Federal Writers' Project – Life Histories/2018/Fall/Section 3/Ida Maynard

Ida Maynard
EducationFifth Grade
OccupationFlower Agent
SpousePete Maynard
ChildrenSarah Maynard, Keene Maynard, Lonnie Maynard, Bill Maynard, Roy Maynard, Mamie Maynard

Ida MaynardEdit

Ida Maynard was interviewed for the Federal Writers Project on February 9, 1939. It is possible that her name was Clara Pitkins prior to her marriage at the age of 15 to Pete Maynard.. Once married they lived in what she described as a two-room shack on a large farm where they started a family. They had a total of eight children, however only six survived past infancy. Although she feed and clothed her children she refused to live with them and instead lived in a neighbor's house. In her interview she talked about her children.

Maynard tried her best to raise religious children often taking them to a baptist church. As her children grew up, she felt, that she failed at raising good children. Her eldest son Keene, was the only one that she believed turned out well. Her eldest daughter, Sarah, went to visit her aunt when she was sixteen and was described as pretty and obedient, but after returning from her aunts she was wild and pregnant. Her son Bill frequently broke the law, such as, beating up prostitutes, robbery, automobile theft, which eventually lead to jail time. Her son Lonnie, who she described as lazy, eventually married and got a job. Roy her youngest son died while working, when he fell into a river. Her youngest daughter, Mamie, married at sixteen to a divorced drunkard that supposedly beat her. Maynard was grateful that her husband died from pneumonia prior to her children committing crimes because she believed seeing them as criminals would have killed him.

Another topic that Mrs. Maynard deeply disliked was women suffrage. She claimed to have raised proud democratic children and proclaimed that she could go on forever about women suffrage. She believed that “ All women vote to please somebody else anyway and the country’d be better off if females stayed out of politics”. At the age of 59, when Ida Maynard was interviewed she said that she was righteous, and ready to go, nothing is known after this date.

Historical ContextEdit

The Southern Baptist ReligionEdit

The Baptist religion was the predominate religion in the south during the early 1900s. As a religion predominate in the Bible Belt, a region in the south that was socially and politically conservative, the Baptist religion of the three main religions in the South. These religions were predominate in the Bible Belt, a region in the south that was socially conservative. The Southern Baptist Convention was founded in 1845 and founded their beliefs as “ ...a divinely inspired Bible, the reality of the supernatural, the eternity of hell, the necessity of a spiritual rebirth for salvation, the obligation to evangelize the lost".[1]. Looking at the United States today, the Southern Baptist Convention is the second largest religious group with 20 million follower [2]

Women of the Southern Baptist religion were seen as equal to men in the southern baptist religion, whoever it was believed that the wife should submit herself to her serve her husband [3]. However they were still vital to the church being that they supported the church and raised new followers[4].

White Suffrage in the SouthEdit

This cartoon was made by Laura Foster in 1912

Women’s suffrage movement, fought for the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote, started in 1848. Although the movement was ratified in the 1920 many southern women declined the right to vote[5]. Several political and cultural factors contributed to this. This topic was further explored in Kylie Mcleod's book Equality, Y'all: Newspaper Coverage Of First Wave Feminism And Suffrage In The American South, “ Women in the South were trapped in a patriarchal world that molded them into dependent, incapable figures who carried on these traditions and passes them down to the following generations”. Women were seen as incapable and vote, and if given the power would abuse it.

Although many women were against women's suffrage in the south, suffrage group were still prevalent. The leaders of the southern suffrage movement where motivated to vote with the hopes to maintain white privilege. Many groups argued that white women should be allowed to vote to help counter the black vote.


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Carpenter, Daniel, Zachary Popp, Tobias Resch, Benjamin Schneer, and Nicole Topich. 2018. "Suffrage Petitioning As Formative Practice: American Women Presage And Prepare For The Vote, 1840–1940". Studies In American Political Development 32 (01). doi:10.1017/s0898588x18000032.

Chudacoff, Howard P. 2008. Children at Play: an American History. Google Scholars. New York: New York University Press. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=UeQTCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=Raising children in the early 1900 America&ots=k8tppliH6k&sig=R6zprvpxHnIG6rbbqxyV_IV-A8A#v=snippet&q=good children&f=false.

Haines, Michael R. 1996. “‘Long Term Marriage Patterns in the United States from Colonial Times Tothe Present.’” The History of the Family1 (1). https://doi.org/0.1016/S1081-602X(96)90018-4.

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Mcloed, Kylie. 2017. "Equality, Y'all: Newspaper Coverage Of First Wave Feminism And Suffrage In The American South". Graduate, Equality, Y'all: Newspaper Coverage of First Wave Feminism and Suffrage in the American South.

Wills, Gregory A. 2003. Democratic Religion: Freedom, Authority, and Church Discipline in the Baptist South, 1785-1900. Googel Scholar. New York: Oxford University Press.


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