Millenium Countdown: 1921
Paper: The Carson City Daily Appeal, Wednesday July 13, 1921
Publisher: The Nevada Printing Company
Editor and manager: T. D. Van Devort
Subscriptions: One year by carrier $12, one year by mail $9.
Digging back into the past is nearly always confusing. Looking back at women of the late 19th and early 20th centuries can get downright nutty.
Though today we are scheduled to look at July 14, 1921 a small item from the day before has allowed us the opportunity to talk about the Annes Martin of early Carson fame.
In 1921, Annie Hudnall Martin was appointed assayer in charge of the U.S. Branch Mint in Carson City. She was the first woman to supervise a U.S. mint.
A year before, another of her contemporaries Anne Henrietta Martin marked another first for women when she became the first woman to see her name appear on an election ballot seeking the office of U.S. Senate.
She was not the first woman to seek the office of U.S. Senator. Margaret Brown the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” of Colorado made the first attempt in 1914, but was not successful in getting on the ballot.
Annie Martin began her stay in Carson as a child of six years. She was born in Memphis, Mo. Feb. 1, 1857.
Anne Martin was born at Empire City Sept. 30, 1875 the first of seven children to William O’Hara Martin and Louise Stadtmuller Martin.
Annie began her career as an elementary school teacher, a post she held for 13 years until at the age of 35 she purchased the Carson Daily Morning News.
“Since this mortal is of the weaker sex, it is with no little trepidation that I take up the new work … Newspaper business is entirely to my liking and I hope to succeed by patient work and unfailing energy.”
Looking back she said: “May 17, 1892, we dropped the rattan and the primer, left the schoolroom, and boldly (though blindly) jumped over into the next field – the field of journalism.”
In contrast, to Annie’s Carson education, Anne studied at the University of Nevada, Stanford University and overseas. In 1896, she received her bachelor of arts degree from Stanford earning her masters degree a year later from Stanford. She received a bachelor of arts from Nevada and also taught as a professor until 1901. From 1901 until 1903 she served as a lecturer on the history of art until leaving to study at the British Museum.
Unlike Anne, who worked tirelessly at gaining women the right to vote, Annie was opposed to women toying with such things, though she did write the political editorials for the News.
According to “Equal to the Occasion, Women editors of the 19th Century West” by Sherilyn Cox Bennion she used her columns to reprint articles on the suffrage question reminding women their first loyalty is to their children and they should not squander their energies outside the home.
Annie supplied copy for about one-third of the four-page Republican paper, but was often reminding readers that she did the writing. A month after buying the paper she told readers she and only she was responsible for the “utterances and policy” of the paper.
At one time, she gave the Reno Journal a schoolmarm’s scolding for inferring that a Mr. Coffin was responsible for the editorial content of the News.
In part, she wrote: “Of course it is not an easy matter for a woman uneducated in politics to cope successfully with men who have been in the harness for a quarter of a century, or more, but we beg Mr. Journal that you will the the future place the blame where it belongs, on our shoulders.”
Annie had many detractors who predicted the paper would not last six months and who referred to the News as the “petticoat paper” or the “Sunday school journal.”
She never married, but lived until the age of 71 working her way up to the head position at the mint.
Annie worked as a clerk at the mint from 1908 until 1921, becoming chief clerk in 1913.
The 1921, Carson City Daily Appeal wrote a short snippet on her appointment at the mint.
OF ANNIE H. MARTIN
(By United Press)
WASHINGTON, July 13-The senate late today confirmed the nomination of Annie H. Martin as assayer in charge of the mint at Carson City, Nevada.
She served as mint superintendent until she died of a stroke Feb. 19, 1928.
Anne Henrietta Martin got her start in Empire City, but as an adult became a Reno personality. Polk’s Directory for 1917 and 1920 shows Anne living with her mother at the family home at 157 Mill St. and notes that Anne was president of the Nevada Women’s Civic League. The same directories show Annie living with Frank Martin at 414 E. Fifth St. Frank worked as an electrician in 1917 and as a V&T Lineman in 1920. The relationship between the two is unknown other than he is not her husband or her son. He is likely the “distant relative” who she came to live with as a child, but the book does not say.
