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Sarah Bell, Speaker

Development Director for the Watkins Museum of History

Madame Mayor: The First Women Mayors in Kansas

Did you know that for a brief time in Kansas, women leaders dominated local elections? The passage of the 1887 municipal suffrage bill allowed women to vote and stand for local elections. Women mayors were elected in several cities, and in Argonia, Mayor Susanna Salter became the first elected woman mayor in Kansas and the country. Other cities followed. This progress did not include women of color, who, despite being involved in civil and social affairs, did not have entry into elected roles. Yet, by the end of the 19th century, men again dominated the political landscape. Although short-lived, the influence of these early women civic leaders laid important groundwork. This talk weaves the chronology of women’s suffrage in the state with the stories of women elected leaders. 

Contact Sarah directly about speaking at your event:
(636) 399-7814

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How to Bring a Humanities Kansas Speaker to Your Event

  1. Review the Movement of Ideas catalog and select a speaker and topic.
  2. Contact the speaker and confirm time, date, and location.
  3. If interested, you can apply for funding to bring this speaker to your community. Find out how. (Please note: Completed applications, including the DUNS number, must be submitted six weeks before the event date to be considered for funding. Humanities Kansas is not able to fund applications that do not meet this requirement.)
  4. Publicize your event. Download a press release template and photo and Humanities Kansas logo poster.
  5. Tell us how it went. After the event, download and fill out a Speakers Bureau Evaluation and Cost Share Form and email them to Abigail Kaup.
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