Monday, November 11, 2013

Bovina's First Female Office Holder

On November 8, 1921, Mina Wilson was elected as tax collector for the town of Bovina, getting 272 votes to only 50 for her opponent, Guy Rockefeller.   The Andes Recorder reported that Wilson “came through with flying colors and has the distinction of being the first woman elected to office in the town."  Women had gained the right to vote in New York in 1918 and nationwide in 1920.
The results of the election for tax collector in the November 8, 1921 general election.
This is Mina's oath of office as tax collector.
Mina (pronounced Mi-nie) was born Wilhelmina Cooke in 1874, the daughter of William and Ellen Cook.  She was married in 1905 to Walter Wilson.  They had three children, of whom two survived her at her death in 1952.  Mina was widowed in 1944 and died in January 1952 at the age of 78.  Mina is buried with her husband in the Bovina Cemetery.
Mina's obituary from the January 25, 1952 Catskill Mountain News
Mina appears to have served as tax collector for only one term and did not run again (she was succeeded by Mary Gordon, widow of Thomas Gordon and mother of Margaret Gordon).  She was busy enough running the post office and a store in the Mountain Brook area (right where Mountain Brook Road comes out on County Route 6), which might explain why she did not run again.  Mina ran the store and post office until about 1947 when the post office was closed.

From 1921 on, Bovina appears to have always elected at least one woman to an office in Bovina.  Mina has the distinction of being the first.

No comments:

Post a Comment