100 Year Anniversary of When Women Took Over Umatilla
You might be surprised to find that a group of women staged a political coup at a card party and took over Umatilla's local government. It happened 100 years ago when a large group of women for a card party, but instead created a plan to vote their husbands out of local office according to sources. They were unhappy with the way the town was run and so Gladys Spinning, Florence Brownell, Anna Means and Stella Paulu created a plan to change it. They knew that not many people voted because it was a "good ol boys club" and that candidates for office did not have to declare themselves and write in votes were counted. That allowed for a sneaky write in strategy that the men never saw coming until after the votes were counted.
The office of Mayor was won by Laura Stockton Starcher who was the wife of the current Mayor of the time. The other four women who planned the coup, Gladys Spinning, Florence Brownell, Anna Means and Stella Paulu, were voted into the 4 open spots of the city council. The council was very successful after the election and "improved water and electrical services, approved funds for street and sidewalk projects, organized city cleanup weeks, new railroad crossing signs, founding a town library, replacement of the city’s American flags, institution of monthly garbage collection, planning for future community projects, and the appointment of a city health official during a 1918 smallpox epidemic".