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Susanna Madora Salter - Page

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A formal portrait of Susanna Madora Salter, 1860-1961, and her husband, Lewis Salter in 1880, during the first year of their marriage.

Born March 2, 1860, in Belmont County, Ohio, Susanna Madora Kinsey moved to a Kansas farm with her parents in 1872. Eight years later, while attending the Kansas State Agricultural College, she met and married Lewis Salter. The couple soon moved to Argonia where she cared for their young children and became an officer in the local Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Nominated on the Prohibition Party ticket by several Argonia men as a joke, Salter surprised the group and received two-thirds of the votes. She was elected in April 4, 1887, just weeks after Kansas women had gained the right to vote in city elections. The 27-year-old woman knew more about politics than her detractors realized. She was the daughter of the town's first mayor. Her father-in-law, Melville J. Salter, was a former Kansas lieutenant governor.

Although she apparently performed her job well, Salter never sought another elected office. Within a few years, the Salters moved to Oklahoma where the nation's first woman mayor died in 1961 at the age of 101.

Date: 1880

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This source would work well when grouped with other sources about women's roles in local government. It could also be paired with the letter selected for this standard that announced her triumph in the Argonia election.

KS:7th:4.1:Women's Suffrage (2005)

Item Number: 307
Call Number: B Salter, Susanna *2
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 307

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