Bibliography of Materials Pertaining to Montana Women’s Suffrage

This bibliography includes nonfiction books, government documents (federal, tribal, state, county, and city), published reports, ephemera, theses and dissertations, unpublished manuscript collections, and other  materials concerning Montana women’s suffrage.

Most of the materials are available from the Montana Historical Society. For your convenience, an MHS call number has been provided in parentheses following each bibliographic entry. Where material has been digitized, we have provided a link.


Published Documents (Books, government documents, and reports)

Ward, Doris Buck. The Winning of Woman Suffrage in Montana.  MA thesis, Montana State University, 1974. (324.623 W21W).


The Suffrage Daily News (1914). Published in Helena, Montana, between September and November 1914, this periodical played a major part in the success of the women’s suffrage movement in Montana. The publishers of the Daily News included Mrs. Lora O. Edmunds of Absarokee, Mary O’Neill of Butte, and Belle Fligelman of Helena. Available online via the Library of Congress Chronicling America Project.

Published Articles and Chapters in Anthologies

Baumler, Ellen and Laura K. Ferguson, Jodie Foley, et al. “Women’s History Matters: The Montana Historical Society’s Suffrage Centennial Project.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 64, no. 2 (Summer 2014): 3-20. Download here.


Cole, Judith K. “A Wide Field for Usefulness: Women’s Civil Status and the Evolution of Women’s Suffrage on the Montana Frontier, 1864-1914.” American Journal of Legal History 34, no. 3 (July 1990): 262-292. Accessed on June 4, 2013.

Larson, T. A. “Montana Women and the Battle for the Ballot.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 23, no. 1 (Winter 1973): 24-41. Download here.

McCammon, Holly J., and Karen E. Campbell. “Winning the Vote in the West: The Political Successes of the Women’s Suffrage Movements, 1866-1919.” Gender and Society 15, no. 1 (February 2001): 55-82. Accessed on June 4, 2013.

Schaffer, Ronald. “The Montana Woman Suffrage Campaign: 1911-14.” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 55, no. 1 (January 1964): 9-15. Accessed on June 4, 2013.

Wheeler, Leslie A. “Woman Suffrage’s Gray-Bearded Champion Comes to Montana, 1889.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 31, no. 3 (Summer 1981): 2-13. Download here.

Winestine, Belle Fligelman. “Mother Was Shocked.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 24, no. 3 (Summer 1974): 70-79. Download here.

Unpublished Manuscripts

Belle Winestine papers, Norman and Belle Fligelman Winestine collection, 1882-1985. MC 190. Montana Historical Society Archives. Belle Fligelman Winestine of Helena was active in the women’s suffrage movement in Montana, and both she and her sister Frieda were writers. Belle served as secretary to Jeannette Rankin during Rankin’s first term in Congress. This subgroup contains her correspondence, writings (fiction, poetry, and nonfiction), a Jeannette Rankin subject file, various Fligelman family materials, and a scrapbook kept during her years at the University of Wisconsin. The series of writings is arranged alphabetically by title for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. (See also MC 144.)

Emma A. Ingalls papers, 1919-1938. SC 1940. Montana Historical Society Archives. Emma A. Ingalls was one of Montana’s first two women elected to the state legislature, along with Margaret Hathaway, and served two terms, beginning in 1917. In 1889 she co-founded the Interlake, which became Kalispell’s daily newspaper, with her husband, Clayton Ingalls. Additionally, she managed the family ranch and alfalfa operation. In a special legislative session in 1920, Ms. Ingalls introduced the bill to ratify the Woman’s Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Her collection includes general correspondence; subject files on child welfare, women’s issues, and the Republican Party and candidates; notes on government and politics;  brochures on prohibition, the Anti-Saloon League in Montana, the potato rebellion, and immigration; and clippings on political topics.

Helena Business Women’s Suffrage Club minutes, 1896-1903. SC 976. Montana Historical Society Archives. The Helena Business Women’s Suffrage Club was a professional organization of local businesswomen promoting suffrage for women. The collection contains a minute book for the Helena Business Women’s Suffrage Club. The first entry is for the organization’s first meeting, held on June 13, 1896, and the final entry is for a meeting held on September 22, 1903.

