Pioneers in Lawmaking: Women in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, 1915-1921

by Emily Langston

From the beginning of Oregon’s history, women held a very different type of citizenship than men. Through a practice called coverture, white married women had no right to their own property, earnings, or children, and were considered “covered” by their husbands in all other legal matters. They essentially became extensions of their husbands, who would represent them in political and legal contexts. Single white women had slightly more economic rights as they had ownership of their own wages, however, they had little opportunity available to them and were still not allowed to vote, thus having no political representation. When the Oregon Constitution was being written and debated in August and September of 1857, the right to vote was included for “white male citizens.” “In the first recorded advance for woman suffrage in Oregon, on September 10, 1857, David Logan of Multnomah County moved ‘to strike out male before citizen.’ His motion lost, apparently without any comment or debate.” It would therefore be adopted in the Oregon Constitution that neither women, nor men of color would be allowed to vote in the state. In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment expanded the definition of citizenship as “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” Advocates for women’s suffrage argued that women, as citizens, should be able to exercise all of the rights of citizenship, including voting. However, in the 1875 Minor v. Happersett decision, the Supreme Court declared that voting was not a right conferred on all citizens. Women in Oregon and around the country continued the fight for the right to vote, changing their strategy whenever they hit a new roadblock, like that of the Minor v. Happersett decision.

Suffragists first managed to get the proposition to grant women the right to vote in Oregon onto the ballot in 1884.  The measure was voted on (by men only, of course) and failed.  It would subsequently be brought to the ballot four more times – in, 1900, 1906, 1908, and 1910 – before finally being approved by voters in 1912.  While the path to suffrage in Oregon was long and arduous, the state was actually ahead of most of the rest of the country in allowing women to vote.  It would not be until 1920, with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, that women’s right to vote was protected at the federal level.

After achieving enfranchisement in 1912, Oregon women were first allowed to campaign for seats in the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1914.  Women across the state wasted no time in exercising this new opportunity – the first women’s campaigns for the Oregon Senate and Oregon House of Representatives were launched that year.  While women were making great strides in their social standing, historian Kimberly Jenson notes that “when women break down some barriers to citizenship, such as achieving voting rights, they encounter a new set of restrictions as they advance to new arenas of citizenship, such as office holding.” [1]  The first women to serve in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, exercising the full extent of their rights as citizens, encountered great challenges as they infiltrated this world that was previously reserved for men.  Despite these challenges, early women legislators did not back down.

Marian B. Towne

Oregonians first elected a woman to serve in the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1914.  Marian Towne was elected to represent Oregon’s eighth representative district, from Jackson County, in the House of Representatives.

Towne was born in 1880 in Sterling, Oregon, a small town in Jackson County which has since been abandoned.  Her family later moved to nearby Phoenix, Oregon, also in Jackson County, where she attended school.  Towne first got involved in government working as an assistant to the Jackson County Clerk, W. G. Coleman, a position she held for five years.  While working as clerk, she studied law at night.  Her duties as assistant clerk included reading and filing new state laws of interest to the County.  It was in this position that she developed a particular interest in the legislature and decided that she could see herself being a legislator.[2]  She was particularly interested in juvenile court reform, social betterment and efficiency in government.[3]  Towne filed her candidacy in 1914 and launched a successful door-to-door campaign talking with and listening to voters.  She estimated that she visited three-quarters of the houses in the Rogue River Valley.[4]  In addition to visiting voters’ homes, she also gave speeches to community groups.  Towne was endorsed by Medford Mayor W.H. Canon, and George Putnam, publisher of the Medford Mail Tribune.  She earned the Democratic Party nomination, and went on to beat a well-known Republican in the general election.[5]

