JANE S. RICHARDS
- Grant Recipient
National Votes for Women Trail
- 2104 Lincoln Ave, Ogden, UT 84401, USA
- 41.228906, -111.975536
National Collaborative for Women's History Sites
The Mormons, led by Brigham Young, arrived in Utah around 1847. Among them was devout Mormon and suffragist Jane S. Richards. She was a tireless servant who sought to help those in need. Her obituary published in the Evening Standard on November 18, 1912 details her connection to Ogden City:
When at the request of President Young, her husband in 1868, took up his residence in Ogden, Mrs. Richards began to play a more prominent part in the women’s organizations of the church. In August, 1872 she became president of the Relief society in Ogden City and July 19, 1877, was called by President Young to preside over all the Relief societies of the Weber stake. This was the first stake organization of the kind perfected in the church and Sister Jane Richards, the first stake president of the Relief society in the church.
While serving with this organization, Richards cared for those in need by providing food and shelter to the less fortunate. She also became an outspoken advocate for woman’s suffrage. As Utah moved closer to statehood, Richards was among a handful of women who spoke for cause of woman’s suffrage at the Utah State Constitutional Convention in 1895 and successfully preserved women’s voting rights. In addition to her service with the Relief Society and woman’s suffrage, Richards, with the assistance of other women, helped erect the new meeting house of the Relief Society in 1902. The Relief Society meeting house was described in great detail in the July 19, 1902 edition of the Desert Evening News:
The New meeting house is a beautiful brick building situated on the Tabernacle square on Grant avenue between Twenty-first and Twenty-second streets. The erection of the building was commenced a few months ago. It is 40 feet wide by 78 feet long with a basement room 18 by 35 feet also cloak rooms, entrance, stage etc. It is finished on the interior in white with light green trimmings. The building has cost about $ 5,000 the greater part of which has been paid. And the society hopes to collect the balance in the near future.
Efforts of women such as Jane S. Richards helped make the dream of women gaining the right to vote a reality.