Alexander/Crawford History

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Town News

By John Dudley 

& Cassie Oakes

Did you know that Matilda Joslyn Gage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan Brownell Anthony all have a connection to Alexander women?  They were workers for women’s suffrage.  They all died before “the right to vote by citizens shall not be denied on account of sex” became law in 1920, Maine’s Centennial year.

Alexander women and Maine women had that Nineteenth Amendment right before women elsewhere because of Maine’s first in the nation primary election in September 1920.  The right to vote also gave women the opportunity to serve in public office.

One such Maine woman was Margaret Chase Smith.  She voted and served in public office as a result of the Nineteenth Amendment she was born in Skowhegan on December 14, 1897.  (That date is what pointed to this article).  She married Clyde Smith, a Republican congressman from Maine and upon his death she was appointed to the House in his place.  She was then elected by the voters of the Second District in 1940, 42, 44 and 1946.  Next she was elected to the US Senate in 1948 and re-elected in 1954, 1960 and 1966.  Her name was placed for nomination for the office of President in 1964.  She was best known as the first Republican senator to speak out against the activities of Senator Joseph McCarthy.  This was known as her Declaration of Conscience Speech and was given on the Senate floor in June 1950.

Alexander women have taken the opportunity to serve their community.  In the past 30 years or so Phyllis Archer served as Tax Collector and Treasurer, Deanne Greenlaw, and Shirley McCall have served in the combined job of Tax Assessor, Collector and Town Clerk.  Christine Smith was Clerk back in 1984.  In 1992 the Planning Board had Pat Moreshead as a member.  Several Women were Assessors, Deanne Greenlaw, Kathy Kubinak, Norma Donahue, Karen Sears and Brenda Hunnewell.  Only one woman was a member of the Selectmen’s Committee, Karen Sears in 1995-6.

It may be because women feel greater love and responsibility toward children or because they look at life with the longer view; Whichever, many have served on the School Committee: Linda McArthur, Emma Turner, Lisa Lord, Maxine Seavey, Sherrie Parks, Brenda Harris, Rhonda Oakes, Esther Tozier, Beverly Holst, Michelle Clark, Lisa Thompson, Audrey Frost, Carla Jundt, Jan Sullivan, Patsy Hill, Rosa Subialdea, Linda Richardson and Melanie Howard.  Thank you all!

If any name is misspelled or if John Dudley missed a name, we will not blame Cassie.  Call John at 454-7476 and pass on the correct information.  Lists of elected and appointed leaders of Alexander are on the web site.