Towne served in the 1915 Legislative Session.  In this session, the House was dominated by a large Republican majority.  Democrats, Towne among them, held only four seats in the sixty-member chamber.  While the legislature was in session, Towne sat on three committees: Education, Health and Public Morals, and Salaries.  Towne introduced three bills and one resolution during her time in the legislature.  By request, she introduced a bill defining the crime of conspiracy and prescribing punishment for it.  This bill passed through the House, but the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended that it not pass, so it was postponed indefinitely (failing) in the Senate.  She introduced another bill which would have lengthened the minimum school term.  This bill failed in a vote of the House.  Towne’s third bill sought to define who would be parties to lawsuits against insurance companies.  This bill came out of the House Judiciary Committee with a recommendation not to pass, and was postponed indefinitely, also failing.  Towne also introduced a House Concurrent Resolution requiring the Secretary of State to furnish a new filing system for members in the next legislative session, to replace the current cumbersome system for filing printed bills.  While all three of Towne’s bills died, her resolution for a new filing system was adopted.[6]  In addition to her bills and resolution, Towne also defended the funding of the Oregon State Industrial School for Girls, an institution which opened in 1913 “for the care and reformation of wayward girls.” [7],[8]  The Oregon Voter, a conservative, political magazine published in Portland, Oregon described Towne as “shy and diffident, lacking in force and influence, and soon forgotten by her fellow-members” during her time in the legislature.[9]  In the same article, however, the magazine also noted that members “chafed” at Towne’s “inability to vote as a close majority wanted her to.”  Though the Oregon Voter framed her behavior negatively, this seems to indicate that Towne stuck to her convictions when it came to voting on bills, even at the expense of relationships with her colleagues.

After serving her two-year term, Towne sought reelection in 1916, but she was not successful.  Despite losing her seat in the legislature, Towne continued to be a pioneering woman entering realms previously reserved for men.  After losing the 1916 election, she enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on March 29th, 1917.  This was the first time women were allowed to serve in the United States armed forces in a capacity other than nursing.  One week after Towne enlisted, the United States entered into World War I.  Towne served as a Yeoman F, working as a clerk at the Bremerton Naval Yard in Bremerton Washington.  She later achieved the rank of Chief Yeoman F and worked in the paymaster’s office.  She applied to be a regular commissioned officer in the Navy, but women were not allowed to serve as officers at the time, so her request was denied.[10]  Towne was discharged in June of 1920, and went on to work for the Washington State Health Department.  She later moved to San Francisco where she worked for the California Bar Association.  During the Depression she worked for the Women’s Division of the San Francisco Public Welfare Department.  She later moved back to Oregon to spend the end of her life in her family home in Phoenix.

Kathryn Clarke

In 1914, the year Marian B. Towne was elected representative, voters from Oregon’s fifth senatorial district, Douglas County, reelected their Senator, George Neuner Jr.  The following January, just before the commencement of the 1915 legislative session, Neuner resigned from his position as senator to become a district attorney.  Oswald West, the Governor of Oregon at the time, sought to fill Neuner’s vacant seat by appointing Dexter Rice, a Douglas County judge.  A public debate ensued over whether or not the Governor had the authority to make an appointment to fill the vacant senate seat.[11]  Amidst the controversy, Rice chose to decline the appointment.  Governor West then appointed Kathryn Clarke, his cousin, to fill the seat, but amid further questioning of the validity of the appointment, Douglas County officials decided to hold a special election to elect a new senator.  Clarke filed her candidacy.

Kathryn Clarke was born in 1873 in Douglas County, Oregon, to Canadian immigrants.  Her parents ran two hotels, in Roseburg, Oregon and Glendale, Oregon.  After finishing her schooling, Clarke became manager of Hotel Clarke, her family’s Glendale hotel.  When Clarke launched her campaign for a seat in the Oregon State Senate, she was endorsed by the Glendale News.  She ran as a Republican, and campaigned on a platform of supporting law enforcement, and saving taxpayer money.[12]  A special election was held in Douglas County on January 20th, 1915, solely to elect a new Douglas County Senator.  Clarke won the election by only seventy-six votes.[13]  Although Clarke was not the first woman elected to the Oregon Legislative Assembly, she joined Marian Towne to serve in the 1915 Session, the first session women were eligible for office in the Oregon Senate or House of Representatives.  She was sworn in on January 25th, 1915.

