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Moments in Missouri Political History Video Segments

[ Transcript for: Marie Byrum ]

Marie Byrum video transcript


One hundred and forty years after the creation of the United States of America, Marie Ruoff Byrum became the first woman to cast a vote in the state of Missouri. She was 26 years old. The first election held in Missouri after the 19th Amendment allowed women’s suffrage was a special election to fill a vacancy on the Hannibal city council. Her role in Missouri history was no accident. On August 31st, 1920, Marie Byrum walked 15 blocks to the poll in a drizzling rain. She and her husband, Hannibal city clerk Morris Byrum, were met by her father-in-law Lacey Byrum who was serving that day as a democratic party election judge. His suggestion, that she be the first woman at the polls now ensures her place in Missouri history.