1920-1929


August 7, 1920 — Kentucky Irish American

+++++“Topeka, Kan., July 15 — Women suffrage and women’s club leaders generally today rallied to the support of the position taken by Mrs. Margaret Hill McCarter yesterday in refusing to give her age when she went to register as a voter. Mrs. McCarter declares she will contest the ruling which was based on a decision of the Attorney General that a woman can not register unless she give her age more definitely than “over twenty-one.” “It’s a club men hold over women to prevent them from voting,” declared Mrs. Lila Day Monroe, woman lawyer and well known suffragist.
+++++The dear, sweet suffragette wants all the rights and privileges she can wheedle or worry out of an indulgent world, but she shies at obligations abroad as well as at home. If she can not overcome her conceit in the matter of revealing her age, how is she to be expected to meet the emergency of a public crisis, that may call for real self-denial? And patriotism, after all, is the habit of holding one’s own interests subservient to those of the State — Catholic Telegraph”


August 14, 1920 — Santa Cruz Evening News

+++++“. . . A prominent woman lawyer of New York City still reads ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to fortify herself for the prosecution of a case; she considers the courtroom scene of the trial of the Mad Hatter the finest piece of satire in literature.”


August 28, 1920 — Lincoln Evening Journal

+++++“Lawyer Makes Judge Gasp”

+++++“A lawyer refused to benefit by the court’s order, which would have given her a $350 fee immediately. The judge gasped with surprise. It was a woman lawyer — Helen M. Kaufman.”


August 18, 1921 — Tribune

+++++“Women jurors complained in court here that they could not give their undivided attention to the court and evidence because their skirts were so short that their silk clad legs were being stared at so much by the men folks. Instead of lengthening their skirts, the simple way to have cured the trouble, if it really was objectionable to them, they had the court have a board screen built in front of the jury box. What then is the use of wearing short skirts, is the question that naturally comes up in the masculine mind?”


August 22, 1921–Ottawa Herald

+++++“Women Jurors in Case. Twelve Chosen at St. Joseph to Decide Women’s Feud.”

+++++“What is believed to be the first women jury in the state is sitting today in the justice court of J. W. Wilson in St. Joseph in the case of the state against Mr. and Mrs. A. Husky, charged with destruction of private property. Twelve women were impanelled [sic], attorneys on both sides agreeing to try the case before women.
+++++When neither side challenged all 12 women were used instead of the customary six that tries justice court cases. So large a crowd attended that adjournment was taken to the circuit court room. Several hundred spectators, mostly women, were present. Attorneys in questioning the jury women courteously refrained from asking their ages as they do with male juries, but each was asked her views.
+++++There are 11 Democrats and one Republican on the jury. The case is the outgrowth of a feminine feud and for this reason it was considered ideal for women to try.”


August 28, 1921 — Atlanta Constitution

+++++“Are Men More Merciful Than Women?
+++++“Mrs. Eva Kaber, Who Refused to Have Women Jurors When Tried for Murder, by Ethel Thurston”

