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Julie Holland - Sons of Temperance and the Vote for Women, My GGGrandparents

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Location: California, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Wilsey Lamburth
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Amanda Lamburth Wilsey Pragmore Spouses: Richard A. Wilsey, Bazil Pragmore Daughter, Grace Eleanor Wilsey

It was very exciting to compile the story of Amanda’s life. Details in census records, voter’s registrations, and newspaper articles provided a great amount of documented information. As a young woman, she seemed to be modern, progressive and forward-thinking in a time of social change, temperance, and the vote for women.

Amanda Jane (Jennie) Lamburth was born July 10, 1853 in Cairo, Henderson County, Kentucky. Her parents were William Franklin Lamburth and Rachael Matilda Curtner.

The June 27, 1860 census of Alleghany, Sierra County, California, lists the family as Wm. F. Lamburth, farmer, 33, TN; Rachel, 33, TN; Maria, 8, KY; Amanda J., 5, KY; Laurinda, 4, KY; William O., 2, CA. (Delindea C. Lambroth, born in 1855, is not listed.)

The July 1, 1870 census of Township No. 7, Fresno County, California lists the family as William, 43, TN, laborer; Rachael M., 44, TN: Amanda J., 17, KY; Chas., 10, CA: John C., 8, CA; George A., 7, NV; Ella, 3, NV.

The California Voter’s Register of 1871, Mendocino, Sonoma County, California lists William, 45, TN, blacksmith.

The Voter’s Register of 1872, Colusa, Colusa County, California lists William Franklin Lamberth, 44, TN, blacksmith.

Amanda married Richard A. Wilsey on April 27, 1873 in Colusa, Colusa County, California.

Richard Wilsey was born November 5, 1853 in Posey County, Indiana. His parents were David Wilsey and Mary Louisa surname unknown. The July 18, 1860 census of Harmony, Posey County, Indiana lists the family as: David 39, farmer, Mary 38; Ann, 14, KY/TN; Walter, 11, IN; Mary 10, IN; Richard 6, IN; William 1, IN. In the July 13, 1870 census of Fall River Township, Greenwood County, Kansas, Richard Wilsey, 16, works on farm, born in Indiana, is living in the household of Reason Calvin, 23, farmer, IL; Mary (Richard’s sister), 19, IN; Alfred, 1, IL.

The first three children of Richard and Amanda, all born in Williams, Colusa County, California, were Grace Eleanor, June 2, 1874; William Arthur, October 1875; Richard, September 17, 1877.

In “The History of Colusa County, California” on Ancestry.com, written by Will S. Green in 1950, mentions the following organization:

“Sons of Temperance, Williams Division, No. 277: It was organized by W. O. Clark, G. W. P., October 14, 1878. Among the charter members were R. Wilsey, Mrs. R. Wilsey, Miss S. Wilsey.

The Division met Friday night of each week for the first three weeks in the school-house, when the place of meeting was changed to Odd Fellows hall. The Division, though at first small, was composed of the rank and file of Williams. They were a zealous band of workers, and entered upon the grand temperance work with a determination that was worth of no better cause. Under their faithful guardianship the temperance cause was firmly planted and the young Division grew rapidly and prospered. As early as November 15, literary exercises were introduced into the Division and have ever since been an interesting feature in the lodge room. In March 1879, the Division commenced the publication of a monthly paper, called “Williams Temperance Advocate.” R. A. Wilsey was chosen editor. “Five hundred copies of the “Advocate” were printed each month and carried the gospel of temperance to the inhabitants of Oregon, Nevada, and the Atlantic States. The “Advocate” only flourished three months, when for lack of interest on the part of the Division it was discontinued. The greatest number of members at any one time was one hundred and fifteen. Of these, some of have been suspended and others have moved away until the Division now numbers fifty-six members in good standing. The Division is in good financial condition, has done much good here, and has bright prospects of accomplishing much in temperance reform, in the future.” Mrs. R. A. Wilsey (Amanda) was listed in the Present Officers, but no title or duties were mentioned.

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