Next year is the centennial celebration for women’s overall right to vote in Kansas.
Although women and blacks would have been granted the right to vote in 1867, the vote failed.
After the 1867 defeat, women turned their attention to municipal elections. The Kansas Equal Suffrage Association led the suffrage campaign and success came early in 1887. In the April elections women captured several local offices. They won all five seats on the Syracuse city council, and Susanna Madora Salter of Argonia was the first woman in the nation to be elected mayor.
Edgerton was quick to follow suit in 1890.
On November 5, 1912, Kansas voters finally approved the Equal Suffrage Amendment to the state constitution and became the eighth state to grant full suffrage to women.
After gaining equal suffrage through state action for themselves, Kansas women continued to work for a national suffrage amendment. The national suffrage movement continued through World War I. On August 8, 1920, the long fought for goal of a national woman’s suffrage amendment was achieved. The states ratified the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Governor Allen called a special session of the legislature so that Kansas could act quickly on this issue. Lawmakers ratified the amendment on June 16, less than two weeks after it was proposed by Congress.
(Information courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society.)