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Biography Information
Political Campaigns

Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon

Birth Date: 1857
Death Date: 1932
State: Utah
Marital Status: Married
General Occupation: Health Care and Medicine · Education · Clerical · Domestic and Personal Service
Occupation: Physician; Teacher; Type Setter; Dish washer
Political Party Activism: This woman was not a political party activist.
Social Reform Activism: This woman was not a social reform activist.


Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon was elected to the Utah State Senate in 1896. She was the first woman state senator in the United States. Cannon had been a school teacher, newspaper typesetter, dish washer, and a secretary. She graduated from medical school at the age of 23 and from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Pharmacy two years later. In Salt Lake City, Cannon became the resident physician of the Deseret Hospital and was active in state suffrage campaigns. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was a polygamous wife. Cannon returned to school with the support of her husband, but the marriage did not survive the outlawing of polygamy in Utah.

Additional Notes


Martha Hughes Cannon's Campaign for State Senate, 1896

Political Office: State Senate
Election Year: 1896
Political Party: Democratic
Elected: Yes



Author Title More
Bickmore White, Jean Gentle Persuaders: Utah's First Women Legislators, in Carol Cornwall Madsen, ed., Battle for the Ballot: Essays on Woman Suffrage in Utah, 1870-1896 Details