Sculptor Wanda Stanfill sends ‘Miss Sue’ to the foundry
On Nov. 22, 2016, West TN Artisan Trail member Wanda Stanfill sent her Sue Shelton White sculpture to the Lugar Foundry in Eads, TN. Wanda is a sculptor, painter and illustrator with many years of experience. She studied art at Lambuth University under Dr. Larry Ray. Wanda is the vice-president of the West Tennessee Artisan Trail.
The Sue Shelton White Public Art Committee is now fundraising for this public art which will be installed in the City Hall Plaza upon completion of the sculpture. The base of the statue will be granite, 36 X 36, and there will be panels explaining the history of the Nineteenth Amendment at right, and the donors’ names at left.
Meet Miss Sue, 1887-1943
- She was the sixth of seven children born to teachers James Shelton White and Mary Calista (Swain White in Henderson, Tenn.
- Orphaned at age 14, “Miss Sue” graduated from the two-year George Robertson Christian College, now Freed-Hardeman University in 1904 and from West Tennessee Business College in Dyer County in 1905.
- She became one of the first court reporters in the state in 1907 in Jackson, Tenn.
- She helped organize the Jackson Suffrage League in 1911 and became state chairman of the National Woman’s Party in Tennessee in 1917.
- Picketed the White House, burning President Woodrow Wilson’s unfulfilled pledge to extend voting rights to women. She was sentenced to five days in the workhouse, the only Tennessee suffragist to spend time in prison for her suffrage work.
- She said, “We are in a war for democracy. To rout a foe in a fight for principle is one thing. To save the principle is the main thing.”
- In February and March 1919, rode the suffragists’ “Prison Special” train across the country wearing her prison garb.
- 1920, after the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, she became secretary to U.S. Sen. Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee.
- She studied law at the Washington College of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1923.
- She returned to Tennessee in 1926 to establish a law practice in Jackson with Judge Hu Anderson, becoming the city’s first female attorney.
- She served as president of Jackson Area Business and Professional Women, 1929-1931. At her induction, she told the members:
- “We must remember the past, hold fast to the present and build for the future. If you stand in your accepted place today, it is because some woman had to fight yesterday. We should be ashamed to stand on ground won by women in the past without making an effort to honor them by winning a higher and wider field for the future. It is a debt we owe.”
- In 1930, she returned to Washington as executive secretary of the Democratic National Committee.
- In 1936, she became the first attorney for the Social Security Board.
- In 1938, she was named the principal attorney and assistant to the general counsel to the Federal Security Agency.