The Sharp House

FM Suffrage Tour

The Sharp House

Moorhead, Minnesota 56560, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University


If any family could challenge the Comstocks for the title of Moorhead’s most respected founding family, it would be their good friends James and Philadelphia Sharp, who lived in this house. James Sharp, like Solomon Comstock, was also here for Moorhead’s rough, Wild West birth. He rose to become Justice of the Peace and the founder of our school system. That large building behind you that is now Sharp View Apartments used to be a school named for the Sharp family. James and Philadelphia Sharp’s children became prominent leaders of our town’s second generation. Their daughter Philadelphia Sharp Carpenter inherited her parents house, and in this house, in 1930, a meeting was held to establish a local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

The League of Women Voters is the direct descendant of America’s Woman’s Suffrage organizations. The League was born in 1920 because, after generations of struggle and organizing, the National Woman Suffrage Association had no reason for being anymore. They won the vote! So in their victory, they disbanded, and reformed as a new organization devoted to voter education they called the League of Women Voters. Just like before, local chapters formed throughout the country. The chapter of the League formed in this house in 1930 was not Moorhead’s first chapter - we had one right away in 1920. Our first chairman was Lucy Sheffield, a music teacher whose father was a railroad laborer. Other officers included Marie Thompson (a young daughter of a farming family who was a WWI Red Cross leader), Nora Dickerson (whose husband was the new president of Moorhead Normal School) and Edna Stadum (wife of a Glyndon banker).

Today, the League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley, headquartered in Fargo-Moorhead, serves voters on both sides of the river. This nonpartisan group holds local candidate debates, they have a lunch-time lecture series where polacy leaders or scholars talk about important issues of the day, and they encourage people to vote and be active participants in our democracy. Membership is open to both women and men, and the work of the League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley benefits every one of us in the community. If this sounds like something you like, check them out.

This point of interest is part of the tour: FM Suffrage Tour


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