JENNIE KELLY LOGAN
The information below has been compiled from a variety of sources. If the reader has access to information that can be documented and that will correct or add to this woman’s biographical information, please contact the Nevada Women’s History Project.
At A Glance:
Born: In a covered wagon while crossing the Plains of Iowa, either 1862 or 1865
Died: August 3, 1940, Oakland, CA
Maiden Name: Jennie Kelly
Race/Nationality/Ethnic Background: Caucasian
Married: Stewart A. Logan, who lived from 1854 to 1905
Primary City and County of Residence and Work:
Reno/Washoe County, Gold Hill/Storey County
Major Fields of Work: Teaching, working for women’s suffrage
Early Reno teacher worked for women’s suffrage
Jennie K. Logan was born in a covered wagon in Iowa as her parents were crossing the plains to come to Carson City, Nev., where she spent her early years. She went to a San Francisco teachers’ college called Irving’s Institute, and after graduation, did some years of teaching in the Bay Area.
Moving back to Nevada, she taught in Carson City and Gold Hill schools before moving to Reno around the turn of the 20th century. She was a primary teacher at Orvis Ring School when it first opened, and was described as “a teacher of outstanding ability, teaching many well-known Reno residents” during her years there.
At the time, Reno had about 4,000 inhabitants, sidewalks were made of wood, and roads were not paved. School buildings tended to be small and poorly equipped, and Jennie Logan was one of fewer than 20 dedicated teachers in the city.
Logan and Orvis Ring School principal Libbie C. Booth began a years-long tradition when they inaugurated the Pet Parade in 1917. The events, held annually for at least 45 years, involved students’ dressing up themselves, their pets, and wagons or other conveyances, often in themes. They then followed the Reno High Marching Band from Orvis Ring School, down Virginia Street to Powning Park, where there were food booths prepared by parents of the students. The fundraiser helped provide things like playground and office equipment, which weren’t covered in general budget expenses, as well as helping the less fortunate students and their families in the community. The annual event was a social highlight of the year, and local businesses along the parade route even closed up shop for the day to support it.
Jennie Logan married a well-known contractor in northern Nevada named Stewart A. Logan, who had also worked as a Reno policeman and ran for the office of city councilman, but lost. He was a mason known for his work on the Ryland Building in Reno. In July 1904, Jennie and Stewart Logan went to the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, and spent a month traveling in the eastern U.S.
Stewart died in 1905 in San Francisco not long after he was badly injured from a fall from scaffolding.
It didn’t take long for Jennie Logan to work up to the rank of vice-principal at Central High School and superintendent of Reno’s Southside schools. She had conflicts with a principal named Colonel Maxson, who was heard to state that “Mrs. Logan would have to eat dust.”
Logan ended up resigning under protest of the “politics in school affairs.” She actually resigned twice, sending letters first to a newspaper, and then to the school board.
In her 1907 letters, she noted that she had been demoted from administration back to the teaching ranks, and that she “no longer wished to be connected with a school system where the position of a teacher is never secure.”
Despite her concerns with the school district’s politics and pay issues for educators, she reapplied and was unanimously given her teaching position back. She taught in Reno schools for a total of 45 years.
Her civic activities included being one of the first members of the Twentieth Century Club, and later a president of the club. She was a member of the Nevada Women’s Civic League, where she served as vice president for Washoe County.
On September 28, 1915, suffragette Sarah Bard of Washington spoke at the Twentieth Century Club, stopping in Reno on her way from the San Francisco women voters’ convention to Washington D.C. to lobby for the Susan B. Anthony amendment (which became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution). Bard was one of a group of convoys of women traveling by car, one of which transported a petition for national suffrage over 18,000 feet long, with the signatures of 500,000 women, to be presented to the U.S. Congress.
Jennie Logan gave a talk at that Twentieth Century Club meeting in September 1915 entitled “Women and their Work.” Another national organizer, Alice Paul of the National Women’s Party came through Reno the following day and presided over the organization of the Nevada branch of the Congressional Union at a meeting in the Women’s Civic League’s headquarters.
