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Thematic Time Period -- Age of Reform, 1880 - 1917 (Remove)
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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Susanna Madora Salter, Mayor of Argonia

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.

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He doesn't like female mayors

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.

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Governor Lyman Humphrey to John Hughes

Humphrey, Lyman Underwood, 1844-1915

In this letter Governor Lyman Humphrey of Topeka (Shawnee County) responds to John Hughes of Howard (Elk County) regarding a petition requesting a special session of the legislature to provide farmers relief from mortgages. The Farmer's Alliance and Labor's Union of America of Kansas produced and sponsored the petition. Mr. Hughes sent the first of such petitions to the Governor. The Alliance later cited the Governor's response to this petition in a circular it distributed with the petition forms. See Electors of Chautauqua County to Governor Lyman Humphrey, December 20, 1889-[n.d.], 1890.

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