Jeannette Rankin papers, 1916-1919. MC 147. Montana Historical Society Archives. Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) was the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Rankin was a pacifist, suffragist, prohibitionist, and social activist. As congresswoman she voted against declaration of war in 1917 and again in 1941. The collection (1916-1919 and 1941) consists primarily of correspondence from her Montana constituents and subject files on issues important to her.

Jeannette Rankin (et al.) letters, Rankin family subgroup, Wellington D. Rankin papers, 1904-1969. MC 288. Montana Historical Society Archives. This subgroup contains letters between family members Mary Rankin Bragg, Louise Replogle Rankin Galt, Grace Rankin Kinney, Edna Rankin McKinnon, and Jeannette Rankin. In addition, Jeannette Rankin’s papers include printed material she collected on various political and social topics such as the plight of Jews in Europe, women’s suffrage, the trade union movement, and women in industry. There are also a number of speeches, subject files on her 1940 congressional campaign, and clippings.

Mary Long Alderson papers, 1894-1936. SC 122. Montana Historical Society Archives. Mary Long Alderson (1860-1940) was very active in women’s rights issues, in the campaign for equal suffrage, and as a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. This collection contains manuscript drafts of “A Half Century of Progress for Montana Women,” concerning the women’s rights movement in Montana. Also included are two biographical sketches (one of Ellen Trent Story, wife of Bozeman pioneer Nelson Story) and three small scrapbooks on the selection of the bitterroot as Montana’s state flower.

Montana Good Government State Central Committee records, 1895-1919 (bulk 1913-1919). SC 567. Montana Historical Society Archives. Women’s suffrage was considered by the Montana Constitutional Convention of 1889, but was defeated as an issue too controversial and therefore liable to delay statehood. In 1914, the Woman’s Suffrage Amendment to the Montana constitution narrowly passed in the state legislature, three years after Montana elected Jeannette Rankin of Missoula to Congress. The name of the Montana State Central Committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association was changed to the Montana Good Government State Central Committee after the passage of the suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The records in this collection include correspondence between the Montana affiliate of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the national association; a speech by Jeannette Rankin to the State Federation of Women’s Clubs on June 4, 1914; newsletters of the Montana Equal Suffrage State Central Committee; correspondence from various political organizations; newsletters; voting records to verify women’s participation in Montana’s elections; and miscellaneous writings.

Oral Histories

Belle Fligelman Winestine interview, 1976. General Oral History Collection (OH 87). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (40 min.) 3-page summary. In a reminiscence entitled “Belle Winestine: Feminist and Suffragette,” Belle discusses her work as an aide to Montana congresswoman Jeannette Rankin during her 1917-1918 term; her observations of Rankin; the women’s suffrage movement; the Equal Rights Amendment; women as legislators and as professionals; and women’s roles in the international peace movement.

Jeannette Rankin interview, 1963 August 29. General Oral History Collection (OH 1046). Montana Historical Society Archives. 3 audio tapes (3 hr.) 2-page summary. Topics include women’s suffrage; her campaigns and elections; her role in Congress; the peace movement; Thomas J. Walsh; Wellington Rankin; World War I; and World War II.

Wellington D. Rankin interview, [undated]. General Oral History Collection (OH 1665). Montana Historical Society Archives.  2 audio tapes (1 hr., 35 min.) Topics include Jeannette Rankin’s campaign for Congress in 1916; her reasons for running, primarily suffrage; difficulties of the campaign; her campaign capabilities; his work as campaign manager; work of their sisters Mary, Edna, and Grace on the campaign; union votes; poor press coverage; the Bull Moose Party and Theodore Roosevelt; the Anaconda Copper Mining Company; World War I and why he disagreed with her vote against the war; her failed reelection attempt in1918; her strong sense of conviction; and their mother and father. Montana rancher, attorney general, and brother of Jeannette Rankin.

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