September 1, 2010 10:45 AM Subscribe
Though her nomination was a joke
posted by amyms (28 comments total)
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, instigated by a group of men hoping to inhibit the local activities of the Women's Christian Temperance Union by embarrassing female voters, Susanna Madora "Dora" Kinsey Salter
surprised the pranksters by winning two-thirds of the vote in the mayoral election of 1887 in tiny Argonia, Kansas, becoming not only America's first female mayor, but also earning the distinction of being the first woman elected to any
political office in the United States. Her official notice of election read: Madam, You are hereby notified that at an election held in the city of Argonia on Monday April 4/87, for the purpose of electing city officers, you were duly elected to the office of Mayor of said city. You will take due notice thereof and govern yourself accordingly.
Though she only served one term and had no further political ambitions, she became a hero of the early women's suffrage movement.
The city marshal at the time of Salter's election (and one of her nominators) later told a newspaper, "We had a jollification
, and when she took her seat like a man all our fun was busted."
A contemporaneous booklet recounted the municipal elections of 1887 and 1888 in Kansas: Women's Suffrage in Kansas
Note: The article in the first link originally appeared in the Autumn 1954 edition of the Kansas Historical Quarterly
, published when Salter was still alive and kicking at 94 years of age. Here's the same article, with a different link
, because I don't know how much traffic the first site normally handles.