The first woman to win a competitive election in a muncipality in Dutchess County: 1919 Clinton Overseer of the Poor
Of the twelve women who ran for a local office in Dutchess County in 1919, the first year they were able to do so beyond school elections, one woman did not succeed in her primary fight, eight women got their party’s endorsement but lost the election, and two were unopposed in the election and of course won. This leaves Anna Rozell, who won the Republican Party nomination for Town of Clinton Overseer of the Poor and beat her Democratic opponent 416 to 259, a majority of 158 votes. She would go on to be the first woman leader of her local Grange. And worked at WKIP until 1960, where she won the admiration of her colleagues.
Anna (Hewitt) Rozell’s father, Stephen Hewitt, served in the 80th Infantry, Co. A during the Civil War. Hewitt family photo.Anna (Hewitt) Rozell and Edwin Rozell of the Town of Clinton.
Photo courtesy of the Rozell family.
The 1919 Clinton Ballot with calculations of the town’s Chairman of the Republican Party showing Rozell’s significant win in two election districts
From the exhibition at the Department of Motor Vehicles, County Office Building, Poughkeepsie, Courtesy of County Clerk
Local Grange organizations, along with the local Church, were enormously important and influential in day to day life
In 1939 Anna Rozell became the first woman to lead her local Grange, only the second woman to do so in Dutchess County
Thanks from colleagues upon retirement
“…we wish to commend [Anna Rozell] for her bright and cheerful attitude, her unflagging interest in the world about herâ€¦her determination to live a long and useful lifeâ€¦setting a pattern of living and working which gained the admiration and respect of allâ€¦”