+++++“When Mrs. Eva Kaber went to trial the other day in Cleveland, charged with the murder of her husband, she was given the option of accepting or rejecting five women as members of the jury which would decide her fate. Without hesitancy she had her attorneys strike out the name of each woman called. She refused to permit a single woman on this jury, she said, because women are absolutely merciless when judging their own sex.
+++++For days she was haunted by the fear that at least one woman might be passed as eligible. She trembled lest she be exposed to that consuming appetite for vicarious revenge which, in Mrs. Kaber’s belief, exists in the mind of every woman.  Only when the twelve seats were filled entirely with men did she breathe freely.  She regarded this as first blood for the defence.
+++++Mrs. Kaber’s attitude was elaborated somewhat by Francis W. Poulson of the Kaber counsel. ‘Women haven’t the experience necessary for jury service,’ he said. ‘I mean the experience in life which would enable them to appreciate how easily a certain type of man can turn his wife’s existence into a hell on earth. They are relentless in judging their own sex. Nine out of ten women would have Mrs. Kaber electrocuted. Even after hearing all the horrible details of her story, they would have no sympathy for her. They would not be able to understand because of their limited experience in life. Men, because of their broader experiences, have more sympathy.’
+++++All of which suggests what another woman said of her sex in a recently published article. She thought: ‘If Jesus had allowed a crowd of women to judge the Magdalene she would have been stoned to death — even by the women in the crowd who were as guilty as she.’
+++++Further illumination is shed on the questions of a woman’s attitude toward another woman by a civil suit tried recently in Newark, New Jersey. The suit involved a $400 contract for flour, with a woman lawyer, Miss Elizabeth Blume, acting as attorney for the plaintiff. A man represented the defence — an attractive, tactful man, who evidently knew a lot about women — and nine women were on the jury. The plaintiff lost the case. Miss Blume straightway appealed the case on the ground that the male lawyer had vamped the female jury out of their reasoning power.
+++++‘My case was won,’ she said, ‘until the male lawyer for the defence began to pay them compliments that turned their heads. I actually heard one of them say she didn’t even know what the case was about.’
+++++Coming as these incidents do at the outset of woman’s assumption of jury duties, they may have a profound effect on jurisprudence.
+++++There was a time when men objected to women jurors because of their belief that women would be swayed by sentimental and immaterial considerations. She would allow the kind of necktie that the prosecuting attorney wore to decide her verdict, they argued, or permit the theatrical tears of some fraudulent adventuress to melt all reason and logic out of their hearts. This objection was pooh-poohed out of court. Women knew better than that.
+++++Then came a woman judge with the pronunciamento that no longer would a weeping woman be allowed to jog the elbow of justice. Husbands would be given a square deal in her court. This statement was widely celebrated by both sexes as indisputable evidence of a woman’s capacity for that fine discrimination necessary for handing out exact justice, which she was always supposed to lack. Men were really the sentimental ones, cried the feminists. Had a jury of men ever been known to convict a pretty woman?
+++++Women’s performances as jurors at first tended to confirm the contention of their advocates. They certainly showed no sentimental consideration on account of attractive sartorial displays or for tears either. In the light of the opinions expressed by Mrs. Kaber and her counsel, the issue is clouded again — or perhaps after all it is only receding to that elemental basis of sex.
+++++As Mrs. Kaber’s attorney pointed out, all of the women talesmen who were summoned invariably announced themselves ready to convict on circumstantial evidence or pronounce the penalty of death if the facts seemed to justify it. On the other hand, a number of the men examined declared against capital punishment. This, no doubt, was what first started the lawyers to speculating on the reactions of the woman juror to one of her own sex. The consistency of their several attitudes smacked more of heartlessness than of adherence to the principles of exact justice. At least it seemed to to Mrs. Kaber.
+++++Mrs. Kaber may have thought of Byron’s epigram: ‘Revenge is sweet — especially to women.’ At any rate she believed it was so. She evidently believed another famous poet, Rudyard Kipling, when he said ‘the female of the species is more deadly than the male.’ She acted as if she did.
+++++What, then, becomes of the argument that men are sentimental and women are literal minded? If there were any way of collecting enough evidence to justify a generalization the truth of the matter would probably be that some men are sentimental and some women are literal minded but that no matter what superficial qualities have been imposed on them by social intercourse, they are first of all men and women. Scientists, not to consider particularly Mr. Freud and his disciples, give considerable support to this view.
+++++In other words, woman may ordinarily be clear-headed or the reverse in her mental processes, but when she is called upon to sit in judgment upon one of her own sex considerations of sentiment as well as logic go by the board. The elemental factor of sex prevails. She becomes original woman.”


August 8, 1922 — The Evening World

+++++“Woman Juror and Lawyer to Stay, But, My! They’re Temperamental
+++++Tears of Prisoners Prevent Unbiased Verdict; Lawyer Faints When Clients are Sentenced

