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St. Cloud Elects Its First Woman To City Council – On ‘This Date In Central Minnesota History’

ST. CLOUD — April 9, 1924Myra Dragoo became the first woman elected to the St. Cloud City Council.

For nearly 70 years after St. Cloud became a city, it was governed by men.  Myra Eldred Dragoo broke that pattern when she became the first woman elected to the St. Cloud City Council on April 9, 1924.  Shortly after her election, she was named President, making her also the first woman president of the St. Cloud City Council.

Myra was born in a log cabin in Pillsbury to Clark and Ella (Holes) Eldred on November 12, 1883.  “From log cabin to courthouse” was one of Myra’s sayings about her life.  Her family moved to St. Cloud when she was 6 years old, and Myra grew up here.

Myra entered into the welfare service as a volunteer big sister.  She did such a good job in that first year that the next year, 1925, she was asked to serve as a member of the Stearns County Child Welfare Board.  She served on this board for several years before becoming a full-time welfare investigator for the new Old Age Assistance program.  She took this job with the plan to work “just long enough to earn a new spring outfit”.  But she became so passionate about this program that she resigned from her position on the Child Welfare Board and devoted all her energy into the thousands of applications that came in for elderly assistance.

Myra first ran for city council in 1924, and the official vote revealing she won was announced on April 9, 1924.  She held this seat for 8 years before losing out her campaign for treasurer’s seat (she came in 3rd on a slate of 8 male candidates).  She retired in 1953, after 29 years in welfare service.

Thanks to Sarah Warmka and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date in Central Minnesota History”.

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