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Medina County Historical Society marks women's right to vote

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    Cloverleaf sophomore Emily Winnicki portrays a suffragette during the Medina County Historical Society open house Sunday. The museum is celebrating the upcoming centenary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    This year, the Medina County Historical Society, 206 N. Elmwood St., Medina, will be celebrating the upcoming 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the preceding fight for women’s rights to vote.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Medina County Historical Society President Brian Feron searches through issues of The Medina Gazette from 1919 Sunday for articles related to the women’s suffrage movement.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — For the next year, the Medina County Historical Society will celebrate the roles of prominent women in Medina County along with the upcoming 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment.

“It was pretty controversial back then,” Board President Brian Feron said Sunday during an open house at the society’s 206 N. Elmwood St. museum. “Women fought long and hard to get the right to vote.

The 19th Amendment was not ratified until 1920, some 80 years after Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were denied entry into the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England, by male delegates.

The women hosted the first Women’s Rights Convention in New York eight years later.

Feron said the historical society wanted to highlight accomplished women from the history of Medina County.

Women featured in the exhibit include Ida Cannon, who operated her own grocery store in Medina after taking over the business from her father. The store introduced a home delivery service for groceries during the 1930s.

“We actually have her account register upstairs in the business room,” Feron said.

The late Diane L. Ganyard, the first female officer with the Medina Police Department, also is represented in the exhibit. After serving as a military police officer between 1973 and 1977, Ganyard joined the police department in December 1979. She was promoted to sergeant in 1984.

Ganyard died in 2008 and is buried in Western Reserve National Cemetery.

Cloverleaf sophomore Emily Winnicki decided to attend Sunday’s open house dressed as a suffragette of the women’s rights movement leading up to women gaining the right to vote.

Winnicki said she grew up going to local heritage societies and museums with her mom, who also is an avid history fan.

“She kind of fostered that idea and then we are also very into women’s rights,” Winnicki said Sunday.

Winnicki said she will be eligible to vote for the first time during the 2020 election, and is proud and thankful for her rights and wanted to honor the suffragettes who fought for that right.

Winnicki said that she enjoys learning about the suffragettes as a whole.

“Honestly all of them, I love Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul,” she said.

Paul, who died in 1977 at age 92, is widely associated with “the more militant aspects of the suffragette movement,” Winnicki said.

Feron said that the historical society still is in the process of researching prominent and successful women from Medina County history, such as who was the first female doctor or lawyer.

“Those things you have to dig a little deeper to find out,” he said. “We are trying to figure that kind of stuff out.”

The Medina County Historical Society is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, and the first Sunday of each month. For information, call the museum at (330) 722-1341.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.


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