Salter House Museum - Argonia, Kansas
The Salter House was the home of Susanna Madora Salter, whom on April 4, 1887 became the first woman in the United States to be elected as a town mayor. She was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and some men had nominated her as a representative of the Prohibition Party as a joke
The joke wa son them. Susanna Salter's father had been the first mayor of Argonia (elected just two years earlier) and her husband had been the first town clerk. Susanna got 2/3s of the vote. She served out a one year term and did not seek reelection. Although Argonia emphasizes that she was the first mayor, she was also the first woman elected to any political office in the United States.
When I called the Salter House Museum in Argonia, Kansas, to schedule a tour in 2011, the nice lady explained that they were going to do major renovation and the house wasn't ready for showing. However, after a brief conversation, she said that if I didn't mind the building being dirty and cold, she would meet me there at 3PM. The 130 year old home was in poor condition, but the community had just received a grant which will allow the building to be stabilized and stop the water from doing further damage.
I was met at the home by Carol E. Pearce, who apologized for the condition of the home. She said that the board responsible for the building did not want photos taken of the interior and the only photos from the interior of the home which I will use, are close ups of some of the items on display.
Following the tour, I followed Carol to the Argonia Cemetery where we visited Susanna Salter's grave. Mrs. Salter lived over 100 years.
The building has been restored since that first visit and the exterior photo above is from 2021. We didn't have an opportunity to revisit the interior at that time.
copyright 2011-2022 by Keith Stokes