There is a National Historic site in Parkland of which not many are aware. No, not the Oregon Trail marker at the former Brookdale Golf Course, although that is significant too. The historic designation is at is the former home of Emma Smith DeVoe at 133rd and B Street East.
Born in Illinois, Mrs. DeVoe moved to Washington State in 1905 with her husband, John Henry DeVoe, who was an agent for the Chicago and Alton Railroad. Emma first met Susan B. Anthony when she was eight and her parent’s took her to a speech in Illinois. Later, when the DeVoe’s were living in the Dakota Territory, Emma was recruited by Anthony to become an organizer for the suffrage movement. Emma worked on suffrage campaigns in the Dakota Territory, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, then became a national figure in the effort. Her style and cheerfulness were considered trademarks of her work. DeVoe gave speeches in 28 states and organized rear platform speeches across the country from the train. Much more about her life can be found on History.org at the link in the first paragraph.
August 26, 1920, was the formal enactment date of the 19th Amendment. It is also known as Women’s Equality Day as that is the day women of the U.S.A. were formally granted the right to vote after the 36th State (Tennessee) ratified the Amendment on August 18th 1920.
Villa DeVoe(Emma’s home) is in the Elmhurst area of Parkland, a couple blocks east of the Shell Station on Pacific Avenue. The Pierce Prairie Post and Spanaway Community Association reached out to the classic car gathering that meets Wednesday afternoons in the summer at Godfather’s Pizza in Spanaway for help is a tribute. The current owners of the DeVoe Mansion also agreed that locally we should have some recognition of the Centennial this August week of 2020.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at the end of the drop-in classic car meet, members have agreed to drive their classic cars past the DeVoe Mansion as an informal Tribute to the Centennial. Cars generally leave between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and will randomly drive past the mansion. This is not organized as a formal parade. They have been welcomed to enter the circular driveway a the rea of the property and circle the 1926 Dodge Sedan that is the same model of car that the DeVoe’s owned in their last years at the home. There will be banners located on the home to identify it.
Emma Smith DeVoe was born August 22, 1848 and passed away on September 3, 1927. Her gravesite is unknown. She left a permanent legacy for women in several western states. She held posts nationally in the Suffrage Movement and the Republican Party. She also wrote a column in The News Tribune in 1923-24. Emma Smith DeVoe was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York in 2000.