Alabama Humanities Alliance Road Scholar Rebekah Davis, archivist at the Limestone County Archives, will present "Sisters in Suffrage: The First Female Voters of Limestone County" at the next quarterly meeting of the Limestone County Historical Society.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which will take place 5–7 p.m. Tuesday at the Athens-Limestone Public Library. Refreshments will be served.
In her presentation, Davis tells the stories of nearly 700 Limestone County women who banded together in 1920 to register to vote for the first time. Less than two months before registration opened, the prominent men of the county had rolled out the red carpet for the "Tennessee Filibusters" from Nashville who had "stormed Athens" in an attempt to nullify Tennessee's pivotal ratification of the 19th Amendment.
The local newspaper editor at the time sang their praises, and Confederate veterans vowed to fight to keep women from voting as hard as they had fought to keep Union troops from the county borders.
But the editor's wife was one of the hundreds of women who quietly joined with their sisters — in blood and in spirit — to open the Limestone County Courthouse door and claim their right of suffrage. Many of these women have daughters and granddaughters who still live and vote in Limestone County today.
Davis, an Athens native, has been preserving and sharing the history of her hometown and county as the county's archivist since 2010. In addition to keeping centuries-old documents in good shape, helping people research their history and working to keep the historic 1905 L&N Passenger Depot standing, she shares the community's stories online, in print and through special exhibits and presentations. A graduate of the University of North Alabama, Davis has had previous careers as a journalist, co-owner of a frugal-living website and domestic engineer.