+++++Los Angeles — The problem of the woman and her status in court practice increases rather than diminishes, legal experts declared here to-day. Southern California is pioneering for the rest of the country. Here women lawyers are prominent, women jurors the rule, not the exception.
+++++The woman lawyer and the woman juror have come to stay. The question is not to get rid of them, but how to fit them into the court atmosphere, especially that of the criminal court. How to meet the temperamental demands of their finer and softer nature presents the problem that must be solved, officials declared.
+++++It was believed that every demand for the comfort and peace of mind of the woman juror had been met here with the establishment of comfortable jury rooms and separate quarters for men and women jurors.
+++++But now have come revelations of the secrets of the jury room in the second trial of Madelynne Obenchain for the sensational slaying of J. Belton Kennedy.
+++++The final vote on the second trial was six for conviction to six for acquittal, four of the women on the jury voting innocence and three voting guilt. The foreman, Merritt E. Paddock, who voted steadfastly for a verdict of guilty, says it was the emotional appeal of the jury’s surroundings that resulted in the failure to agree. The jury room in which they deliberated is just across the court from and overlooks the County Jail.
+++++Paddock claims two of the women could not keep their eyes off the prisoners in the jail, men and women gazing out through the bars, some of the women crying, which brought tears to the eyes of the women jurors, some becoming hysterical.
+++++Under such circumstances, Paddock told the District Attorney, no jury could have convicted.
+++++Then there is the question of the emotions of the woman lawyer. In the old days it was the prisoner at the bar who fainted when sentence was pronounced, the lawyer unruffled.
+++++Mrs. Ida May Adams, a lawyer, some days ago undertook the defense of two men charged with stealing $16,000 worth of furs from a department store.
+++++She appealed for probation when she entered a guilty plea and was smiling encouragement to the pair when the court sentenced them to from one to five years in the penitentiary. Mrs. Adams fainted and was carried from the court room; the prisoners without a change of expression or a backward glance marched from the court room to their cells.
+++++Whether the judge will have to be careful of possible effect on the attorney in pronouncing sentence rather than on the prisoners, when there is a woman lawyer, is now discussed.”


August 10, 1922 — The Ottowa Herald

+++++“Fifty Women Lawyers

+++++San Francisco — Of course the subject cannot properly come before the convention of the American Bar association now in session here, but in the lobbies of the down town hotels — wherever a coterie of modern portias gather — the question “what shall we wear in court” is holding its own.
+++++There are 50 women lawyers in the association and out of the discussion thus far it has been hinted that any effort to standardize women’s dress when she please a case before the bar will be vigorously opposed.”


August 13, 1922 — Charlotte News

+++++“New York to Have More Women Judges

+++++An interesting ruling was recently made by the Attorney General of New York state. It is that the office of judge of children’s courts is open to women, even though they haven’t legal training, provided they are over 21, American citizens, and residents of the state and county, as required generally of candidates for county offices. This will make easier the establishment of children’s courts, and help save youthful offenders from the stigma of trial in criminal tribunals.”


August 16, 1922 — San Bernardino County Sun

+++++“Open opposition can be fought by women lawyers, but what can you do with a man who pats you on the shoulder, so to speak, and says, ‘Run along, little girl.’ Clara Shortridge Foltz”


August 20, 1922 — Charlotte News

+++++“Discriminatory Law Rile Leaders of Woman’s Party; Feminine Lawyers Ferret Out ‘Sins of Man-Made Statutes’ Against Weaker Sex — Georgia Seems Greatest Offender — Probe of Laws of 18 States”

