Historic marker to honor Georgetown’s Margaret White Houston Oct. 23

October 21, 2021

In commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women’s right to vote, the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation have partnered to launch a historic marker program identifying individuals and events connected to the history of women’s suffrage. Historic markers awarded through the Pomeroy Foundation’s grant program highlight sites on the National Votes for Women Trail, a project of the NCWHS.

A Pomeroy marker honoring Georgetown’s Margaret White Houston (1864-1937) will be dedicated at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Georgetown Public Library, 123 West Pine St., Georgetown. All are welcome.

Margaret Houston was a major figure in Delaware’s struggle for women’s right to vote. She helped establish the Georgetown New Century Club, which in turn founded the town’s public library. In 1920, Houston was a founding vice president of the Delaware League of Women Voters.

Her suffrage leadership began in 1896, when at a meeting in Wilmington, she became vice president of the newly formed Delaware Equal Suffrage Association. In 1897, she and three colleagues testified before a convention drafting Delaware’s new state constitution, lobbying the men to eliminate the word “male” from the stated qualifications for voting. In 1898, when white club women in the state came together to create the State Federation of Women’s Clubs, Houston represented the newly formed Georgetown New Century Club, of which she was president, at the organizing meeting.

Throughout the years, Margaret Houston was a firm and consistent supporter of suffrage in her home county, Sussex. In 1919 and 1920, as Delaware’s suffragists lobbied for a special session of the Legislature to consider ratifying the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, and then mounted a vigorous ratification campaign, Houston represented Sussex County’s suffragists. She volunteered as ratification chair from her county, and wrote a key letter to a Wilmington newspaper testifying to the support that women in towns like hers gave to the suffrage cause.

For her many achievements, in 2020 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women.

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