Mary E. Kennedy Welch (abt 1825-1909)
The election of one school trustee, district clerk and librarian took place at the trustees’ room, corner Market and State streets, Wednesday, H. B. Millard was elected to succeed James H. Weaver as trustee. John M. Chambers and Mrs. Kate M. Dudden were elected their own successors as district clerk and librarian without opposition. The trusteeship was warmly contested. The number of votes polled was 507 as follows: For H. B. Millard 246, E. L. Rowe, 242, Mrs. Mary E. Welch 109. The percentage of ladies voting was very much larger than on any previous occasion. Their ballots were cast promiscuously for all the candidates.
Ex-Trustee Weaver, who declined a reelection, retires after nine years of arduous service, having served three successive terms. During this time the number of school houses have been increased from two to four and the number of teachers has been more than doubled. He has always been an earnest worker in promoting the cause of education and a staunch friend of the public school system.
Lansingburgh Courier. October 14, 1882: 5 col 2.
At the election at Lansingburgh upon a question of water works Tuesday, Mrs. Mary Welch and Mrs. Caroline Gilkey Rogers offered their votes as taxpayers, but the inspectors, members of the board of trustees, refused to receive them, on the ground that the ladies were not, under the law, entitled to express themselves in the matter. Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Welch, who are both taxpayers, and whose names appear upon the assessment rolls of the village, object to this. They claim that the call issued for the election meant them just as much as it did any other taxpayers, in that it specifically stated “the taxable inhabitants” were requested to vote upon the question. Inasmuch as the success of the election involved the expenditure of a large sum of money, it would appear that women taxpayers ought to have a voice as well as men. There ought hardly to be a distinction where there is so little difference.
The Woman’s Journal 14(50). December 15, 1883: 398.
OUR NEW YORK LETTER.
Friday, on my way home, I stopped for a few hours to visit Mrs. Caroline Gilkey Rogers in her artistic home, in Lansingburgh. During the summer Mrs. Rogers held several parlor meetings at different points — Bradford, Penn., Salamanca, Phelps, and Lyons, N. Y. The school meeting here took place last week. The contest was very close and exciting. Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Welch were nominated by one party, and over a thousand votes were polled. Years ago, only about fifty men languidly appeared at school meeting, but since women have been voters the attendance has been large and the interest marked. The number of women voters was reduced by an arbitrary decision that mothers of children could not cast a ballot, and that as the father alone owns the child, the mother has no claim. Bitter indignation was excited by this tyrannical action, but this exclusion of a large number of women-voters defeated the election of women as trustees. L. D. B.
The Woman’s Journal 15(38). September 20, 1884: 304.
Mrs. S. P. Welch of Lansingburgh has been elected vice president for Rensselaer county of the New York state woman’s suffrage association, whose headquarters are at Rochester.
“Personal.” Troy Daily Times. June 5, 1891: 3 col 1.
A number of ladies and gentlemen interested in the extension of suffrage to women met last evening at the residence of Mrs. Mary E. Welch, 573 Second avenue, Lansingburgh, and formed a “Political Equality club,” the object of which shall be to further the cause of female suffrage. Among those attending the meeting were Mr. and Mrs. H. Clay Bascom, Mrs. Stephen Parks, Mrs. George P. Allen, Mrs. Eliza Hicks and Mrs. Holloway. Mrs. Welch was made temporary president, Mrs. Hicks secretary and Mrs. Holloway treasurer. The club adopted a constitution, determined the requisites for membership and adjourned to meet again in the autumn, when active steps toward securing legislative enactments will be instituted. Among the plans which the members of the club will seek to carry out will be to select delegates to attend the state constitutional convention in May of next year who will favor remodeling the New York state constitution so that the word “male” in the description of persons designated as having the right to vote at general elections may be eliminated. The club also favors female representations in the Lansingburgh board of education, and will place candidates for school trustees in nomination for the annual school meeting in August. Mrs. Sarah A. Kenney of Troy sent a message, telling the promoters of the club that she regretted not being able to meet with them last evening and expressing sympathy with the cause they advocate.
Troy Daily Times. June 16, 1893: 2 col 7.