Anderson Was Also The First Native American Woman Elected to Serve in Any State Legislature
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Debbie Stabenow (MI) to designate the post office located at 404 US-41 North in Baraga County, Michigan as the “Cora Reynolds Anderson Post Office,” has passed the House. Cora Reynolds Anderson, a member of the Ojibwa tribe, was the first woman elected to the Michigan House of Representatives and represented parts of Baraga County. She was also the first Native American woman elected to serve in any state legislature. The legislation, which passed the Senate in September, now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Cora Reynolds Anderson was a dedicated public servant, educator, and advocate who improved lives all across the Upper Peninsula,” said Senator Peters. “This legislation will help honor her legacy as a barrier-breaking leader for Michigan and the first Native American woman to serve in any state legislature.”
“Cora Reynolds Anderson is such an important part of Michigan’s history. As the first woman elected to the Michigan House of Representatives – and the first Native American woman to serve in any state legislature – she paved the way for so many women, including me, to hold public office. Naming this post office in the county she represented after her is one special way that Michiganders can honor and remember her for generations to come,” said Senator Stabenow.
Photograph of Cora Reynolds Anderson as published in the Mining Journal.
Cora Reynolds Anderson was born in L’Anse, Michigan in 1882. She was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1925 where she represented Baraga, Iron, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon Counties. While serving in Michigan’s Legislature, she chaired the Industrial Home for Girls Committee and served on the Committees for Agriculture, Insurance, and the Northern State Normal School. Her work included fighting to recognize Native American fishing rights and combatting the alcoholism and tuberculosis epidemics. In 2001, she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame for her contributions to society.