Clarke was appointed to sit on four committees: initially, County and State Officers, Horticulture, Mining, and Public Buildings and Institutions, but she would end up serving on the Industries Committee rather than Mining.[14]  Despite starting her term two weeks after the January 11th commencement of the session, Clarke took it upon herself to introduce seven bills and one Senate Joint Resolution.  She introduced a bill to fix the salary of the Douglas County treasurer.  The Senate Committee on County and State Officers recommended that this bill lie on the table until they could resolve a question of who would be tax collector.  The Senate adopted this recommendation, and the bill did not move.  Clarke’s next bill sought to amend laws relating to veterans of the Indian Wars of 1855-1856.  In particular, it would have made changes to provisions which provided compensation to widows of those surviving veterans. This bill was sent to the Ways and Means Committee, which recommended that it not pass.  It was thus postponed indefinitely.  Two of the bills Clarke introduced related to the boundary lines of Douglas County, her district.  One, which addressed the boundary line between Douglas County and Jackson County, passed through both chambers of the legislature, but the other, relating to the boundary line between Douglas County and Josephine County was defeated in a Senate vote.  Clarke had another two closely-related bills which sought to regulate the descent and distribution of estates, and which would have referred the questions to the state ballot.  Both of these bills passed through the Senate, but subsequently both were indefinitely postponed by the House, on the majority recommendation of the House Committee on Judiciary.  Clarke’s last bill would provide for district attorneys to make reports to the attorney general.  After the Senate Committee on Judiciary recommended that it not pass, the bill was indefinitely postponed.  Later the rules were suspended to reconsider the vote on the bill, and it was subsequently re-referred to the Judiciary Committee.  The committee then returned the bill with a do-pass recommendation, and in the morning session on February 19th, 1915, the second-to-last day of the session, the Senate voted in favor of it.  Later that same day, in the afternoon session of the House, it would be indefinitely postponed, thus failing.[15]

In addition to her bills, only one of which passed, Clarke also introduced a Senate Joint Resolution.  Her resolution proposed an amendment to the Oregon State Constitution, and would have referred the proposal to the Oregon ballot.  The resolution proposed to give the Governor of Oregon the authority to remove district attorneys, sheriffs and constables for refusing or failing to perform their duties or cooperate with the governor in the enforcement of laws.  It would also give the governor the authority to make appointments to fill those vacancies.  This resolution took an arduous journey through the legislature.  After its initial referral to the Resolutions Committee, the committee reported to the Senate that it should pass.  The Senate adopted this report in the afternoon session of January 26th.  In the morning session of January 27th, the bill was re-referred to the Resolutions Committee.  On February 4th, the resolution was returned to Clarke following the reading of a January 27th report by the Resolutions Committee recommending that it do not pass.  On February 8th, Clarke returned her resolution to the President’s desk and she and her colleague Senator I. S. Smith demanded a roll call on the question of indefinitely postponing the resolution.  Senator Garland moved to refer the resolution back to the Resolutions Committee, and a roll was called on the motion.  Clarke, Smith, and Garland were joined by eight others in voting in favor of the motion, but this was not enough votes so the motion failed.  The resolution was thus indefinitely postponed.

During her term as a Senator, Clarke joined the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, and helped work towards securing women’s right to vote at the federal level.[16]  After only one session in the legislature, she moved to Pasadena, California, where she lived with her sister and took a job as a buyer in a department store.[17], [18]

Sylvia (Mrs. Alexander) Thompson

Neither Marian B. Towne nor Kathryn Clarke served in the Oregon Legislative Assembly after their first term.  The 1917 Session commenced, again without any women in the Oregon State Senate.  The Oregon State House of Representatives, however, had another woman representative.  Sylvia Thompson won the 1916 election for representative as a Democrat from Oregon’s Twenty-ninth Representative District, Wasco County.