Anne in addition to champion women’s right to vote was also a tennis champion taking the title for the University of Nevada in 1893 and 1894 and the title for Stanford in 1895 and 1897.
In “The Long Campaign” by Anne Bail Howard, young Anne Martin is shown drifting around the world seeking a “vital connection” to lend meaning to her life.
After a time in England working on the suffrage movement, she returned to Nevada and help in the 1913 successful attempt at placing the question of women’s right to vote on the ballot. By Nov. 3, 1914 women could vote in Nevada.
In four years, 1918, women were voting for Anne as she made her first attempt at a U.S. Senate seat.
Anne ran as an Independent against Democrat Charles B. Henderson, Republican E.E. Roberts, and Socialist M.J. Scanlan. Henderson would win with 12,197 votes to Anne’s 4,603 of the 25,563 cast for U.S. Senator.
Prohibition was also on the ballot passing with 13,248 votes for to 9,060 against.
Anne was running for the seat left vacant by the Dec. 1917 death of F.G. Newlands. Henderson was appointed to fill Newlands’ position, but had to run in 1918 if he wanted to retain the seat.
In his “History of Nevada,” Russell Elliot writes about the race.
“A lively contest was ensured when Congressman E.E. Roberts was nominated by the Republicans and when Anne Martin a tireless worker on behalf of women’s rights qualified to run on the Independent ticket. Although her candidacy was opposed by many powerful and vocal interests, including such influential newspapers as the Carson Appeal, Miss martin carried her campaign to the people of the state and received a substantial vote, probably pulling more from the Socialists than from with the Democrats or Republicans.
Anne’s second bid for the U.S. Senate was made in 1920. Anne again took her campaign to rural Nevada making speeches from her car.
Again she was pitted against Henderson, but joined in the race by Socialist James Jepson, and former Nevada Governor and Republican Tasker Oddie.
Oddie defeated Henderson, but Elliot says this is likely because Anne drew so many of the Republican votes.
In his book, Persons in the Foreground, Nevada written in 1915 Boyd Moore says of Anne:
“Miss Martin, with those interested with her work here in the, or state (in woman suffrage) organized the Nevada Equal Franchise Society which directed the campaign made in behalf of the adoption of the amendment. Several times she was elected to the presidency of the organization, a position which she still retains (1915) and, with her, largely rested the duties of leading the successful state fight. The suffrage campaign in Nevada was notable, not only because it brought such distinguished women as Miss Jane Addams, Dr. Anna Shaw and Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman to support it, but because it was a triumph of organization. Every voter in the state was circularized several times with suffrage literature, public meetings were held in every precinct in the state that has as few as twenty-five votes, and may more were organized with the aid of a woman precinct leader. The fight was a triumphant one and to the indefatigable and intelligent efforts of Miss Martin much of the success is due.
Woman suffrage has become a life work with Anne Martin and, through her unswerving fidelity to the cause, her ability as a public speaker and as a writer, and her keenness in the conduct of a campaign, she has gained a name among the distinguished leaders in the movement throughout the United States.
Though Boyle spends much time on Martin’s accomplishments it is obvious to the reader that writing about a woman is something of a novelty.
“In writing heretofore we have thought it just as well to be more or less careless of words though not as to facts as we went rambling through a man’s life looking for that which may be designated as “color”-something or another to make a story interesting and “different,” as it were. But now we are dealing with the life of a woman-Miss Anne Henrietta Martin. The usual style would not be just apt here and yet, without it, the story would fall into the common rut in which drift ordinary biographies.
“Here we can see a bit of color and life for this article. It is made up of the question “How old is Anne?” We would have liked to have started right off wit that question, passed a few light words in such connection, and then drifted into more solid matter. But it would not be just the gallant thing to do. It would be to familiar. In the first place it would not be just right to use the given name alone, and, in the second place-maybe first place-it is supposed to be other than just the right thing to insist upon knowing the exact age of a lady-except at the desk of a marriage license clerk or before she has been swept into the twenties.”
The article continues but quotes another text: The big blue book “Who’s Who” among suffrage workers in American and England for her age and date of birth.