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January 10, 1870 Maud Younger was born to a very wealthy family in California.  When she was only 12 she lost her mother.  By the time she was 30 her wealthy father moved to Paris and both her sisters married Austrian Barons.  She, however, was focused on the treatment of women, particularly those who worked outside the home for a living. 

Maud took a number of jobs waitressing to investigate the working conditions of women.  She then organized a waitress’s union and helped organize the San Francisco Wage Earners’ Suffrage League.  She (often referred to as the “Millionaire Waitress”) wanted to ensure that the suffrage movement took into consideration the issues facing women laborers.

Maud’s visit to Knoxville in 1917 as a part of the National Women’s Party’s “Dixie Tour” played an important role in the weakening of the antisffragists’ grip on the South.

Our local Sheriff Calloway decided to bar Maud from speaking at the Courthouse although she had gone to great lengths to get the necessary permission.  The Sheriff and his ten armed deputies refused to let her enter the Courthouse.  The local Labor Council had heard about the plan,  By one account, 80 armed men from the Labor Council defended the suffragists and chased the Sheriff and deputies into the Courthouse and barred their exit so the meeting could proceed. 

Maud seized the opportunity and took to the steps of the Courthouse as a stage. She recounted the plight of suffragists in the North who were arrested, imprisoned in deplorable conditions, beaten, force fed and terrorized just for asking for the vote.  Her words stirred a number of actions by those in the audience who had previously been relatively inactive supporters. 

New doors opened for the suffragists in the remainder of the “Dixie Tour” and against all odds it was right here in Tennessee where the last battle for suffrage was fought and won nearly three years later.

January 10, 1870, the birthdate of Maud Younger was a good day indeed!