George and Abby Crawford Milton
Abby Crawford Milton was born to a prominent political family in Georgia. She was born in 1881. When she married George Fort Milton, Sr, she moved to Chattanooga.
In 1904, Abby married George Fort Milton, Sr. She was his second his second wife. George was born in Macon, Georgia in 1869. His family moved to Chattanooga and it was here that he received his education. He continued his education at the University of the South at Sewanee. After finishing school, George entered into the banking business. He left the banking business to become editor and manager of the Taxpayer, a monthly publication devoted to tax reform and political issues. In 1895, he moved to Knoxville to edit the Knoxville Sentinel. He continued with this position three years and then was appointed to first lieutenant in the Sixth United Volunteer Infantry to fight in the Spanish - American War.
In 1899, George returned to Knoxville after the war and bought 2/3 interest in the Sentinel. In 1901 he bought the rest of the company. In 1909, George purchased 2/3 of the Chattanooga News. He managed both papers for three years and then sold the Knoxville Sentinel and returned to Chattanooga.
George continued with his political work campaigning and working on tax reform. He died, April 24,1924 in Murfreesboro, while campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate William G. McAdoo.
While George was managing the newspapers, Abby had her own agenda. She received her law degree from the Chattanooga College of Law but never practiced. She went on to fight for women's right to vote, suffrage. During the suffrage time frame, 1913-1917, she managed to give birth to three daughters.
Abby Crawford Milton spearheaded the suffrage movement in Chattanooga. She was the youngest of the suffrage leaders. Abby was involved in the recruitment of Chattanooga. She recruited from all of the women's clubs in town. In 1917, she helped Lookout Mountain's Suffrage League secure the local enfranchisement for women. The first female voter on Lookout Mountain was the wife of Newell Sanders, Corrine Dodd Sanders.
Abby was the last president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association and the first president of the Tennessee League of Women Voters during the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment campaign of 1920. She was 38 when the amendment passed.
After the passing of the amendment she returned to Chattanooga. Abby began to lobby for reforms to benefit women. She also worked to secure the creation of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. She attended the Democratic national convention as a delegate- at- large and in 1924, the same year her husband dies, she gave the seconding nomination speech for the same man, William G. McAdoo.
After George F. Milton dies, Abby and her stepson, George Jr. managed the Chattanooga News until it was sold in the 1930s.
In 1930, Abby ran unsuccessfully for the Tennessee State Senate. She took a stand to support the Tennessee Valley Authority.
She later moved to Clearwater, Florida and began to write. She wrote books of poetry, her memories of the suffrage movement, and other books.
Abby Crawford Milton dies in 1991, at the age of 110.
George Fort Milton
1869–1924 (m. 1904)
Emma Crawford Hinton
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