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People - Notable Kansans - Salter, Susanna Madora, 1860-1961

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He doesn't like female mayors

He doesn't like female mayors
Date: January 28, 1888
In this newspaper article, the former city marshal of Argonia, Sumner County, Kansas, laments the election of Susanna Salter as mayor, saying that "female mayors are no good." In particular, he was frustrated that she asked him to close his poker room, and she also prevented the local druggist (pharmacist) from keeping alcoholic beverages in stock. He claims that "Mrs. Salter has just killed Argonia." Originally published in the Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Indiana, the article was republished in the Meade County Globe, Meade, Kansas, on January 28, 1888.


Six gun to 61

Six gun to 61
Creator: Kansas. Centennial Commission
Date: 1960
This film by the Kansas Centennial Commission commemorates 100 years of Kansas statehood with an overview of Kansas history. The twenty-five minute film begins with the Louisiana Purchase and ends with President Eisenhower's speech in Abilene, Kansas, in 1959. The film was produced by the University of Kansas Television-Film Center with assistance from the Kansas Historical Society, and it was written and directed by Robert D. Brooks and J. William Walker.


Susanna Madora Salter

Susanna Madora Salter
Date: 1880
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.


Susanna Madora Salter

Susanna Madora Salter
Date: March 02, 1954
A photograph of Susanna Madora Salter, first woman mayor, taken at age 94. In 1887, Salter was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas, and became the first Kansas woman to hold such an office.


Susanna Madora Salter, Mayor of Argonia

Susanna Madora Salter, Mayor of Argonia
Date: 1887
Portrait of Susanna Madora Salter, Mayor of Argonia, and first woman mayor in the United States. 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.


William Watson to Dora (Susanna) Salter

William Watson to Dora (Susanna) Salter
Creator: Watson, William H.
Date: April 6, 1887
This brief note, written by William Watson, mayor of Argonia, Sumner County, informed Susanna Salter that she was elected to serve as mayor in the election held two days earlier. Salter was the first elected female mayor in the United States. This is a photographic copy of the original, which was loaned to the Historical Society by Monroe Billington, author of "Susanna Madora Salter, first woman mayor," Kansas Historical Quarterly, autumn 1954, pages 173-183.


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