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Dearborn independent. [volume] (Dearborn, Mich.) 1901-1927, March 26, 1921, Image 10

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2013218776/1921-03-26/ed-1/seq-10/

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Kansas' Four Legisladies Are Home-Makers
Not Onlv Have the Fair Voters Been Shown How to Mark
Ballots They Have Been Instructed How to Scratch Them!
WHAT vman will do with the vote is
no longer a matter of speculation.
w w Paring the month immediately pre
ceding the first national election in which
women were permitted the right of franchise, the
National Good Government Bureau mailed out ap
proximately 4U.000 Good Citizenship leaflets to women
inquirers. One hundred thousand political platforms
and leaflets were supplied them by the Democratic and
Republican part: -
Many states, acceding to popular demand, had their
own bureaus. Especially noteworthy is the achieve
ment of Missouri The Missouri State League of
Women conducted a political information campaign
which embraced the sending out of explanatory m for
mation concerning the marking of ballots and the
scratching of them; and the conduct of a political in
formation bureau which really informed. This bureau
kept on file rec r U I I erning the candidates from each
party, the information being obtained through
questionnaires ent to the candidates them
selves. These records told where each can
didate stood on questions vital to women and
children, and something of his record as office-holder.
Even his religious affiliation was
Thus through this nation-wide informa
tive movement and its resultant good upon
the election which followed, has woman
proved her fitness for the ballot, and the
whole has been, as smc une trenchantly put
it. "A wonderful contribution to forward
But the holding of political office by
women, particularly such office as has to do
with legislation, is. comparatively speaking,
as yet in its tentative stage. The states have
proceeded cautiously here. But two women
have been elected to seats in the Ixwer
House of Congress. No state has had a
v. man representative in its Upper House.
Conservative Connecticut leads with five
women members in its legislature. Kansas
and C I rado come next with four each.
California and Utah each have three. New
Hampshire. New Jersey and Oklahoma have
two ipiecc. Idaho. Indiana, Michigan. Mon
tana. Nevada, New York. Oregon. Vermont,
North Carolina and Washington each ven
tured one. Thus it will be seen that less
than half the states have woman representation.
Why this notable lack? Is woman afraid of
the venture for herself? Do men fear that she
will spring too much sob stuff, or over-much freak
legislation ?
The women members of the Kansas legisla
ture may be said to be "safe and sane" on these
lines. Kansas "tried it out" with one woman
member last term and liked the brand she picked
so well that three more were added this year.
A Kansas newspaper woman happily coined
the term "legisladies," as distinguishing the Kan
sas women members from the male members of
the House The name fits. They are ladies.
They are essentially feminine. All are home
makers, who put home first. They have at
tempted no freak legislation. One of them even
voted for tlie repeal of the state's drastic anti
cigaret law. on the grounds, not wholly feminine
many male members accounted for their votes
in the same way that it "didn't work in her
town." One complains that the Topeka sidewalks
hinder her in the wearing of high heels. An
other bc'L'' a member addicted to lengthy flights
of oratory, to let up a little that she "might get
home in time to set her hens." Still another
boasts of the fact that she helped to pick more
than $400 worth of strawberries from her home
warden Inst year.
At least two of the Karfsas legisladies have
judicial minds. One acquired hers by association
with her lawyer husband. The other is a lawyer.
Miss Nellie ("line studied law with her father, and was
admitted to the Pawnee County bar in 1912. Although
her county gave 1,000 majority to the opposition ticket,
J ; iin'- defeated one of the most prominent attor
neys of her county.
While a number of women have been admitted to
practice in the state courts, they have confined their
activities largely to office service. Miss Cline is the
daughter of G. Polk Cline, one of the most widely
known criminal lawyers of Western Kansas, and was
i ciated with him in the firm of Cline and Cline.
She is a brilliant young woman as a first-er. She was
the first woman in Kansas to practice before the su
preme court of the state, the first to appear on the
program of the Kansas Har Association, the first and
only woman Democratic member elected to the House,
and the first unmarried woman to sit in the legislative
body in Kansas. Although she possesses many fighting
traits inherited from her father who is a veteran Dem
ocratic leader and old-time legal warrior, she brings no
fads nor isms to her work. Rather her interest lies in
the problems of good roads and transportation, as re
lated to her section of the state, which is a garden spot
for wheat-growing. She has been given place on many
prominent committees, where her legal knowledge has
proved of much help.
Mrs Minnie J. Minnich, of Sumner County, is the
wife of H. T. Minnich. of Wellington, a local Santa Fe
engineer. Mrs Minnich was brn and raised on a
ranch in New Mexico and received her education in the
public schools of Raton and at the Ladies' College,
Liberty. Missouri. Immediately upon finishing the
course here, she became her fathers assistant and as
sociate in business on the New Mexico ranch. Need
less to say. the live stock interests of her section have
in her a warm supporter. She has never run for pub
lic office before, but her fine business training and ex
perience stand her in good Itead in her legislative work,
and she is honored with a place on many important
committees, such as employes, public utilities, state
institutions, cities of the second class, and agriculture,
of which latter she secretary. Mrs. Minnich be
From Pawnee County.
