First Women Voters in Greene County, Pennsylvania

Abigail (Woods) Hoge with her grandchildren

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

One hundred years ago, Pennsylvania women, like most of their sisters across the country, did not have the right to vote. The controversial struggle for such a movement began formally in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. The defining doctrine that emerged from the Seneca Falls Convention laid the groundwork for the next century of hard-fought rights equality. Interestingly, one of the many points of contention at Seneca Falls was the lack of equal education for women compared to that of men. In Greene County, Pennsylvania, just one year later in 1849, Waynesburg College was founded and by the mid-1850s the school was offering strikingly progressive, equal, coeducational opportunities for women. Arguably, by this unique leap forward in female education, our small community was ahead of most others in the country. Nevertheless, the concept of women casting ballots was slow to take hold. As women battled state by state to gain enfranchisement, Pennsylvania lagged behind. Not until 1915, did the state’s legislature attempt to grant its women suffrage (voting rights). The initiative failed statewide. Specifically, men in Greene County voted 1,694 For vs. 2,070 Against giving women the right to vote. Women, of course, had no opportunity to cast a ballot on the matter. Pennsylvania men, including Greene County men, voted to deny Pennsylvania women the right to vote.

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Our Vote in Pennsylvania Today Is Historic for U.S. Women

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

100 years ago, Pennsylvania women, like most of their sisters across the country, did not have the right to vote.

In 1915, Pennsylvania attempted to give suffrage (voting rights) to the women of our state. It failed. Men in Greene County were split 1694 for, 2070 against. Women of course had no opportunity to cast a ballot on the matter.

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Road Rage Car Crash, 1912

by Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

The caption on the photograph read, “Car in which Simon Wesley Rinehart was killed.” It was clearly going to be a research path that would lead to tragedy. Moved by this haunting image, what follows is a glimpse into the events of late 1912, remembering the lives that are memorialized by this simple picture of an automobile with a foreboding inscription.

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Treasure Hunting in the Census

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

Originally published September 8, 2014.

Family and local history researchers know and love the decade-by-decade revelations of Census records. It is not just a listing of households, but a neighborhood roll-call identifying neighbors who have the potential to be in-laws, cousins, or at the very least the folks our ancestors likely interacted with on a day-to-day basis. Besides the basics of names, ages, and relationships, Census records also let us in on school attendance, literacy, values of real estate and personal property, home ownership or rental, and occasionally status of health and sanity, to name just a few of the fun facts. Certainly, in reference to sanity, it was that column in consecutive Census records that pointed me to the real story of Grandma Elizabeth, who has been the subject of previous discussions. Today, the reason for this small accolade to the Census taker is due to a reminder of just how fascinating Census data can be.

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Joseph Throckmorton Sr. Letter (1862)

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

Originally published January 31, 2016.

On August 2, 1862, Joseph Throckmorton Sr., age 77, sat down to write a letter to his second wife, Laura (Peck) (Gilbert) Throckmorton, age 63. Laura was at home on their farm in Morrow County, Ohio, to which the envelope is addressed, while Joseph was visiting his family in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania, from where the letter was written. The envelope itself is postmarked in nearby Harvey’s, Pennsylvania, a post office in Richhill Township, Greene County, on September 7.

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What’s in a Name?

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

Originally published April 11, 2016.

Have you ever wondered how or why an ancestor’s name was selected? Taking the time to research this basic, profile fact – one that we so often fill in and move past – may reveal fascinating details, not about your subject, but about his or her parents. With this new baby in their arms, they chose this particular name. Was there a reason and what might we learn from it?

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That’s Our Henry!

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

Originally published in Greene Speak, April 2006. Updated 21 February 2016 for Greene Connections blog.

The few photos initially in my family’s custody when I began researching over 20 years ago, has been one of the catalysts for launching the Greene Connections Archives Project. In searching for my own missing history, I discovered how much is out there in boxes, drawers, attics, closets, and so on, going unseen. It became a quest to find a way to preserve and share those items.

Henry Bowler and I met face to face, so to speak, for the first time, when my father’s cousin gave me his Cabinet Card photograph. As she put it in my hand, she commented that her son had hoped this scary looking fellow was no relation to us. She had dashed that hope by pointing out that he was our – her son’s and mine – third great grandfather. I was thrilled!

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A Rolling Stone

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

Originally published 11 February 2018.

Family reunions come in all forms when you are heart-deep in genealogy: DNA matches, brick-wall breakthroughs, friend-requests from long lost cousins. This week, my tree had the benefit of such an unexpected reunion, in rather a unique form: an ancestor’s grave and a tombstone that had rolled three states away!

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Zach Taylor, Hanged for Murder, 9 April 1890

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

Originally published April 3, 2016.

Zacharias Taylor was hanged 9 April 1890 at the Greene County Courthouse in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, for the murder of William McCausland. Zach was the second man hanged for murder in the county’s history. The first was his brother-in-law and accomplice, George W. Clark, who was hanged for the same murder, earlier in the year, on 26 February 1890. As the first man to face this fate, George often is the focus of reflections on this terrible event in our local history. Accordingly, this ongoing research is taking a closer look at Zach.

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A Few Women’s Day Women

By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist

Originally published March 8, 2017. Revised March 5, 2020.

Women’s Day reminds us to honor, respect, and remember the obstacles that women have overcome and the goals they still endeavor to achieve. In family and local history we look at the women of our ancestry and communities who labored to birth, raise, and improve the lives of generations past, present, and future. There are so many stories that deserve to be shared. These are three of them. I hope you will add yours to this list.

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