Sylvia Thompson was born into poverty in Louisville, Kentucky, as Sylvia Williams.[19]  At seventeen-years-old she was married, becoming Sylvia McGuire.  Shortly thereafter, she was abandoned with a young daughter.  Sylvia was never able to attend college, but she raised her daughter on her own and put her through school.  She moved to Oregon in 1903, where she made a name for herself throughout the Pacific Northwest as a “gifted entertainer and elocutionist, very much in demand at banquets.”[20]  In 1911, she married travelling salesman Alexander Thompson, and turned her focus to public work.  During World War I, she handled publicity for the Red Cross, and did fundraising speaking tours throughout Oregon.  She also spoke on behalf of the Democratic national ticket, and earned membership as the first woman admitted to the Democratic National Committee at their meeting in 1916.[21]  That same year, she campaigned to represent Wasco County in the Oregon House of Representatives, and was elected.

Thompson travelled to Salem for the 1917 Legislative Session.  During that Session, she was instrumental in saving the Child Labor Bureau.[22]  Another bill of Thompson’s made changes to how the state mental institutions could commit patients, which was coupled with a resolution to invite an expert to give a presentation on the mentally ill – both of these passed.  She introduced another resolution honoring and offering condolences to the family of a Navy Admiral who had passed away.  This resolution passed unanimously through both chambers.  Also in that session, Thompson introduced two education-related bills.  The first, which passed, increased school district maintenance funds.  The second proposed to make county school superintendents ex-officio members of the school boards for the purpose of hiring teachers, but the bill failed.  She also introduced a bill to regulate food in cold storage, but it was not successful.  In addition to her individual legislative efforts, for the 1917 Session Thompson was appointed to sit on four standing committees: Education, Health and Public Morals, Public Institutions, and Rules and Joint Rules.  She was also appointed to three special committees, including a conference committee formed on an appropriations bill to fund salaries for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops, the Child Welfare Commission, and other similar state agencies.[23]

After serving her first term in office, Thompson successfully sought reelection in 1918 and returned to Salem for the 1919 Legislative Session.  As evidence of the respect she earned from her colleagues during the 1917 Session, for her second term in office Thompson was appointed chair of the House Committee on Education, making her the first woman to chair a standing committee in the Oregon Legislative Assembly.  As further proof of Thompson’s increasing prestige as a representative, she was appointed member of the powerful Joint Committee on Ways and Means, which handles all state budget appropriations.  She also sat on the Alcoholic Traffic Committee, which existed after Oregon enacted a prohibition on alcohol.

During the1919 session, she continued to be a champion for education, and also for women’s advancement.  She introduced a bill creating a minimum wage for teachers, for which she argued,

[Teaching is] the most exalted profession in the world next to that of motherhood….  Our            teachers [are] the mainstays of civilization and decency… to whom we entrust the   molding of future civilization….  We will never get better schools until we are willing to          pay for them.  The more money spent on education, the less we will need for corrective           institutions.[24]

This bill passed with a large majority.  She introduced another successful, education-related bill providing salary and travelling expenses for the superintendent of schools of her home district, Wasco County.  Also in her second session, Thompson introduced a bill which tentatively raised the question of equal pay for women and men.  It sought to impose a penalty on school districts for pay discrimination between women and men teachers.[25]  This bill was not successful.  Further attempting to advance the rights of women, Thompson introduce a bill which would have made women eligible to serve as jurors, a privilege of citizenship they did not hold at this time.  The Committee on Revision of Laws recommended that the bill not pass, although there was a minority report offered which recommended its passage “for the reason that the women of this state are subject to all the burdens of government and should be allowed a full participation in the affairs thereof, and for the further reason that no person should be taxed and then denied the right of full representation in her government.”[26]  Despite this historic call for women’s equality, Thompson’s bill still did not pass.  Thompson’s third bill in the 1919 session which addressed women’s legal standing declared that if a young woman was married she would be deemed to have reached the “age of majority,” essentially declaring legal adulthood upon her marriage.[27]  This same bill also provided that a young woman would be deemed to have reached the age of majority for the purpose of consenting to the adoption of her illegitimate child.  This bill carried an exception that any woman under the age of eighteen would still be subject to child labor laws.  The bill passed.  In all, during Thompson’s second session she introduced eight bills, five of which passed.

