This is Texas Originals. From Humanities Texas, for the advancement of heritage, culture, and education.
On June 28, 1919, Jane McCallum wrote in her diary, "Somehow I felt too thankful to be jubilant. We have a great responsibility and I pray God we may meet it squarely and successfully."
The responsibility McCallum referred to was the right to vote—a right American women finally won in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. As a leader of the Texas women's fight for suffrage, McCallum always met her civic responsibilities "squarely and successfully."
Born in 1877 in LaVernia, Texas, McCallum moved to Austin in 1903 when her husband became school superintendent. In 1915, she was elected president of the Austin Woman Suffrage Association. As she campaigned for women's voting rights, McCallum faced heated criticism. Undaunted, she gave speeches, wrote newspaper columns, and lobbied legislators—all while running a busy, active household.
After women's right to vote had been secured, McCallum took on new responsibilities. She helped the Texas League of Women Voters fight for education, health care, and child labor laws. She was executive secretary of the Women's Joint Legislative Council, a powerful group sometimes known as the "Petticoat Lobby." She also served as Texas Secretary of State under two different governors.
McCallum died in 1957 and is remembered for her lifelong dedication to giving women a voice in the political process, and making sure that voice was heard
More information about this Texas Original is available at Texasoriginals.org. This program is produced by KUHF Houston Public Radio and Humanities Texas, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.