Cora Reynolds Anderson

Title

Cora Reynolds Anderson

Subject

Politics

Description

First woman elected to Michigan's House of Representatives

Creator

Amy French

Source

Image: Michigan Women's Hall of Fame

Birth Date

1882

Birthplace

Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA

Death Date

1950

Occupation

Politician

Biographical Text

Cora Mae Reynolds was the first Native American woman elected to Michigan's House of Representatives. Of Ojibwe descent, she is thought to be the only Native American woman to have served in Michigan's legislature as of 2014. Born in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Reynolds decided to become a teacher. After attending public schools in the area, she then went to the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas to study. After her training was completed, she returned to the Upper Peninsula and taught in the local school system.

Cora Reynolds married Charles Anderson in 1903; the couple ran a local hotel in L'Anse, Michigan. "Anderson's desire to improve the lot of those less fortunate led her to take up a new cause: establishing a public health service for Baraga County." (Majher, Michigan History, 47) She was particularly interested in alcoholism and other public health issues, such as tuberculosis. In 1925, she ran for the Michigan House of Representatives. She served one term from 1925-1926. During that time, "she was appointed chair of the committee overseeing the Industrial Home for Girls." (Mahjer, 47) Anderson continued to promote the public health by sponsoring acts to regulate sanitation practices. Representing her Native American constituency, she championed fishing rights on Huron Bay. After a redistricting caused Reynolds to lose her position, she joined the Michigan Grange, where she "quickly rose through the ranks to become an officer of the organization, respresenting the U.P. with distinction." (Mahjer, 48) In 2001, her life's work was honored when she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.

Bibliography

Majher, Patricia. "Cora Reynolds Anderson: a Career of Firsts." Michigan History Magazine (March/April 2015): 46-48.

Michigan Women's Hall of Fame: http://hall.michiganwomen.org/

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Date Added
June 8, 2014
Collection
Local (Michigan)
Item Type
Person
Tags
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Citation
Amy French, “Cora Reynolds Anderson,” Women Who Dared, accessed May 22, 2018, http://womenwhodared.omeka.net/items/show/15.