After the 1919 regular session, the legislature convened again for a special session in 1920, from January 11th-17th.  During this special session, Thompson introduced the resolution to ratify the federal women’s suffrage amendment, which had been passed by the United States Congress in June 1919 and sent to the states for ratification.  The success of this resolution meant Oregon’s ratification of the 19th Amendment during this special session.  In addition to passing this resolution, Thompson introduced five other bills relating to mental health, funding for education, and the regulation of public dance halls, all of which passed.[28]

The Oregon Voter described Thompson as being very well-liked by her colleagues during her time in the legislature.  The magazine’s descriptions of her paint a portrait of a woman who knew how to conduct herself in a man’s world in a way which made men respect her – essentially, she was able to fit in.  Apparently much to the delight of her colleagues, early on she demanded that the rule against smoking not be enforced.  Further, the Oregon Voter observed, “She knew how to get into a dandy spirit of comradeship” and, “she was wickedly clever at bawling [her colleagues] out wittily at times.”[29]  Aside from her noted ability to fit in with the men she worked with, Thompson was an effective legislator.  She used her professionally honed speaking skills to her advantage – she could win concessions of her colleagues by fact, argument and charm.[30]  Although she tended to vote with the minority, “she proved to be a great power in behalf of sensible and progressive legislation in behalf of education, women’s welfare and children’s welfare.”[31]  After serving her second term in the Oregon House of Representatives, Thompson gave up her seat in order to run for United States Congress.  She was not successful, losing in the May, 1920 Democratic Party primaries.[32]

Mary Strong (Mrs. William S.) Kinney

The fourth woman elected to serve in the Oregon Legislative Assembly was Mary Strong Kinney, of Astoria.  Kinney, a Republican, won the November 1920 election to the House of Representatives from Oregon’s Nineteenth Representative District, Clatsop County.  As Kinney entered into the 1921 Legislative Session, she again was the only woman serving in the House, as Thompson and Towne had been before her.  Since Clarke’s 1915 session, there had not been another woman in the Oregon Senate.

Kinney was born in Salem on April 9, 1859, as Mary Edna Strong, the daughter of Oregon pioneers.[33]  She graduated from Willamette University and went on to teach at LaCreole Academy in Dallas, Oregon.  In 1881, at the age of 22, she married William S. Kinney in her family home.[34]  After the death of her husband in 1898, Kinney handled his large industrial interests for many years.  She also became the director of the Clatsop Mill Company.  In Astoria, she lived on a farm, a lifestyle she enjoyed.  She was also Executive of the Astoria Young Women’s Christian Association, and President of the Women’s Civic Club, an organization “pledged to the moral and material benefit of Astoria and Clatsop County.”[35]  During World War I, the Kinney family was deeply involved in the war effort.  Three of Mrs. Kinney’s sons served overseas.  Her fourth enlisted but did not end up going overseas.  Kinney contributed as superintendent of the Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Red Cross, and was actively involved in the Victory and Liberty Loan campaigns.

Kinney saw it as the duty of voters to take an interest in public affairs.  She was exceptionally knowledgeable, but did not have a particular desire to be in government herself.  She was persistently encouraged to run by a number of people, and eventually filed her candidacy with the secretary of state just before the filing deadline.  While campaigning in the Republican primaries, Kinney said, “I stand for progress, efficiency and economy in all legislation. Business methods should rule in our laws, in their making and in their enforcement.  These laws should be made by men and women who are true Americans, true Oregonians, and faithful to the principles of democracy and the dictates of conscience.”  This statement of her platform exemplifies Kinney’s patriotism and business-centered ethic.[36]

