Yesterday I introduced you to my very beloved maternal grandmother, Hyla Hinton Hammack Roby, whom I called “Mimi.” I told you how Mimi performed what we today would call CPR on her sister’s baby. The baby lived and lived 73 more years in good health! This all happened in Hammon, Oklahoma, a couple of years after Oklahoma became a state in 1907.
Well, that was not Mimi’s only adventure. She was also a suffragette –but a suffragette with a difference!
My grandparents were both very interested in politics. Grandfather Roby, or “Papa” as I called him was a Republican. Mimi came from a family who were all Democrats. At the time Mimi and Papa got married, Mimi, of course, could not vote because it was illegal for a lady to vote. Mimi thought that was terrible because she felt women should be able to vote. She read with great interest about the women who called themselves “Suffragettes” and who marched and protested for ladies to be given the right to vote. Mimi became so interested in the movement that she joined it and became a suffragette.
I do not know if Hammon had its own group of suffragettes or if they and nearby Oklahoma communities like Elk City, Weatherford, Clinton, etc., were organized together but whatever the arrangement, Mimi became a suffragette and she was scheduled to march in the next suffragette march! She was excited and thrilled to be doing something so worthwhile! She left Papa at home and she went to meet the other marchers! A few hours later a very bedraggled, exhausted, dusty lady came back to her nice safe house! Papa, of course, wanted to know what happened.
Mimi was shaking and crying! She had had a horrible time. She had been scared half to death. She hated being a suffragette. It was so loud and frightening. She cried and cried and begged Papa to forbid her ever to do such a dangerous thing again. Over and over she said, “Frank, forbid me to ever march again.”
Papa was a gentle man. He kept saying, “Hyla, I don’t want to forbid you. That is your decision.”
But the suffragette begged him so much that he finally forbad her ever to march again. Mimi gratefully thanked Papa for forbidding her!
And thus ended Mimi’s day of rebelling! She did, however, get to brag about being a suffragette the rest of her life!