Updated: Dec 1, 2022
This History Note shares a page or two from a scrapbook in our collection once belonging to Miss Grace Trowbridge Smith. It sheds light on the election process of 1920.
Grace Trowbridge Smith's Scrapbook
Several scrapbooks reside in the archives of the Storrs House Museum, home of the Longmeadow Historical Society. Many are collections of newspaper clippings that the keeper thought worthy of collecting during their lifetime. One of particular interest these days belonged to Miss Grace Trowbridge Smith (1880-1969) who lived all of her life in Longmeadow.
Of keen relevance right now is a clipping about the November 1920 presidential election where the Warren G. Harding/ Calvin Coolidge ticket won against the opposing James M. Cox/ Franklin D. Roosevelt ticket. This election was the first presidential election in which the women of Massachusetts could vote. Grace T. Smith’s scrapbook contains a clipping advising would-be voters to hit the polls early as the turnout was expected to be much larger than usual. The clip states: “So great is the number of ballots expected on account of the enfranchisement of women that there is fear that not all who may want to vote can do so on account of the jam. The way to avoid losing your vote is to VOTE EARLY."
Scrapbook Clipping: November 1, 1920
In 1920, Grace T. Smith would have been 40 years old. She was a 1902 graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, a schoolteacher, and unmarried. Her family was deeply involved in civic life in Longmeadow. Her brother Frank at various times had served as town clerk, town treasurer, and tax collector. Her mother, Lucy Griswold Smith, was the very first woman elected to serve on the town’s School Committee. It is easy to imagine that the experience of voting in this election would have been very meaningful to Grace.
Annual Town Reports show that 1916’s presidential election drew 392 total votes as compared to the 1920s which saw an enormous increase to 1020 total votes cast.
1916 Election Results: Longmeadow
1920 Election Results: Longmeadow
Contributed by Melissa M. Cybulski, Board Member, Longmeadow Historical Society
Originally published October 15, 2020