Kinney was elected in 1920 and went to Salem in January, 1921, to serve in the House of Representatives.  She was appointed to sit on four committees.  Impressively, she was made chair of the Health and Public Morals Committee during her first session.  Presumably based on her experience managing a farm and a mill, she was also appointed to the Forestry and Conservation Committee.  In addition to those two, she sat on the Alcoholic Traffic Committee, and the Food and Dairy Products Committee.[37]  In statement of her priorities for the session, Kinney said, “Of all the things that confront the present legislature, I believe the most important is the question of taxation and greater revenue for the state.  I shall direct most of my attention to this work.”[38]  In addition to her work on revenue, Kinney, like Thompson before her, worked arduously on two bills to give women the right to serve on juries.  Heated debate on the bills touched on women’s rights, women’s role in society, what is best for women, and presumptions about what women want.[39]  After one of the bills passed through the House, Kinney spoke on the Senate floor imploring the senators to vote for it.  She debated so successfully there that the bill passed, even though a majority of senators previously had not supported it.[40]  The bill Kinney passed referred the measure to Oregon voters, who approved it in a special election a few months later.

After her first term in the Oregon House of Representatives, Clatsop County voters elected Kinney to represent them in the Oregon State Senate, where she served in the 1923 and 1925 sessions.  She was the first woman to serve in the State Senate since Kathryn Clarke’s 1915 session.  Kinney was viewed as an influential and honorable person, positively contributing to the cultural and social progress of Oregon.  After her death, a ship built in Portland, Oregon was named the SS Mary E. Kinney Liberty Ship in her honor.[41]


In the early years of women’s participation in the legislature, women senators and representatives encountered significant opposition to their legislative efforts.  Towne and Clarke were the first to begin trying to break down these barriers, and they encountered more challenges than the women who would follow them.  The reasons for this opposition can only be speculated – it is possible that their colleagues in the House and Senate took issue with the ideas they presented; it is also possible that they encountered increased opposition by virtue of being the first two women serving in the Oregon Legislature.  In a 1920 issue, the Oregon Voter noted that while Towne’s colleagues in the legislature “accorded [her] every curtesy, those courtesies were in honor of her sex and not to her as an individual member.”[42]  Clearly Towne was treated differently for being a woman.  Both women worked hard in their positions, and were persistent with their efforts to see their ideas realized as law.  While most of their bills failed, Towne and Clarke each had one successful bill.  The next two women to serve after them were successful.  Their male colleagues may have been slightly more used to the idea of working with women, or these two women may have been much more skilled in navigating the work of the capitol.

There is much discussion centered on the relative value of descriptive representation.  Do women legislators better represent the interests of women citizens than do likeminded men?  Jessica Tollestrup notes that “measuring the extent to which… women officeholders affect the creation of laws and policies is a challenge because many stages of the decision-making process occur outside the public view or are difficult to define.[43]  Among other challenges to definition, it is not abundantly clear when women or men fight for bills they are not sponsoring.  Although representation may be difficult to measure, it is undeniable that many advances in women’s rights and opportunities have been championed by women representatives.  Towne, Clarke, Thompson and Kinney fought for women’s legal and political rights, the improvement of education, the protection of child welfare, and many other causes important to the women of the State of Oregon.  The first four women to serve in the Oregon Legislative Assembly not only made great strides as individuals; they broke ground for more women to come after them.  One hundred years after the first women served in the Oregon legislature, women are still proportionally underrepresented.  Over the past century, however, women have served as committee chairs, caucus leaders, and even as president of the Senate and Speaker of the House.  As members and leaders they have been extremely influential in Oregon government, and continue to gain ground advancing the lives of women, children and families around the state.

[1] Jenson, K. (2009). Revolutions in the machinery: Oregon women and citizenship in sesquicentennial perspective.    Oregon Historical Quarterly 110(3): 336-361.

[2] Southern Oregon Historical Society (n.d.). Towne, Marian B., 1880-1966. Retrieved from:   

[3] Southern Oregon Historical Society (n.d.). Towne, Marian B., 1880-1966. Retrieved from:   

[4] Jenson, K. (n.d.). Marian B. Towne (1880-1966). The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:       

[5] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[6] All information about Towne’s specific bills was gathered from: Journals of the Senate and House of the Twenty-   Eighth Legislative Assembly (1915). Salem, OR: State Printing Press.

[7] Jenson, K. (n.d.). Marian B. Towne (1880-1966). The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:       

[8] Oregon State Board of Control (1916). Second biennial report of the Oregon State Board of Control 1915-1916.   Salem, OR: State Printing Department.

