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Enderlin in Ransom County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Agnes Geelan

Teacher, Mayor, Senator, Author and Activist

 
 
Agnes Geelan Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2022
1. Agnes Geelan Marker
Inscription.  
Born near Hatton, ND May 19, 1896.
1915 — Mayville State College graduate. Enderlin Educator — 20 years.
1918 — Worked for women’s suffrage with League of Women Voters.
1935 — President of ND American Legion Auxiliary.
1946-1954 — First female ND mayor.
1950 — First female elected to ND Senate.
1948 & 56 — First female to be nominated by a major party to run for Congress.
1966-1971 — ND Workmen’s Compensation Commission. Author of three books — “The Dakota Maverick,” “Pine Cove Revisited,” and “The Minister’s Daughters.”
1975 — Liberty Bell Award from the ND Bar Association.

Invited to the U.N. session on disarmament in June 1988 and invited to the U.N. Secretary General’s reception. At age 92 she was named a Newsweek American hero citing her peace activism.

Agnes died March 10, 1993, after a long and exceedingly productive life.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationGovernment & PoliticsPeaceWomen. A significant historical date for this entry is May 19, 1896.
 
Location. 46° 37.51′ N, 97° 36.164′ W. Marker
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is in Enderlin, North Dakota, in Ransom County. Marker is on Railway Street just south of 2nd Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Marker is mounted on memorial bench on the west side of Baxter Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Enderlin ND 58027, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Also see . . .
1. Agnes Geelan, Politician and Author.
Agnes Geelan was the first woman mayor of an incorporated city in the state, when she was elected mayor of Enderlin in 1946. She also had the honor of being the first woman state senator, when she served in the North Dakota Senate from 1951 to 1954. She was a member of the North Dakota Constitutional Convention in 1972.
(Submitted on January 15, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Agnes Geelan, Mayor of Enderlin.
Through the turmoils of the Depression and World War II, Agnes observed Enderlin’s local politics and found it wanting. In 1983, Agnes recalled those times, saying: “We women were very critical of town politics, because they usually elected some retired railroad worker who couldn’t care less. I came home from a trip and found I was nominated. I asked a businessman what was going on and he said, ‘Agnes, you’ve bitched so much about city government, we figured we’d give you a chance to see if you could do any better.’” She won that 1946 election and went right to work. In 1954, after
Agnes Geelan Memorial Bench image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2022
2. Agnes Geelan Memorial Bench
(looking northeast from Railway Street)
8 years in office, Agnes relinquished her position, later saying: “I must have done all right, because when I retired, the town elected another woman mayor,” Doris Smith.
(Submitted on January 15, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Agnes Kjorlie Geelan (Find A Grave).
Agnes Geelan was the daughter of Norwegian immigrant homesteaders. Geelan began her political career as an officer in the ladies auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen in 1931. She was the first female major in the state when she was elected major of Enderlin in 1946. In 1950 she became the first woman elected to North Dakota Senate representing Ranson County. Geelan ran unsuccessfully for congress in 1948 and 1956, when she was first woman in North Dakota to be endorsed by a major party. Geelan took her first step for peace in 1951 when as a state senator she voted for a resolution asking the U.S. to pull Americans soldiers out of Korea.
(Submitted on January 15, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 15, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 76 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 15, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jul. 22, 2024