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Susanna Salter Home | by frank thompson photos
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Susanna Salter Home

One wonders if this house was indeed painted pink in 1887 when Susanna Salter was elected the first woman mayor in the USA. Argonia, Kansas, in Sumner County. Now a museum.

 

The story behind her election is at once interesting and humorous. He father had been the first mayor of the small town and the 27-year old Susanna, an acquaintence of Carrie Nation, was active in the local Women's Christian Temperance Union. Several local men (rumored to be drunk at the time in some reports) jokingly nominated her as the Republican candidate for mayor. With the backing of the city's women, prohibitionists, and Republicans, she won a surprise victory. After an uneventful term, she declined to run again. News of her election stirred debate around the world regarding the eligibility of women for public office.

 

It all began right here - in little Argonia, Kansas, amongst the wheat fields of western Sumner County.

 

National Register Historic Places

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Taken in October 2003