Ethel <I>Maxwell</I> Stalford


Ethel Maxwell Stalford

Bedford, Taylor County, Iowa, USA
Death 3 Nov 1911 (aged 27)
Spokane, Spokane County, Washington, USA
Burial Spokane, Spokane County, Washington, USA
Plot Lawn 04
Memorial ID 169004533 View Source

Contributed by Megan Gano, student, Saint Martin's University, Lacey, WA & Keri Graham, Instructor, Saint Martin's University, Lacey, WA.

Biography of Ethel E (Maxwell) Stalford, 1884-1911

Ethel Stalford was known as a tough woman who boldly spoke truth to power. Ethel was born May 12, 1884 to Samuel David Maxwell and Mary Jane Maxwell in Bedford, Iowa. She attended summer school in Chicago where she studied music and subsequently also studied at Drake University. She accepted a teaching a position teaching music that led her Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ethel met her husband, Dr. Philip Pawling Stalford, in Denver and they married on April 27, 1908. Soon after they were married, they moved to Spokane WA, which would be their home until her death from Typhoid fever in 1911.

Ethel played a significant role in the Eastern Washington suffrage movement. She was member of the Women's Club of Spokane, and traveled as speaker for the Washington Political Equality League. Her main objective was to speak to union members who had the potential to be supportive of votes for women. Stalford was outspoken, though she was pro-union, and would publicly call out labor organizers who didn't support suffrage. Furthermore, she aligned herself with the IWW, but publicly stated she was not a member, which created tensions among members of labor and suffrage organizations from both sides of the state. The Spokane chapter of the suffrage movement often distanced themselves from Mrs. Devoe Smith and other suffragists from Western Washington. Women from Olympia often thought the Spokane Women's Club was too foul-mouthed and strayed from the most important mission of suffrage. Ethel, and other prominent members of the Spokane Women's Club also spoke against police misconduct in Spokane. She enthusiastically spoke in favor of a Police Matron in the Spokane jail. Her rhetoric became so flammable that Chief of Police, John T. Sullivan of Spokane, instituted six suits against Stalford including libel.

Ethel joined her mother-in-law, prominent Socialist Emma Stalford, in support of women who had been harmed in police custody. Both Stalford women testified and helped pay bond for a friend, Elizabeth Flynn, who had been arrested for conspiracy. Ethel continued traveling Eastern Washington visiting saloons and other public spaces where women were not typically allowed. She promised men that women wouldn't use the vote to outlaw saloons and drinking. While she was a tough reformer and suffragist, she also believed there was balance between wife and activist; she was known for her graham bread and her voice. She died young, at the age of 27, but in her short years she was instrumental in the fight for rights of women and the right for public discourse in Eastern Washington.

Contributed by Barbie Gant

Spokane Chronicle
Spokane, Washington
03 Nov 1911, Fri
Page 1


Matron Widely Known for Charitable and Social Work Fever Victim.

Mrs. Phillip P. Stalford, S 1207 Oak street, one of the best-known social workers in Spokane, died at 3 o
clock this morning at Sacred Heart hospital, where she had been confined for four weeks with typhoid fever.

Mrs. Stalford, who was 27 years old, was the wife of Dr. Philip P. Stalford, a dentist. She was a member of the Woman's club, one of the ways and means committee of that organization and secretary of the day nursery committee.

She devoted much of her time to the suffrage cause. She was affiliated with the Spokane Women's Nan-partizan league and with the Washington Political Equality league. During the successful 1910 campaign she spoke in many of the leading cities of the state and mustered many of the votes which gave women the right of franchise.

Mrs. Stalford was Ethel Maxwell, the only child of parent who are now living in Bedford, Iowa. She was a native of Kentucky, East Pyke being her birthplace.

Accomplished Musician

Mrs. Stalford was a musician of great taste and talent. She was a graduate of the Bedford high school and of Hardin college, Mexico, Mo. After closing her work at Hardin, she continued her study of music at Drake University, where she qualified as supervisor of music in the public schools and was elected to that post in Crestin, Iowa.

The Stalfords were married in Denver five years ago. They came to Spokane in January, 1909.

The remains were placed in charge of the Buchanan undertaking company. The funeral probably will be held from the home Monday or Tuesday.

Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960
Name: Ethel Maxwell Stalford
Gender: Female
Age: 27
Estimated birth year: abt 1884
Death Date: 3 Nov 1911
Death Place: Spokane, Spokane, Washington
Burial Date: 6 Nov 1911
Burial Place: Greenwood
Father: S. D. Maxwell
Mother: Mary Dowlin
FHL Film Number: 1992073
Reference ID: 1172

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  • Created by: Barbie Gant
  • Added: 27 Aug 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 169004533
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ethel Maxwell Stalford (12 May 1884–3 Nov 1911), Find a Grave Memorial ID 169004533, citing Greenwood Memorial Terrace, Spokane, Spokane County, Washington, USA ; Maintained by Barbie Gant (contributor 48532709) .