Women in Political Parties

Women have been nominated for many positions by all the political parties since the granting of suffrage. They have endured the fate of men who aspire to office, and been defeated when they accepted place on a losing ticket. The Prohibition Party has numbered more women candidates than any other party, the socialists being a close second. Mrs. Antoinette A. Hawley was candidate for mayor of the City of Denver on the prohibition ticket and “points with pride” to the fact that she received some five hundred votes. After the granting of suffrage, the Republican Party nominated three women who were elected to the Legislature. These members of the Tenth General Assembly who accepted and discharged the highest privileges consequent upon the duties of citizenship were Mrs. Frances S. Klock, Mrs. Carrie Cressingham, both of Denver, and Mrs. Carrie Clyde Holly of Pueblo. Mrs. Frances S. Klock had been a resident of Denver thirty-six years.

At the second election the Populist Party, once defeated, but still numbering a large voting contingent, united with the democrats and a wing of the republicans, calling themselves the National Silver Republicans, and they carried the state. Each party nominated women; Mrs. Evangeline Heartz was selected by the Populist Party and the silver republicans nominated two women, Mrs. Martha A. B. Conine and Mrs. Olive Butler. These women were all from Denver, and were elected to the Eleventh General Assembly.

The women of the state, with continued zeal, two years from this election, sent three more women to the Twelfth General Assembly. Two were nominated and elected to represent the women of Arapahoe County, being residents of Denver, and the third was elected from Pueblo County. This member Dr. Mary F. Barry, was a practicing physician in Pueblo, where she had been previously publicly honored by being appointed county physician.

Of the two Denver women representatives, Mrs. Frances S. Lee was the youngest woman ever elected to such a position and one of the youngest members of the House. She was a graduate of Denver schools and had been for a time school teacher. She introduced several bills relating to the lighting and sanitation of school buildings.

Mrs. Harriet G. R. Wright, the other member, has been for over forty years a resident of Colorado. Her husband came in the days of “fifty-nine” and took part in many of the early enterprises that helped to build the financial future of this state.

The Thirteenth General Assembly was represented by but one woman, Mrs. Evangeline Heartz. The Fourteenth General Assembly witnessed the same condition as the thirteenth, there having been but one woman representative. The democratic party of Denver nominated and elected Mrs. Alice M. Ruble, who was the lone woman in that assembly. She had been in 1898 a member of the Board of Control of the State Industrial School for Girls and served with zeal and faithfulness.

The Fifteenth General assembly was without representation by the women, and the sixteenth was also lacking women representation.

The Seventeenth General Assembly found Mrs. Alma V. Lafferty in the House. In the Eighteenth General Assembly Mrs. Alma V. Lafferty, Mrs. Louise M. Kerwin, Mrs. Louise U. Jones and Mrs. Agnes L. Riddle were in the House. In the Nineteenth General Assembly, Mrs. Helen Ring Robinson was in the Senate and Mrs. Frances S. Lee and Mrs. Agnes L. Riddle were in the House. In the Twentieth General Assembly Mrs. Robinson was in the Senate and Mrs. Evangeline Heartz in the House. In the Twenty-first General Assembly Mrs. Riddle was in the Senate and Mrs. Heartz in the House.

History of Colorado

Source: History of Colorado, Wilbur Fisk Stone, Editor, Volume I, Chicago, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1918

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