Much can be learned from Niagara County residents from the past. Many were not afraid to stand up and be counted when registering an opinion for or against a cause. Such was the case with Frances W. Graham of Lockport. In the 1800s, her name became synonymous with the prohibition forces that eventually lead to the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution.
Mrs. Graham was the editor of the newspaper entitled, “Women’s Temperance Work,” which she published in Lockport. The paper was the official communication of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York. During the early years, the paper was published in New York City, but in 1897, the publication was moved to Lockport with Mrs. Graham as editor. She served as state president of the organization from 1903 to 1909. During her tenure, the organization grew geometrically. After decades of service, having written scores of publications, Frances Graham was elected as a delegate to ratify the Prohibition Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1929.
In addition to her writing skills, the temperance movement was assisted by Frances Grahams singing. Her voice was much loved in Lockport and eventually, as part of the international temperance movement, was enjoyed around the world, too. Mrs. Graham was the featured singer for temperance conventions held in New York, Philadelphia, Glasgow, Scotland and Lausanne, Switzerland. Her “Song of Victory” was literally heard around the world.
Douglas Farley, Director
Ann Marie Linnabery
Erie Canal Discover Center
24 Church St.
Lockport NY 14094