From Seward County.
From Norton County.
From Sumner County.
heves that each member of the House should for the
most part confine his activities to forwarding the in
terests of the section he represents. The bills she has
offered for passage have all been of this type. One,
which has attracted wide attention, and which doubt
less other sections will copj, is known as the Welling
ton Foundation Bill, and was passed without OppOSl
tion. It provides for the lending of money by the city
at a low rate to those wishing to build homes Thirty
such homes have already been completed since the lull
was passed. Wealthy citizens have donated liberally
to the fund provided for in the bill and the city is just
finishing a successful $25,000 drive to add to it.
Mrs. Ida M. Walker, of Norton, is a newspaper
woman. She is an associate editor of the Real West
erner, of which her husband. C. H. Walker, is edi
tor. Her department. "On the Impulse. " is widely
quoted in the Middle West
Mrs. Walker was born in a s'd house in Western
Kansas, in which section she has lived ever since.
Thus she is a real westerner, imbued with the breezy,
progressive ideas of the West. She began her career
in her teens as teacher in the country schools. Later
she taught in various city schools of her section. In
her home town she has served on the local librarv
board, a,s president of the city federation of clubs,
and 1 1 now superintendent of the Methodist Sunday
-I hoot She worked faithfullv durini; the
World W ar in the various local activity
She is now serving her third term ax re
cording secretary of the state W. C. T. L
She was president of the Kansas Federation ot
W oman's Clubs for two years. She organized a aura
ber of counties in Northern Kansas in Belgian and
Near. East Relief work, and is now state director of
woman's work for Near Kast Relief.
Mrs. Walker has a keen mind and sound business
ability, and serves on many important committees. N
a brilliant orator, she yet has the happy facnlt)
summing up the situation in a few words, in striking
contrast to the jazz oratory so often found Among mei
Mrs. Walker mothered the State Bonus Bill, of
which 'he is joint author, and which has won favorable
comment over the state. It not only provides for the
s.-Idiers of the late war. but for the Spai
American veterans as well.
Mrs Minnie J. irinstead. of St.
County, was elected in 1018as the first arora
an member of the Kansas legislature. Tin
male members, while scrupulously courteous,
did not particularly welcome the innovation.
They were afraid the woman member w
be fossy and full of fads and isms. But
the sound sense she displayed throughout the
trying ordeal of her term as the only woman
member, won not only for herself a warm
welcome to her second term, but for her
woman colleagues as well when they entered
upon their first term.
Mrs. Grinstead is the wife of Judge Grin
stead, former county attorney of Seward
County, and now judge of the Thirty-fifth
District. She has a wide grasp on public af
fairs. She is an ex-sthool teacher, a force
fill speaker, a licensed evangelist, and h;is
been lecturer for the National W. C T I'
In the House she has never from the first
.sidestepped responsibility. She is ..
debate and has introduced her full shai
bills. On several occasions she ha
the House as relief speaker. Although the
mother of four children, who with her 1 I
band were in Topeka throughout her first
term as legislator, and for whom ihe acted
as housekeeper, she never once was mil
from her seat at morning roll call.
Mrs. Grinstead's first campaign was full of
thrills. She opposed one farmer, a real - I
merchant, who had served the previous term in
the legislature, and had proved to be "terninst"
every "fad or ism" that came up. and ha' voted
"no" on every question save one that of the seg
regation of Negro school children in cities of the
second class. Mrs. Grinstead stood pat for ev
ery measure she thought right and they were
many, as might be expected from her previous
career. She was elected on the Republican ticket
by a small majority, but was given the second
term without opposition.
Mrs. Grinstead holds almost the record for
service on committees in the House, especially
Mich as relate to welfare and reform measures,
and is the only woman in the United States who
ever served on a legislative judiciary committee.
Bttt all has not been clear sailing for tins,
women members on the legislative sea-. Mrs
Minnich has found herself between two w;io
Hacktd in her campaign by the Railway Brother
hoods, they are now protesting more or less
mildly against the firm stand she has taken for
the industrial court. Mrs. Walker is particularly
good at checkmating attempted put-overs in leg
islation, in which matter even guileless Kansas
is not guiltless. This wins for her, of course,
some passing resentment. Miss Cline is keen in
debate and repartee, and no man likes to he
worsted by a woman. Mrs. Grinstead introduce ! a
bill making it possible for a married woman who might
be hurt in an accident to collect her own damage
instead of the money going to her husband, as under
the present law. This bill brought upon her an SVS
lanche of letters, some in praise, many condemnatory.
woman from the effete Kast wrote: "For shamej
Suppose I lived in Kansas and should hurt my hand
while at my housework. I could then sue my own hflS
band for damages."
The bill, being too advanced even for advanced
Kansas, was killed
Mrs. Grinstead also mothered the Girls Dormitory
Hill for state schools. In an eloquent plea for th
measure, she spoke of the possibility of the alltm"i
provided for covering the cost of a kitchenette for th
various groups of apartments, in which kitchenettes the
girls could make fudge. Hut the farmer mcmh rs
would have none of this "tomfoolery' and the bill
was killed, whereat Mrs. Grinstead, in a fit of tettl
porary discouragement, exclaimed, "Oh, fudge! what s
the use?"
Bttt on the whole, the Kansas legisladies look upn
their work as well worth while, since it has many COW
pensationi to offset its trials.

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