The Bradford County Historical Society has released its fourth and final issue of their quarterly magazine of history and biography, The Settler, for this year.
According to Henry Farley, editor of the publication, this issue of the magazine is devoted to the 100th anniversary of the formal ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. A compilation of local newspaper articles from 1920 tells the story of Bradford County women from registering to vote to the election of Nov. 2, 1920.
The following is an excerpt from the Sayre Evening Times, Sept. 4, 1920.
Bradford County has 9,150 Women who will vote
Official and complete returns from every assessor in Bradford County show that 9,150 women have been registered as voters. It had been estimated that there were about 17,000 women of 21 or more years in the county who would be eligible to vote if they registered and paid their tax.
The total for male voters will not be completed for a week or more but indications point to an enrollment of between 15,000 and 16,000.
Towanda Borough has more voters than any other district in the county though it ranks third in population. Athens and Sayre being larger. There are 1,482 women registered at Towanda as compared to 827 in Sayre and 677 in Athens. Canton has 424 women voters, Troy 317, and Wyalusing 228.
Among the townships Tuscarora is first with 225. Canton has 195, Columbia has 194, Wysox 192, Ulster 188 and Troy, 176 while Wyalusing has 177.
The smallest registration among the boroughs is in Burlington, where 39 women are registered. Among the townships Armenia, with 48, has the smallest registration.
Among the 72 districts the second ward of Towanda Borough ranks first having 565 women registered. The third ward of Towanda Borough ranks second with 518. Burlington Borough has the smallest registration of any one district, its total being 39.
The last of the returns were received at the county commissioner’s office late yesterday afternoon.
The next step for the women who are registered as voters will be the payment of the 30-cent tax levied by the county commissioners.
Chief Clerk Prince said yesterday that the work of preparing the lists for the tax collectors is already underway ad that it is expected all collectors will be ready to start work by September 15.
The responsibility for the payment of the tax rests with the women, as they must go to the collector and make the payment. The collectors will not send notices to the individual taxpayers, though they are likely to give public notice that they are ready to receive the taxes, fixing dates at which they will be at specified places.
In paying the tax women should obtain a receipt. This should be carefully preserved and taken to the polls on Election Day for presentation if demand is made.
Thus three more steps remain for the women before they mark the ballot: (1) Payment of the 30 cent tax to the district collector; (2) obtaining of a receipt form the collector when the tax is paid; (3) taking of the receipt to the polls when going to vote on election day.
The Settler is available at the Bradford County Museum located at 109 Pine St. in Towanda. The research library is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Due to the current COVID restrictions patrons must have an appointment to use the library. Call (570) 265-2240 for more information.
The Bradford County Historical Society, founded in 1870, is one of the oldest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The Bradford County Historical Society is a recipient agency of the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission, the Bradford County United Way, The Endless Mountains Heritage Region, and the Bradford County Room Tax grant program.