+++++“To date the sins of eighteen States against women have been uncovered by the National Woman’s Party. The most heinous of sins in the eyes of the feminists consists in the refusal of a State to recognize the equality of women in all legal matters.
+++++Burrowing fast into the voluminous state codes contained in the library of the United States Supreme Court, the ten women lawyers working under the direction of Alice Paul are ferreting out the discriminations against women. As soon as a complete list of the transgressions against the sex in one code has been unearthed the shame of that state is flaunted to the world in pamphlet form.”
+++++It is hard to determine which of the States is guiltiest from the feminist point of view, certainly not one of the eighteen is entirely blameless. Judging merely superficially, Georgia seems to have received the most black marks from the recording angels at work in the Supreme Court library.
+++++Under any and all circumstances, the husband is the head of the family in Georgia. The parson may have sonorously announced that the two should be made one but in Georgia, the husband is the one.
+++++‘The husband is the head of the family and the wife is subject to him; her legal civil existence is merged in the husband,’ is the way the law reads in that wicked state.
+++++Ed Scott and his wife Belle lived in Hall county, Georgia. She rented the house in which they lived, and supported the husband by teaching school. She complained that a drunken man by the name of Patterson invaded her home and used ‘vulgar and profane’ language. Her husband claimed that the man was not drunk, and that he was a suitable associate and that he ‘behaved most decorously.’ Whether or not the drunken man could be punished for his invasion of the house depended upon whose home it was. The court said: ‘No matter who paid the rent — the true legal, relation of husband and wife in her (the wife’s) mind is reversed. She puts the petticoats in a more advanced position than the pantaloons. Where husband and wife reside together, whatever else she may be head of, he is head of the house.’
+++++Neither does the Mississippi law recognize marriage as a partnership between equals. Here, too, the husband may welcome or exclude any one he wishes from the home for any reason or no reason at all. For instance the following case was taken from the legal record.
+++++‘Colonel X refused to allow his stepson, the only child of Mrs. X to visit her. The court upheld him, stating that “he had a perfect right, as master of the house, to exclude any person from his door and to determine who should receive a visitor by his wife, whether or not the grounds upon which he acted were sufficient to justify him in a moral point of view.”‘
+++++Maryland is one of the few States where it is possible for a father to appoint by will a guardian for his children other than the mother, and in spite of the opposition of the mother. It is therefore possible for a father in Maryland today, just as in ancient times, by will to tear young children from their mother’s care, and to hand them over to a stranger, or to someone whom the mother thinks is entirely unsuited to bring up a child.
+++++In Louisiana the mother’s authority over her legitimate minor children is inferior in every way to that of the father. By Louisiana law children owe obedience, honor and respect to their father and mother. But in case the parents disagree, the father’s will is the only one to be honored, respected and obeyed. In Louisiana an attorney recently adopted Grotius to the effect that ‘if the commands of the mother and father clash, the father is to be obeyed upon account of the excellence of his sex.’
+++++Whoopee! ‘The excellence of his sex!’ and may be that expression didn’t make the feminists mad.
+++++In the laws of most of the States the rights of the father are in every way superior to those of the mother but the mother is the sol guardian of the illegitimate child. In Virginia the father of an illegitimate child, responsible equally with the mother for the birth of the child, has no legal responsibility for its care and support. The mother must bear alone society’s disapproval and the legal obligation to educate, support and take care of the child. There is no law in Virginia by which an unmarried mother may demand aid from the father of the child for its support. In Florida a mother may bring a bastardy complaint against the father and if she wills all that the father can be compelled to pay is $50 a year for ten years towards the child’s support and education, plus the expenses of the birth of the child.
+++++The earnings of a wife are under the control of her husband in Vermont and in Maryland. In Michigan, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Colorado, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, the husband owns the services of the wife within the home. She can not require him to pay her wages nor can she claim the money she makes from keeping boarders. In many States a married woman may not make a business contract without the consent of the husband, nor can she legally enter a business partnership with her husband. In Michigan, a wife was restrained from conducting a competitive business against her husband after disagreeing with him and neither could she secure a divorce. . . . ”


August 23, 1922 — Kinston Free Press

+++++“Mrs. Ed Sladden believes in standing up for her rights to the point of subduing the entire police department, if necessary. The other evening, she was standing on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 24th Street, waiting for her husband — and incidentally smoking a cigarette. A shocked policeman struck it from her hand, whereupon she marched her husband to the police station to demand an apology. She is going to push the matter, too, and has retained a woman lawyer to represent her. Not anger, but rights, is what she’s moved by, she explains.”


August 9, 1923 — The News

+++++“In proportion to population Kansas leads the States in the number of its women lawyers.”


August 12, 1924 — Santa Ana Register

+++++“Women Lawyers Advised to Drop Mannish Styles.

+++++The fifteenth annual convention of the Women Lawyers’ association met at the University of Pennsylvania.
+++++Dr. Ellen Spencer Mussey told the delegates that ‘the flat-heeled, sailor-hatted, high-collared woman lawyer is out of date.’ She continued:
+++++‘Feminism is now an asset to women attorneys.  It is the girl with real womanly qualities who now appeals to the judges and juries. She should be as attractive as possible, and her social instincts are a positive asset.'”


August 27, 1924 — Modesto Evening News

“Utah Portia

+++++The first woman to be admitted to the Utah bar is Miss Rebecca Garelick, native of Russia, but now resident in Salt Lake City. ‘But there’s never been a woman lawyer in Utah,’ her friends remonstrated, when she started her studies. ‘All the more reason for me to be one,’ the girl retorted. Recently the state supreme court admitted her.”


