Ladies First

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912” by Diane Eickhoff.

 In 1922, Emporia Gazette Editor William Allen White famously said, “When anything is going to happen in this country, it happens first in Kansas.” White’s statement easily applies to women’s suffrage in the Sunflower State. Kansas women gained the vote in 1912, eight years before Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting voting rights to all American women.

The road to suffrage was not easy. Kansas women had to overcome many obstacles, including the indifference of their own sex and the fear many had of being considered “unladylike.” Diane Eickhoff’s Speakers Bureau presentation, “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912,” revisits the women’s suffrage campaigns of 1859, 1867, 1894, and 1912 to explore how suffragists gained the right to vote.

Diane Eickhoff

Diane Eickhoff


Diane Eickhoff is an independent historian, writer, and editor of education materials. Her biography of Clarina Nichols, Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights, was named a Kansas Notable Book in 2007.

You can attend Diane Eickhoff’s “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912” on Saturday, August 16th in Wichita. You can also bring this topic or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at) for more information.

Image: Poster for women’s suffrage meeting in WaKeeney, 1894. Image via, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.