Sarah Helen Warrick Blaisdell Whitney (1873-1963)
By Diane Getzinger, Independent Historian
This biographical sketch was first published on the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States and appears here by permission. That database is accessible at https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/VOTESforWOMEN
President of the Glassboro Equal Suffrage League, Secretary of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association
Sarah Helen Warrick was born in 1873 to Woodward Warrick and Emma Price of Glassboro, New Jersey. She was the second youngest of eight children – five boys and three girls. Woodward was a nationally known pioneer glassworker. He was an ardent Republican, a one-term state senator, and a Gloucester County freeholder for many years. He died at age 85 in 1897.
As a young adult, Miss S. Helen Warrick attended several social events at the Fenimore Hotel and held the ladies’ bicycle record of Baltimore.
On May 27, 1911, Sarah Helen Warrick married 64-year-old Camden widow Elijah Galond Blaisdell. He was a 40-year veteran of the Pennsylvania Railroad and long-time claim agent for the company’s New Jersey District. Elijah and his first wife, Julia Fellows (who died in 1904), had two daughters Clara and Viola. The younger, Clara, died at the age of four in 1883. Viola worked as a mathematics teacher at Camden High School (retiring in 1938) and was an active supporter of the Camden YWCA.
Elijah and Helen (along with Viola) first lived in Bridgeton, and then in the Glassboro home of Helen’s mother, Emma, and finally on a farm in Stockton. Elijah Blaisdell died in 1918, just two years after retiring. His obituary noted, “He was one of the most widely known railroad men in this section, and will be remembered for his strong and sterling character.”
On May 16, 1923 Helen Warrick Blaisdell married George W. Whitney. Helen Warrick Whitney died on June 4, 1963 in Monongalia County, West Virginia.
Mrs. E. G. Blaisdell held prominent positions in local and statewide political organizations – both with the suffrage movement and the Republican party – but only from 1915 until 1921. (Author’s note: It is unclear whether her activism ceased after 1921 or whether it could no longer be found due to a change in her name and/or residence, as I was also unable to locate her on any U.S. census records after that time.)
Her political and suffrage roles included:
- In May, 1915, she was chosen president of the new Glassboro Equal Suffrage League.
- In June, 1915, she was part of the New Jersey delegation to the National Republican Convention in Chicago, which promised to support a suffrage plank in the platform.
- In May 1916, she represented Gloucester County at a conference of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association executive board in Trenton, where the main topic of discussion was an upcoming suffrage education campaign planned for the summer.
- In June 1916, she participated in a suffrage parade at the Republican National Convention in Chicago that was promised to be “one of the most picturesque suffrage demonstrations ever planned.”
- In November1917, she was elected secretary at the annual convention of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association (NJWSA) in Trenton. At the convention the group called for the following resolutions: 1) petitioning the State Legislature to pass a bill providing for maternal insurance to provide sick and other benefits to women entering the workforce as a result of war conditions, 2) thanking President Wilson for his support of the suffrage victory in New York, and 3) providing “that in each city there shall be a representative negro woman identified with the executive organization.”
- She was again elected secretary of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association at its annual convention in May 1919. As chair of the legislative committee, she delivered a report faulting the National Women’s Party for defeat of the Federal amendment. Newspaper coverage of the convention reported that the delegates “urged branches to select handsome women with their best gowns and pretty hats to call on editors to have news published about the meetings. To reach the editors it was recommended that society leaders sign letters praising to the editor what had been published.”
- In December 1920, she was elected secretary at the organizing meeting of the New Jersey Women’s Republican Club in Newark.
- In 1921, she was elected to the Board of Governors of the New Jersey Women’s Republican Club. The group planned a six-week series of legislative forums to be held Monday afternoons at the Mercer County Republican Club in Trenton“to afford an opportunity for the Republican women of New Jersey to become informed at first-hand as to the proposed changes in the laws of the State.”
The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, 1900-1920 on http://chswg.binghamton.edu/WASM-US/crowdsourcing/NAWSA_description.html – page 426-428
- “Elections,” The Monmouth Inquirer (Freehold, New Jersey), December 15, 1887, Page 3.
- “Thrown from His Wagon,” The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), November 15, 1890, Page 1.
- “Park Personals,” Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park, New Jersey), June 24, 1895, Page 5.
- “Hotel Arrivals,” Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park, New Jersey),June 24, 1895, Page8.
- “Park’s Social Side: Saturday Night’s Ball Room Festivities,” Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park, New Jersey), July 1, 1895, Page 1.
- “Death List,” Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), March 30, 1897, Page 1.
- “Indiana Obituary,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), April 6, 1897, Page 2.
- “Local News,” Evening Journal (Vineland, New Jersey), June 21, 1904, Page 3.
- “State-Wide Jersey Items: Gossipy Brevities Which Chronicle a Week’s Minor Events,” Bernardsville News (Bernardsville, New Jersey), May 6, 1915, Page 7.
- “Suffragists Meet in Trenton: Discussed Campaign of Education to be Carried on This Summer,” The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey), May 26, 1916, Page 15.
- “Suffrage Parade at Chicago,” Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), June 6, 1916, Page 4.
- “Mrs. E. F. Feickert Chosen President: Plainfield Woman Will Lead New Jersey Suffrage Association Another Year,” The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey), November 10, 1917, Page 3.
- “Death in Summons to E. G. Blaisdell,” Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), December 26, 1918, Page 2.
- “Mrs. Feickert Again Heads the Suffrage Forces in State,” The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, New Jersey), May 19, 1919, Page 3.
- “State Woman’s Club Elects Mrs. Feickert,” The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey), December 8, 1920, Page 11.
- “Republican Women Start Work,” The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey), January 12, 1921, Page 9.
- “116 Teachers Suing City Now Receive Top Basic Salaries: 21 Got Increments Two Years Ago; 14 Above Maximum,” Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), June 29, 1938, Page 7.
- “Y.W.C.A. Will Seek $2500 in Campaign,” Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), January 30, 1940, Page 3.
- Year: 1880; Census Place: Glassboro, Gloucester, New Jersey; Roll: 781; Page: 371C; Enumeration District: 094
- Delaware, Marriage Records, 1806-1933 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Delaware. Delaware Vital Records. Microfilm. Delaware Public Archives, Dover.
- U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
- Year: 1920; Census Place: Delaware, Hunterdon, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1051; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 8
- New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1670-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
- U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.