Kate Barnard, First Woman Elected

Kate Barnard was the first woman elected to a state office (Oklahoma) in the United States. She was the first Oklahoma Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for two four year terms (this position was the only one that the 1907 Oklahoma State Constitution permitted a woman to hold). Remember, this was before women had the right to vote.

Before being elected, she was a teacher and very active in charity work. After being elected, she became actively and vocally involved in Native American rights, saying that they were being cheated. The governor of Oklahoma and prominent businessmen collectively convinced the legislature to take away the funding for her office and that ended her political career - but not her advocation for the victims of poor treatment and graft.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Bain News Service
Date & Place: in Oklahoma USA
Updated Sep 09, 2020

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