Portrait unveiled of first woman, Native American to serve in Michigan House

Published: Dec. 9, 2016 at 7:47 AM EST
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The portrait of the first Native American woman elected to the Michigan State House is now on display. A special ceremony was held Thursday to dedicate and unveil the portrait of Cora Reynolds Anderson, a member of the Chippewa-Ojibwa community.

She was the first woman elected to the State House in 1924, just four years after woman achieved national suffrage. She represented the "Iron District" of Baraga, Iron, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties in the Upper Peninsula. She served for one term, 1925-1926. In 2000, the Michigan House of Representatives named the new House Office Building in her honor. In 2001, she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.

Anderson fought for public health and welfare issues. She also chaired a committee for a reform school for girls located in Adrian. Anderson introduced six bills including licensing for beauticians and cosmetologists, sanitary conditions in hotels and inns, fishing rights, and accounting and reporting in township offices. She was also a strong advocate for agriculture.

The Anderson House Office Building in downtown Lansing is named in her honor.

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