Dateline Jackson, WY. 1920. A special town meeting was called to address the numerous challenges facing Jackson (pop 307). Faced with a do-nothing local government more concerned with growing their businesses and ranches than improving the community itself, the town’s women aired their grievances.
Perhaps as a joke, or out of frustration caused by the list of complaints submitted by the ladies, one of the men offered a solution: “Let’s elect the women.”
They won the election across the ballot and became known (at least in some of the newspapers) as The Petticoat Rulers.
Mayor Grace Miller and Rose Crabtree, Mae Deloney, Genevieve Van Vleck and Faustina Haight made up the town council. Crabtree ran against her husband, Henry, and defeated him 50-31.
You’d be forgiven if you thought this all-female local government made tiny Jackson, WY unique in 1920, the first year of universal suffrage, but you’d be wrong. Oskaloosa, KS and Kanab, UT had already done that. Wyoming voted to enfranchise women in 1869, Utah in 1870 (then changed their minds in 1887), Kansas in 1887.
Also, previously on MeFi.
Just bringing this up today. You know. For no special reason. k.