly in 1911 and to the Nevada State Senate inThese are the years Nevada was voting on the suffrage resolution.
With her existing dedication to women’s issues it is not surprising that in February of 1911, Mrs. Frank Stickney was named one of twenty-one founding directors of the new State Equal Franchise Society. In March of 1912, Mary was elected President of the Lyon County Branch of the Nevada Equal Franchise Society. It is difficult to imagine that her involvement in women’s suffrage ended there, but no written records could be located to confirm her continued work.
Mary and Frank remained together for 60 years, until her death at age 85 on February 14, 1951. Frank followed her in death six years later.
- Mrs. O.H. Mack and Bird M. Wilson. “Nevada, 1910-1920. In History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. VI edited by Ida Husted Harper, 1922.
- Nevada State Census, 1875, ancestry.com
- Nevada State Journal, “Simpson Name Closely Connected with Development of Nevada Areas.” April 21, 1940, p. 6.
- Reno Evening Gazette, “Prominent Couple to Observe Anniversary,” June 7, 1941, p. 8.
- U.S. Census, 1880-1940, ancestry.com
- Western States Marriage Record Index, ancestry.com
- Yerington Times, “Equal Suffrage Branch.” March 30, 1912, p. 6.