NEVADA CITY, Calif. February 23, 2020 – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. Nevada County gave birth to that amendment, through the efforts of prominent suffragist Ellen Clark Sargent, and her husband, U. S. Senator Aaron Sargent. Their Broad Street homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In recognition of her accomplishments, on Thursday afternoon, the Nevada City Planning Commission approved an application to place a plaque in Calanan Park commemorating Ellen’s role in getting women the right to vote. Applicants were three organizations that promote local history: The Native Daughters of the Golden West, The Daughters of the American Revolution and The Nevada County Historical Society. The plaque is scheduled to be unveiled the afternoon of August 20, 2020.

Linda Jack, representing the Historical Society, has advised the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission that her group will shortly apply to have the plaque registered as a county landmark. The text of the approved plaque follows:


Prominent Suffragist

Ellen Clark Sargent, a native of Massachusetts, arrived in Nevada City in 1852. A leader in the fight for women’s right to vote, she founded the Nevada County Woman’s Suffrage Association in 1869. She was the President of the California Woman Suffrage Association and Treasurer of the National Woman Suffrage Association. Her tireless work resulted in California women winning the right to vote in 1911. Her campaign for national women’s suffrage led to the introduction in 1878 of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by her husband, U.S. Senator A. A. Sargent. After many hard-fought battles by the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the 19th Amendment was finally enacted into law on August 20, 1920.

The purpose of the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission is to promote the general welfare of Nevada County and its citizens through official recognition, recording, marking, preserving and promoting the historical resources of Nevada County. For more information, please call 415-264-7230