Margaretta is best known for being a suffragette and leader for the rights of women, children, and the elderly across the state. She was an early officer in the Adams County Suffragette Association and was president of the Nebraska Suffragette Association when the 19th Amendment was ratified. The association immediately changed its name to the League of Women Voters, making her the first state president and regional director.
Margaretta Stewart Shaw Dietrich was born in 1881 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She married Charles Henry Dietrich, former Nebraska Governor and US Senator, in 1909, and quickly moved to Hastings.
Margaretta was well-educated and active in charity work in Philadelphia and in Hastings. Her work in Hastings included helping to establish Sunnyside, a home for the aged and dependent, which she later became the director. During World War I, like many women, Margaretta became active in the war effort.