By virtue of her election as a delegate to the 1904 General Conference, Emeline A. Hypes was the first woman from the Southern Illinois Conference to serve as a General Conference delegate.
Like the 2015 Annual Conference, clergy and laity held separate sessions on the afternoon of Sept. 25, 1903, to conduct elections.
According to the 1903 Annual Conference Journal, 152 clergy ballots were cast with 77 needed for election. One ballot was spoiled.
The clergy elected J. F. Harmon (95), F. W. Loy (93), J. W. Flint (89), N.J. Crow (84). C. D. Shumard and F. M. Van Treese, having received 36 votes each (the next highest vote cast), were, on the motion by O.H. Clark, were declared elected delegates to rank by seniority.
Hypes was the second elected by the Lay Electoral Conference and joined R. L. Stratton of Mt. Vernon; J. D. Madding of Lawrenceville; and Dr. E.W. Feigenbaum of Edwardsville as the elected lay delegates.
Hypes of Carbondale, attended Carbondale First M.E. Church and was well known to the Conference. At the time of her election, Hypes served as the Corresponding Secretary of the conference’s Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, which later led to the formation of the United Methodist Women. While living in Carbondale, her residence was the Dr. Barrow property on West Walnut St.
She was the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Robert Allyn, a native of Connecticut. Allyn entered the ministry in 1842 and spent three years in the local church before moving into higher education.
In 1863, Allyn accepted the presidency of McKendree College and for 11 years, was a leading voice for a teacher’s college in southern Illinois. When the Southern Illinois State Normal University was built at Carbondale, Allyn was selected as its first president in 1874, a post he held until 1892.
In later years, Hypes returned to Connecticut and died in October 1936 at the age of 92.