Pattie Ruffner Jacobs was born into the South at
a time when the role of the Southern lady was limited to "queen of the
household." She was a crusader for justice. She proved to be the family's most
original thinker, as well as its most talented and versatile member. She
developed a lovely singing voice and later in life, was much in demand for
operettas and choirs.
Although Pattie was possessed with all the
attributes of a Southern Belle, as far as manners, looks, and charm, she sought
a wider role. From a family heritage of acting on principal, an inquiring mind,
and a love of life and learning, Pattie Jacobs' fight for individuality and
justice were the consuming passions of her life.
Mrs. Jacobs became involved in and made a
significant contribution to the political process in the state. She became the
first Alabama woman to become a political model for women. She was the founder
of the Birmingham Equal Suffrage Association in 1910, and the Alabama Equal
Suffrage Association a year later. She became an officer in the National Equal
Suffrage Association and worked tirelessly from 1910 to 1920 for the vote for
women in Alabama. After the amendment was passed at the national level (Alabama
did not ratify until 1954), Mrs. Jacobs helped turn the Alabama Suffrage
Association into the League of Women Voters. Soon after the organization was
formed, she became an officer of the National League of Women Voters. In 1920,
she became the national secretary.
In the twenties, Mrs. Jacobs led the local league
into a campaign to pass a bill creating the eight hour day. This did not
In the early thirties, she was appointed the
first National Democratic Committeewoman from Alabama and sat on the national
Democratic Committee. She served in this capacity from 1933 until her death.
She was appointed to several commissions by Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt,
including the first woman appointee to aid in the sale of Liberty Bonds during
the first World War. President Roosevelt appointed her to two positions with
his administration before she died suddenly at the age of sixty-four. These
positions were; Head of the Woman's Division of the Consumer Advisory Board of
NRA and Publicity Speaker for the TVA position.
Pattie Jacobs' effort to gain the vote for women
was for a purpose other than personal satisfaction. She saw major evils in
society, such as child labor, convict lease, and long uncontrolled hours for
working people. When she was able to vote, she set about correcting
Pattie was married to Solon Jacobs, who supported