Emma Smith was born in Warren County, Illinois in 1858. She moved with her parents to Tazewell County Illinois with her parents where she received a liberal education. She took charge of the Music Dept. of Eureka College in 1870. In 1880 she married J. Henry DeVoe. In 1881 the couple moved to the Dakota Territory and in 1891 they moved to Harvey, Ill. where Henry was an attorney and police magistrate. Mrs. DeVoe had been active in the temperance movement in Dakota Territory and worked for the women's suffrage movement. She and her husband moved to Tacoma, WA about 1905 where they moved into their home they called, "Villa DeVoe". She became more active in the women's suffrage movement after their move to Tacoma. She revitalized the near-defunct Washington Equal Suffrage Association and headed up the campaign that resulted in the approval, by a nearly 64 percent majority vote, of a constitutional amendment enfranchising Washington State women. After her victory in Washington, DeVoe campaigned in other states, advocating the Washington method rather than the more aggressive style of eastern suffragists who tended to imitate their British sisters with sit-ins and mass rallies. In addition, she organized and was president of the first national organization of voting women, the National Council of Women Voters, which studied issues to educate voters on a non-partisan basis. The National Council of Women Voters eventually merged with the National League of Women Voters. Mrs. DeVoe passed away in 1927.
Bernice A. Sapp was born about 1871. She became a stenographer for the Court in Olympia, WA. In the early 1900's she became active working for the women's suffrage movement. She collected and arranged Emma Smith Devoe's papers. She was very active in community affairs in Olympia, WA. She was a member and/or officer of the Thurston County Pioneer and Historical Society, Washington State Historical Society and the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington. She also wrote newspaper articles about local history. She passed away in 1965.
From the description of Emma Smith DeVoe's correspondence and scrapbooks, 1880-1920 / compiled, arranged and collected by Bernice Sapp. (Washington State Library, Office of Secretary of State). WorldCat record id: 51558376