[9] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[10] Jenson, K. (n.d.). Marian B. Towne (1880-1966). The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:       

[11] Jenson, K. (n.d.). Kathryn Clarke (1873-1940). The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:       

[12] Jenson, K. (n.d.). Kathryn Clarke (1873-1940). The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:       

[13] Guyer, R. J. (2013). Notable women. In Douglas County chronicles: History from the land of 100 valleys.               Charleston, SC: The History Press.

[14] Journals of the Senate and House of the Twenty-Eighth Legislative Assembly (1915). Salem, OR: State Printing     Press.

[15] All information about Clarke’s specific bills was gathered from: Journals of the Senate and House of the Twenty-  Eighth Legislative Assembly (1915). Salem, OR: State Printing Press.

[16] Jenson, K. (n.d.). Kathryn Clarke (1873-1940). The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:       

[17] Jenson, K. (n.d.). Kathryn Clarke (1873-1940). The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:       

[18] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[19] Chapman, C. C. (1919, January 4). Who’s who in the House. Oregon Voter, 16(1), 34-64, 102-108.

[20] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[21] Biography of Thompson before her election informed by: Chapman, C. C. (1919, January 4). Who’s who in the    House. Oregon Voter, 16(1), 34-64, 102-108.

[22] Chapman, C. C. (1919, January 4). Who’s who in the House. Oregon Voter, 16(1), 34-64, 102-108.

[23] Information about Thompson’s bills and committees in the 1917 session from: Journals of the Senate and House                of the Twenty-Ninth Legislative Assembly (1917). Salem, OR: State Printing Press.

[24] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1919, February 15). Minimum wage for school teachers. Oregon Voter, 16(7), 13.

[25] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1919, February 15). Same pay for women. Oregon Voter, , 16.

[26] Journals of the Senate and House of the Thirtieth Legislative Assembly (1919). Salem, OR: State Printing Press.

[27] Information about Thompson’s age of majority bill from: State of Oregon (1919) Constitutional amendments       adopted by the people at the special election June 4, 1917, and laws enacted by the people at the general          election November 5, 1918 together with the general laws and joint resolutions and memorials adopted by                 the thirtieth regular session of the Legislative Assembly. Salem, OR: State Printing Department.

[28] Information about Thompson’s activities during the 1920 special session from: Journals of the Senate and House                of the Thirtieth Legislative Assembly (1920). Salem, OR: State Printing Press.

[29] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[30] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[31] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[32] Jenson, K. (2010, November 14). Oregon women candidates for statewide office 1914-1920 (including Esther        Pohl Lovejoy). Kimberly Jenson’s Blog. Retrieved from:

[33] Mary Edna Kinney. (n.d.). Records of Salem Pioneer Cemetery. Retrieved from:       

[34] Mary Edna Kinney. (n.d.). Records of Salem Pioneer Cemetery. Retrieved from:       

[35] Mannix, W. F. (1920, Spring) Morning Astorian. Via, Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman     legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[36] Mannix, W. F. (1920, Spring) Morning Astorian. Via, Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman     legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[37] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1921, January 21). Committee assignments: House. Oregon Voter, 24(4), 28-29.

[38] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1921, January 22). Mrs. Kinney for Business. Oregon Voter,24(4), 36.

[39] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1921, February 12). Women jurors. Oregon Voter, 24(7), 55-57.

[40] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1922, December 30). Who’s who in the Senate: Mrs. W. S. Kinney. Oregon Voter, 31(13), 45-46.

[41] Young, J., and Platz, C. (1992). The Brown Family History II. Newton, KS: Mennonite Press. Via, Mary Edna          Kinney. (n.d.). Records of Salem Pioneer Cemetery. Retrieved from:      

[42] Chapman, C. C. (Ed.). (1920, November 27). Our woman legislator. Oregon Voter, 23(9), 16-21.

[43] Tollestrup, J. (2012). Women and Oregon political history: The research and writing of Up the Capitol Steps.           Oregon Historical Quarterly, 113(3), 478-491.

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