August 26, 1925 — Oakland Tribune by Ad Schuster

+++++“The only woman police court judge in the West is Georgia Bullock of Los Angeles. In a courtroom which is much the same as those over which men preside, she listens to the old, old stories of the streets and alleys. She is not a woman playing in a man’s job; she makes no effort to dress or act like a man. What she aims to do is to be a police judge and she can’t see why a woman cannot fill that office as well as a man.
+++++In a few years there will be many women judges. One need but read the lists published the other day of those who passed the bar examinations in California to see that women are entering the profession in large numbers.  A few years ago there were none and even today it is estimated there are not more than 2000 women attorneys in the United States, while in New York alone, there are 10,000 men who are lawyers. There is not a woman lawyer in Delaware. North Dakota has five. California, New York, the District of Columbia and Illinois have 1000.
+++++The idea of a woman judge is still new enough to cause persons to ask how she dresses, if she favors the pleas of women over those of men, and if she decorates a courtroom according to feminine standards. Judge Bullock has a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair and so favors suits that are brown. She is said to be a decidedly feminine person, dressed in the mode, dignified and attractive and the court is like all others with but one woman’s touch, a vase of orange blossoms.  And Judge Georgia does not favor the women any more than men judges favor their sex.
+++++‘To my way of thinking,’ she says, ‘this world is no more man’s than woman’s and I see no reason why women are not equipped as well mentally for making important decisions from the bench as men.’
+++++Perhaps this will interest the women. Georgie Bullock was married at 19 and did not take up the study of law until her daughter and son were well along in school. Then she dug into the big books and old precedents and it was just twelve years ago she was given her degree.”


August 17, 1926 — Times (San Mateo, CA)

+++++“Woman Judge Wants Honesty in Field of Advertising

+++++Perhaps the fact that women are good shoppers and read price advertising influenced Judge Mary Jane Spurhn in coming to the defense of truthful advertising.
Judge Spurhn, Oregon’s only woman district judge, recently fined a groceryman $1 for advertising one brand of goods and selling another. It was explained that a clerical error caused the mistake but the woman judge held that such mistakes cost money.”


August 19, 1926 — Shamokin News-Dispatch

+++++“An appeal to the state supreme court, from a verdict of guilty and a sentence of life imprisonment in a second degree murder case, was argued before the justices of Florida’s highest tribunal by a woman — the first feminine attorney ever to make a formal appearance before the court.
+++++She is Miss Effie Knowles, a member of the Miami bar, young, pretty, modishly dressed, wearing bobbed hair, and a ‘self-made’ lawyer.  She is the sixth attorney to take the case of the convicted man in charge, five masculine lawyers previously having counseled her client . . . .”


August 16, 1927 — Santa Ana Register

+++++“Woman Judge Receives Death Threat

+++++An investigation into death threats received by Judge Georgia Bullock, California’s only woman magistrate, was launched by county and federal authorities today. A note, signed ‘Blackhand Boston,’ the third received in a month, read as follows ‘Georgie: Leave the state at once or your life will go and you will get this. You cannot escape.’ A crude drawing of a revolver was on the note.
+++++Judge Bullock attributed the note to the work of a crank.”


August 22, 1927 — Reading Times

+++++“Woman Judge Fines Man as Drunk and Weds Him Next Day”

+++++“Miss Helen Carr, 25-year-old Galesburg justice of the peace, fined George Lewis five dollars in her court on an intoxication charge and then married him the next day, it was revealed today.
+++++The secret marriage took place last Jan. 10, at Burlington, Iowa.”


August 23, 1927 — Ogden Standard-Examiner

+++++“Woman Lawyer Wed — Helen McCormick, formerly assistant county district attorney  in Brooklyn, presumably will try some of the advice she has given other women. Often in an official capacity she urged wives to avoid arguments, to dress neatly at breakfast and to let their husbands rest in the evening instead of dragging them out.  Now she is married herself. Her husband is Patrick O’Toole, owner of a chain of grocery stores.  She remains Helen McCormick professionally.”


August 16, 1928 — Lebanon Daily News

+++++“Woman in Knickers Chased Out of Court By Woman Judge

+++++“The action of Mrs. Belle D. Russell, East Haddam’s woman judge, in stopping court proceedings to eject a woman clad in knickers from the court room has aroused considerable comment.
Mrs. Anna Hamburg, a New York summer resident and witness in a minor case, was told to leave the court room.
+++++‘But I’m a witness,’ she protested.
+++++‘Go home and get on other clothes,’ ordered Judge Russell.
+++++‘I live 10 miles from here,’ the woman said.
+++++Well, you can’t testify in those clothes,’ the court declared. ‘You’ll have to leave the court room.'”


August 20, 1929 — Santa Ana Register

+++++“A public lecture on ‘The Spoil-Child of Civilization,’ will be presented . . . by Myrtle B. Anderson, prominent Negro woman lawyer of New York City. Miss Anderson is a leader in her profession and one of the outstanding women of her race. She has also achieved much success on the lecture platform, especially on the Chautauqua circuit. . . ”


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