BIGGERS, KATE H. HIMROD (1849–1935).
As president of the Oklahoma Woman's Suffrage Association, Kate H. Biggers led the movement for women's voting rights in Oklahoma from 1904 to 1911. Born on July 15, 1849, in Waterford, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of David and Abigail Patton Himrod. In 1874 Kate Himrod married Thomas B. Biggers, a Civil War veteran and farmer eleven years her senior. They had no children. By 1880 the couple lived in Painterhood, Kansas, and shortly thereafter they moved to Chickasha, Indian Territory. There Kate Biggers became a member of the local suffrage association.
Women's suffrage efforts remained weak in Oklahoma and Indian territories until the possibility of Oklahoma statehood became imminent. Suffragists from both territories met in 1904 in Oklahoma City and established the Woman Suffrage Association of Oklahoma and Indian Territory. Serving as the organization's first president, Biggers spoke to various groups and mailed petition forms and letters enlisting help from prosuffrage individuals such as Robert L. Owen, lawyer and later U.S. senator. During the 1906 Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, she directed the suffrage efforts from the headquarters located in Guthrie.
In 1910 she ran as a Republican candidate for commissioner of charities and corrections against incumbent Catherine Ann "Kate" Barnard. Biggers thought it necessary to run against Barnard, who did not endorse woman's suffrage. However, Biggers lost the election 91,907 votes to Barnard's 120,703 votes. By 1910 the Biggers had moved to a farm in Marlow. Kate Biggers continued as president of the association, which had changed its name in 1907 to the Oklahoma Woman's Suffrage Association. Although she did not actively campaign, she lobbied through a suffrage column, sending editorials and articles to newspapers such as the Marlow Review, the Oklahoma Post, and the Daily Oklahoman.
In 1911, after serving seven years as president of the Oklahoma Woman's Suffrage Association, Biggers declined the presidency but agreed to perform the duties of treasurer. In 1916 she joined eight other women to form the Neighborly Home Demonstration Club of Stephens County, and she was vice president of the Marlow Suffrage Club in 1918. By 1919 her husband had died. She returned to Waterford, Pennsylvania, and lived with her family until her death on August 27, 1935.
Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 6 February and 24 June 1910.
Mattie Louise Ivie, "Woman Suffrage in Oklahoma: 1890–1918" (M.A. thesis, Oklahoma State University, 1971).
Louise Boyd James, "Woman's Suffrage, Oklahoma Style, 1890–1918," in Women in Oklahoma: A Century of Change, ed. Melvena Thurman (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1982).
Louise Boyd James, "The Woman Suffrage Issue in the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 56 (Winter 1978–79).
James R. Wright, Jr., "The Assiduous Wedge: Woman Suffrage and the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 51 (Winter 1973–74).
The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Tally D. Fugate, “Biggers, Kate H. Himrod,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=BI006.
© Oklahoma Historical Society.