Women of Note - Kansas

 

Name

 

B/D

 

Activity

 

Family

 

Focus/Achievement

 

Life Influences

 

Carla Stovall

 

 

 

Lawyer

Topeka

 

 

 

Two-term Kansas Attorney General (1994-2002)

Staunch defender of women's issues

 

Former BPW member.

 

Kathleen Sebelius

 

 

 

Topeka

 

 

 

The first Democrat elected Kansas Insurance Commissioner (1994-present). Kansas State Representative (1986-1993). Co‑founded the Kansas Public Policy Institute. Staunch protector of consumer rights.

 

 

 

Joan Finney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First female governor of Kansas (1990-1995). Rebuffed by Republican leaders for U.S. House seat, she came back later as a Democrat to win election for State Treasurer, then Governor.

 

 

 

Georgia Neese Gray

 

 

 

Richland

 

 

 

The first female Treasurer of the United States (1949).

 

 

 

Sheila Frahm

 

 

 

Colby

 

 

 

Appointed to fill Bob Dole’s U.S. Senate seat when he resigned. She served June 1996 to November 1996. Frahm had served six years in the State Senate and was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1994

 

 

 

Nancy Kassebaum

 

 

 

Wichita

 

 

 

The first female from any state to be first elected in her own right to a full term in the U.S. Senate (Source: http://www.lasr.net/leisure/kansas/specialty/people), and was the first woman to head a major U.S. Senate committee. At the time of her election, she was the only woman in the Senate (1979‑1997)

 

 

 

 

 

Kassebaum and Meyers resigned from Congress in 1997 and were replaced by men.

 

 

Jan Meyers

 

 

 

Overland Park

 

Married

 

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1985‑1997), chaired the Committee on Small Business during her last term. She served in the Kansas Senate (1972‑1984).

 

Martha Elizabeth Keys

 

 

 

Hutchinson

 

 

 

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1975‑1979

 

 

 

McFarland,  Kay

 

1935-

 

Lawyer

Topeka

 

 

 

First female Supreme Court Justice in Kansas (1977), Chief Justice (1995), first female elected district judge (1973). Chief Justice of KS Supreme Court (1995-present). Interested in wildlife conservation.

 

Graduated magna cum laude, & law degree Washburn U., As judge of probate & juvenile courts reduced serious offenses 50%+ in 2 years.

 

Kathryn O'Laughlin

 

 

 

Hutchinson,

 

 

 

U.S. House of Representatives (1932). The first Kansas woman to serve in Congress

 

Single, Catholic, and Democrat in a primarily Republican district

 

Cline, Nellie

 

1904-

 

Larned

 

 

 

First female lawyer to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court (1918).

 

 

 

Salter, Susanna

 

1872-1961

 

Reformer

Argonia

 

Married Children

 

First woman mayor in the United States. No further political office. Prohibitionist. Nominated by townsmen as a joke!

 

Daughter of town’s first mayor; father-in-law was former Kansas Lieutenant Governor.

 

Diggs, Annie LaPorte

 

 

 

Activist

Topeka

 

 

 

Primary organizer of Kansas Library Association (KLA) (1900) and State Librarian. Major Populist leader & suffragette

 

At the time of her appointment, was the highest ranking female state official in Kansas history.

 

Lease, Mary Elizabeth

 

1853-1933

 

Activist

Wichita

 

Married

 

 

Active and well-known speaker in the Populist political movement. Admitted to Kansas bar 1885.

 

Bored with domestic life, studied law.

 

Nation, Carrie

 

1846-1911

 

Reformer

Medicine Lodge

 

Married

 

Prohibition. Known for smashing saloons with her hatchets. Active in Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WTCU), at that time the largest women’s organization in the US. Issues: health and hygiene, prison reform, world peace.

 

Briefly married to an alcoholic, jailed about 30 times in 10 years

 

Nichols, Clarina

 

1810-1885

 

Activist

Quindaro (WY Cnty) & Lawrence

 

Divorced, remarried older news editor.

1 child. Lived in “sparse” conditions. Moved to Kansas from VT.

 

Equality, child custody, women’s higher education, right to vote in school elections. Seen but not heard officially. Instrumental in gaining suffrage for African American men. Helped slaves escape from MO to KS. Debated ministers on role of women. Saw opportunity in new state of Kansas to shape history and impact her causes. Kept in close touch with eastern colleagues.

 

Editor, widowed, gathered petitions for her participation at the Wyandotte (state) Constitutional Convention 1859 & was the only woman asked to address the assemblage. Colleague of Anthony, Stone, Brown, & Stanton whom she brought in to the suffragist cause. Public speaker/editorial writer.