Ella Hawley Crossett
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|Born||March 21, 1853|
|Birthplace||Gainesville, New York|
|Died||December 2, 1925|
|Grave Site||Warsaw, New York|
|Contribution||A leader in regional and national suffrage organizations.|
Ella Hawley was born in Gainesville, New York on March 21, 1853, to John Waldo and Juliet Thorpe Hawley. Her parents were known for their progressive ideals, including their strong advocacy for women's suffrage. Her family moved to Warsaw (Wyoming County) New York, when she was a young girl. There, she attended the Warsaw Academy.
She married John B. Crossett of Orangeville, New York on October 22, 1878, at the age of 25. The couple settled for a number of years in Chicago where, their first child, Juliet, was born on March 20, 1880. A second daughter, Carolyn Hawley, was born on June 2, 1882, also in Chicago.
Ella Hawley Crossett and her family returned to Warsaw prior to 1890. Her husband was a partner in the Hawley Salt Works for many years before becoming president and manager of the Warsaw knitting mill. During these years, Crossett worked tirelessly for a number of causes, including the cause of women's suffrage.
Crossett's prominence in the suffrage movement can be traced to her attendance at the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Washington, D.C. in 1890, where she was a national delegate. In September of 1891 she organized a convention in Warsaw, at which Reverend Anna Howard Shaw and Susan B. Anthony spoke. At that convention, the Wyoming County Suffrage Association was formed, with Crossett named as president, a position that she held for many years. Shortly thereafter the Warsaw Political Equality Club was formed. Crossett was named president of this group as well, a position she retained until national women's suffrage was enacted into law.
By the end of the decade, Crossett had achieved statewide prominence, rising to the rank of Vice-President of the New York State Suffrage Association. In 1902 she was elected as President of the Association, a position that she held until 1910. Fanny Garrison Villard, also a suffragist and the daughter of William Lloyd Garrison (a gentleman known for his work to eliminate slavery), remembered that Crossett "attended 20 National Conventions....was present at every annual State Convention, with the exception of four....[and] was a member of the State Executive Board for over twenty years....In 1909 and 1910 she was in charge of the Suffrage Headquarters...and lived in New York [City], paying her own expenses as a contribution to the cause." Crossett also appeared before legislators in Albany in 1907, and submitted testimony to a Hearing before the United States Senate's Select Committee on Woman Suffrage, which took place in March of 1908.
Crossett's activities were not limited to fighting for the vote for women. Under her leadership, the Warsaw Political Equality Club was instrumental in seeing that women held positions on the local school board by 1893. She herself served as a school trustee for three years. Crossett was also instrumental in organizing the Warsaw Chapter of the Red Cross during the First World War. There, she chaired the committee that provided for a public town nurse. She later organized and was made honorary chair of the Women's Auxiliary of the Wyoming County Community Hospital. She was a member of the Buffalo chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Warsaw W.C.T.U., the Warsaw Grange, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in Boston. She also served as a member of the County Republican Committee once the vote was won.
Ella Hawley Crossett died on December 2, 1925, shortly after suffering a stroke while visiting her daughter Carolyn in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Ella Hawley Crossett Memorial Nurses' Home of the Wyoming County Community Hospital was dedicated to her memory. Her name also appears among the eighty-one women's suffrage pioneers listed on a bronze memorial that was placed in the New York State Capitol in 1931.
|Bibliography of Suggested Books & Articles|
|Anthony, Mary B. to Mrs. Crossett, Letter, September 8, 1895.|
|Anthony, Susan B. to Juliet S. Crossett, Letter, July 19, 1898.|
|Anthony, Susan B. and Mary [written by Susan] to Ella Crossett, Letter, December 14, 1892. Typescript.|
|Catt, Carrie Chapman to Ella Crossett. Ms. letter, New York, NY, Nov. 16, 1920. (University of Rochester Library)|
|Crossett, Ella Hawley to Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont. Ms. letter, Warsaw, NY, June 19, 1909 (University of Rochester Library).|
|"Ella Hawley Crossett," Warsaw, NY: Western New Yorker, December 10, 1925. (Typescript)|
|Excerpts from letters, diaries, newspaper articles and minutes of the Warsaw Political Equality Club, 1891-1898. Typescript. Minutes are located in the Warsaw Historical Society Building, Warsaw, NY.|
|Harper, Ida Husted, ed., History of Woman Suffrage, Susan B. Anthony and National American Woman Suffrage Association, publishers, 1902 – 1922. vols. IV, V, and VI.|
|"Information taken from the pages in the autograph book of Juliet Crossett, daughter of Ella Hawley Crossett," 1891.|
|Lind, Jean, "Ella Hawley Crossett," biographical sketch, July 1998, Historical Wyoming, Vol. 45, No. 1, Page1.|
|Mills, Harriet May, "Ella Hawley Crossett," The Woman Citizen, February 1926 (typescript).|
|"Suffragists Elect Mrs. Crossett of Warsaw President," The Buffalo Courier, October 31, 1902. Newspaper article in University of Rochester Libraries.|
"Tributes to Mrs. [Ella Hawley] Crossett at the dedication of the Nurses Home in Warsaw, N.Y. Speakers: Dr. Thomson, Harriet May Mills [Vice-President at Large and then President of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association after Ella Hawley Crossett resigned]." 1927. Available at the University of Rochester.
|U.S. Senate, Hearing Before the Select Committee on Woman Suffrage of the United States Senate, Doc. No. 409, Washington, DC: GPO, 1908.|
|Villard, Fanny Garrison, "Tribute to the Memory of Mrs. Crossett, December 29, 1925," typescript.|
|Watrous, Hilda R. (The Capitol Commission) to Historian, Wyoming County, Letter, January 27, 1986. Available in the office of Wyoming County Historian, 26 Linwood Ave., Warsaw, NY.|
|Photocopies of newspaper articles, source unidentified,
pertaining to the marriage of Juliet Crossett and Carolyn Crossett.
|There is also a short biography of EHC in Leonard, John William, ed., Woman’s Who’s Who of America, 1914-1915, NY: The American Commonwealth Co., c1914 (not consulted for this biography).|
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