Ada Mantha Hall
(1861/75–1943) Ada was active in the suffrage movement in New York from 1899 through roughly 1912. A survivor of what her father described as “mild attacks of temporary insanity,” after losing first her mother and then stepmother, with whom she was close, Ada spent some time in at least two mental institutions before “recovering” from suicidal tendencies. Her immersion in community and society groups was suggested as her self-created cure, with Ada joining the Browning Society, a local poetry group, and becoming the club's secretary in 1896.
By 1899, Ada's interests had turned to women's rights and she became active in the Syracuse Women's Educational and Industrial Union, founded in 1886 with the aim of improving the ""physical, intellectual and moral condition of women and children."" Ada's work there launched an Employment Bureau designed to help young women find gainful employment. Her efforts to ensure education and work for local women led to her involvement with the New York Trades School for Girls and Day Nursery in Syracuse, where she served on the Board until 1912.
Through her work in the aforementioned groups, Ada was drawn into the suffrage movement. By 1901, she was described in the local press as "an ardent suffragist," serving as the corresponding secretary for the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, attending statewide and national suffrage conventions, donating $5.00 annually to the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) (roughly $130 in today's money), and making connections with the major players in the movement, including Carrie Chapman Catt and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Ada served as a de-facto touring manager for both women during their lecture tours throughout New York State in 1902 and 1903, hosting Catt at her home and arranging speaking engagements across the state for Gilman.
Ada Hall also began to lecture herself, speaking on suffrage, architecture, and women's rights starting in 1904. Around the same time, she joined Syracuse's Political Equality Society and became their auditor.
(Courtesy of AlexanderStreet.com)
Section 24, Plot 66
940 Comstock Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210