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Laura Stockton Starcher

Birth Date:
Death Date:
State: Oregon
Marital Status: Married
General Occupation:
Political Party Activism: Unknown
Social Reform Activism: Civic Reform


Laura Stockton Starcher was elected mayor of the small town of Umatilla, Oregon in 1916. She defeated the incumbent, her husband E.E. Starcher, by a vote of twenty-six to eight. In the same election, voters selected women for four of the six town council seats as well as the positions of recorder and treasurer. Women voters organized to bring about electoral change because of dissatisfaction with reduced town services. They were also displeased with the outgoing council's failure to address economic issues. E.E. Starcher said later that he had no prior knowledge of his wife's intention to run for office. Starcher took office in Janaury 1917 along with the four other women elected to the town council: Gladys Spinning, Anna Means, Florence Brownell, and Stella Paulu. Between 1917 and 1920 they directed improvements in public utility services, developed a plan for street and sidewalk projects, and carried out "Cleanup Weeks." Under these woman town government established a library and monthly garbage collection and, in 1918, brought in health officials to help the community deal with the smallpox epidemic. Several of these women remained in office through 1921 although Starcher served only eight months of her two-year term for reasons of health. In 1918 Stella Paula was elected mayor to replace her. In 1920 the town returned to an all-male city government because no women came forward to run for office.

Additional Notes


Laura Stockton Starcher's Campaign for Mayor, 1916

Political Office: Mayor
Election Year: 1916
Political Party: Unknown
Elected: Yes



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Beard, Darleen Bailey Operation Clean Sweep Details
"Laura Stockton Starcher," Oregon Historical Project Details
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