For example, it would not have been an uncommon sight to see a woman driving
a wagonload of corn to the J. H. Hawes Elevator. But in rural, Central Illinois,
a woman's place was still primarily in the home — that is, until the advent
of World War I, 1914-1918.
war brought profound social changes that impacted both farmers and townsfolk
alike — even in Atlanta. For example, by July 1919 women in Illinois were
allowed to vote in school elections. In that year, a petition to establish a
community high school in Atlanta was circulated, with a vote on the issue taken
in August. The impact of womens' ballots was the decisive factor in its passage.
Women's voices were beginning to be heard during the first decades of the 20th Century. Within the next few years, women gained the right to vote in all elections and began driving more than just grain wagons.