Kate Barnard

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Date of Birth May 23, 1875
Place of Birth Nebraska
Date of Death Feb 23, 1930 (54)
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Kate Barnard

Catherine Ann "Kate" Barnard was the first woman to be elected as a state official in Oklahoma, and the second woman to be elected to a statewide public office in the United States, in 1907. She served as the first Oklahoma Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for two four-year terms, the only position that the 1907 Oklahoma Constitution permitted a woman to hold. Before being elected to office, Barnard had worked as a teacher and in clerical patronage positions in the territorial government. She was also heavily involved in charity work.

Born: Catherine Ann Barnard, May 23, 1875, Geneva, Nebraska, U.S.
Died: February 23, 1930, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political party: Democratic Party
Occupation: Social reformer
Known for: First woman elected to statewide office in Oklahoma
Preceded by: Office established
Succeeded by: William D. Matthews

About Kate Barnard

Famous as the first female elected official in the state government of Oklahoma, she served two terms as Oklahoma Commissioner of Charities and Corrections.

Before Fame

After graduating from St. Joseph's Academy in the late 1800s, she briefly worked as a schoolteacher.


While in office as Commissioner of Charities and Corrections, she worked to make education compulsory; to end child labor; and to help the poor and abused.

Family Life

The child of Rachel and John Sheill, she spent her youth in Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.


After meeting social reformer Jane Addams, she became involved in charity and activism work.

Information related to Kate Barnard

  • Jeannette Rankin first woman elected to the United States Congress .
  • Oklahoma Constitution - The Constitution of the State of Oklahoma is the governing document of the U.S. State of Oklahoma. Adopted in 1907, Oklahoma ratified the United States Constitution on November 16, 1907, as the 46th U.S. state.
  • Women in Oklahoma politics
  • Oklahoma Democrats
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Latest information about Kate Barnard updated on March 02, 2021.

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