In November 1917, Jennie Logan was the acting chairman of the Washoe County branch of the Woman’s Party and presided over a meeting that culminated in the public acceptance of a long-distance phone call from Harriot Stanton Blatch, daughter of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Blatch was encouraging all women to vote against Woodrow Wilson, whom she said “kept women out of suffrage.”
In May 1928, Logan was elected a vice-chairman of the Nevada branch of the National Women’s Party, at a meeting where Nevada suffragette Anne Henrietta Martin spoke of the inconsistencies of a nation in which some states, including Nevada, allowed women’s votes, while others didn’t. “Nevada at the time had only one congressman,” said Martin, and “(he) was voting against hundreds of congressmen from other states which did not allow women to vote.” The Nevada congressman was Edwin E. Roberts, a Republican elected at large.
Logan’s activism continued into the 1930s, at the end of which she was a guest of Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House.
Logan fell ill in 1940, and traveled to Oakland, CA, to visit her long-time friend Margaret Mayberry Martin. She suffered from pneumonia before her death there on August 3, 1940. Mrs. Martin, family friend Frank Young, and Jennie Logan’s niece accompanied her body back to Reno, where her funeral services at Ross Burke Company were attended by a large crowd. Pallbearers included well-known Renoites E. Otis Vaughn, whose name is now on a Reno middle school, Elwood Beemer, Lyle Durley, Frederick Seifert, Lawrence Gulling, and Gordon Harris.
Jennie Logan was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Reno.
Reseached by Patti Bernard and written by Kitty Falcone, February 2018. Posted to website February 2018.
Sources of Information:
- “Will Visit Fair.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), July 6, 1904, p4. (as seen on newspaperarchive.com 7/23/2017).
- “Claims Against School Fund Are Paid.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Aug. 19, 1906, p8:4. (As seen on newspapersarchive.com 1/26/2018).
- “Mrs. Jeannie Logan Resigns From the Schools of Reno.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Sept. 12, 1907, p1:4. (As seen on newspapers.com 1/30/18).
- “Women’s League Elects Officers.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada, Feb. 19, 1915, p2:3. (As seen on newspaperarchive.com 2/20/2016).
- “Suffrage Petition Nearly Four Miles Long.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), September 16, 1915, p14:3. (As seen as newspaperarchive.com 2/20/2016).
- “Suffragists Will Stop Over in Reno.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Sept. 25, 1915, p8:5 (As seen in newspapers.com 1/28/2018).
- “In the Realm of Society.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Sept. 26, 1915. p7:5. (As seen 1/28/2018)
- “Mrs. Sara B. Field Given Reception.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Sept. 28, 1915, p8:3. (As seen on newspaper.com 7/14/2017).
- “Mrs. Sara B. Field Given Reception.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Sept. 28, 1915, p8:3. (As seen 7/23/2017)
- “Visitors in Reno.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), Sept. 28, 1915, p8. (As seen 7/22/2016).
- “She Travels East with Women’s Message.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), Sept. 28, 1915, p2:3. (As seen on newspapers.com 1/20/2018).
- “Women Organize for Effective Work.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Sept 29, 1915, p8:3. (As seen 7/23/2017).
- “Final Appeal to Women to Be Made.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), Nov. 4, 1916, p1. (As seen on newspapers.com 1/30/2018.
- Spellier, Louis A. “Some Politics Some State Gossip.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), p2:2. (As seen in newspapers.com 1/30/18).
- “Anne Martin Goes West This Evening.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), Nov. 14, 2017, p8:2. (As seen on newspapers.com 1/30/2018).
- “New Civic League Officers Are Elected.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), May 1, 1918, p8:5. (As seen on newspapers.com 1/28/2018).
- “Jennie Logan Dies Suddenly.” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), Aug. 4, 1940, p20:1. (As seen on newspaperarchive.com 7/16/2016).
- “Logan Funeral Conducted Here.” Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada), Aug. 6, 1940, p 10.4. (As seen in newspapers.com 1/28/2018).
- 1910 Census; Reno Ward 6, Washoe, Nevada, Roll: T624_859; Page 15A; Enumeration District:0073.
- 1930 Census; Reno, Washoe, Nevada, Roll: 1297; Page:8B; Enumeration District:0013.
- 1940 Census; Reno, Washoe, Nevada; Roll:m-50627-02281; Enumeration District:16-19.