Between the World War I years when many men were serving overseas and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the years 1910-1925 were full of firsts for women.   Some firsts represented major changes in the opportunities open to women in American society and some were just stunts or examples of woman flexing their growing independence.

From military service to civil service to new occupations, these women were of interest to the American population at large. Women taking on new roles made the news nationwide.

The Women

  1. Florence A. Stone, the first woman mail carrier of the far west. (1918)
  2. Lucille Atcherson, first woman selected for an important diplomatic post. (1922)
  3. Dr. Katherine B. Davis – Commissioner of Corrections (1915)
  4. “Major” Kathleen Macklin, first woman food administrator. (1918)
  5. Virginia Brassac, first woman to be sent by air as a parcels post “package.” (1919)
  6. Viva M. January, first woman ordained minister in Washington D.C. (1922)
  7. Lillian Lagonarsino, first woman licensed auctioneer in the US. (1922)
  8. Lillian A. O’Neil, first woman to hold a position in the White House Executive Offices. (1918)
  9. Abbey Morrison, first woman inspector of wireless apparatus. (1918)
  10. Elizabeth Marbury, first woman proposed delegate at large for a Presidential convention. (1920)
  11. Annette Abbot Adams, first women U.S. District Attorney. (1918)
  12. Jean Hodson, first woman field clerk in the US Army. (1922)
  13. Dr. Mary Crawford, first American woman ambulance surgeon. (1915)
  14. Clara Alice Jess, first woman judge in a US city. (1912)
  15. Anita King, first woman to cross the US by car alone. (1915)
  16. Ada L. Cardell, first woman Internal Revenue collector. (1916)
  17. Hazel Quick, first American woman engineering student to include shop work in her training. (1914)
  18. Georgia Bullock, first woman defense attorney for a murder case. (1914)
  19. Loretta Walsh, first woman to become a regular sailor. (1917)
  20. Edna Payne, first woman recruiting sergeant. (1916)
  21. Alberta Claire, first woman to cross the country on horseback. (1912)
  22. Anna Edson, first woman river boat purser. (1914)
  23. Yarlock Lowe, China’s first woman lawyer. (1914)
  24. Mrs. George Leimer, first woman to pay alimony. (1914)
  25. Mrs. M. Murry, Seattle’s first woman Jitney bus driver. (1915)
  26. Lolla Haynes, first woman Jitney operator in Toledo. (1915)
  27. Alice Curtis Moyer-Wing, first woman campaigning for suffrage by horseback. (1915)
  28. Kathryn Rutherford, first woman vice presidential candidate. (1915)
  29. Susan Myrick, 1st woman enrolled in the National Conference on Race Betterment’s registry. (1916)
  30. Nana Sterling, first woman applicant to the Australian aero corps in Europe. (1916)
  31. Erra Mae Free, Chicago’s first jitney bus driver. (1915)
  32. Jeannette Rankin, first woman in the US Congress. (1917)
  33. Helene Dutrieu, first woman air scout. (1915)
  34. Edith Campbell, first woman on the Cincinnati Board of Education (1912)
  35. Erle Chambers, first woman in the Arkansas legislature. (1922)
  36. Lottie H. O’Neill, first woman in the Illinois legislature. (1922)
  37. Georgia Hopley, first woman prohibition agent. (1922)
  38. Fay Cusik, first woman pupil at Governors Island, NY shooting school. (1922)
  39. Maud Royden, Great Britain’s first woman minister. (1922)
  40. Alma J. Cole, first woman Special Deputy County Clerk of Bronx County. (1919)
  41. Jean H. Norris, New York’s first woman magistrate. (1919)
  42. Dr. Amy Kankonen, Ohio’s first woman mayor. (1921)
  43. Harriette C. Adams, 1st woman correspondent to visit the front line trenches in France. (1917)
  44. Lillian Gatlin, first woman to fly across North America (1922)
  45. Ruth Stacker, first woman athletic instructor in the naval service. (1918)
  46. Mrs. Harold Dodd, first woman radio operator/inspector for the N.E. Army district. (1918)
  47. Leola N. King, Washington’s first woman traffic officer. (1918)
  48. Isabel Villiers, first woman to enlist in the Signal Corps. (1919)
  49. Sylvia Boyden, first woman to jump from an airplane with a parachute (1919)
  50. Lt. Edith Smith, first woman given a bona fide commission in the US Army. (1918)

The News Coverage

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