BARAGA, Mich. (WJMN) – Legislation introduced earlier this year to rename a Baraga County U.S. Postal Facility after a historic Michigan woman has been signed by President Biden’s and signed into law following its passage in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The proposed change renames the facility to “Cora Reynolds Anderson Post Office” was authored by Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow in March.
Cora Reynolds Anderson, a member of the Ojibwa Tribe, became the first woman elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1925. She represented parts of Baraga County in the legislature, and became the first Native American woman elected to serve in any state legislature in the country.
“Cora Reynolds Anderson is such an important part of Michigan’s history. As the first woman elected to the Michigan House of Representatives – and the first Native American woman to serve in any state legislature – she paved the way for so many women, including me, to hold public office. Naming this post office in the county she represented after her is one special way that Michiganders can honor and remember her for generations to come,” said Senator Stabenow.
Anderson was born in L’Anse, Michigan in 1882. In addition to Baraga County, she represented Iron, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon Counties in the legislature.
Anderson chaired the Industrial Home for Girls Committee and served on the Committees for Agriculture, Insurance, and the Northern State Normal School while in office. She worked to recognize Native American fishing rights, as well as combatting alcoholism and tuberculosis. Anderson was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
“Cora Reynolds Anderson was a dedicated public servant, educator, and advocate who improved lives all across the Upper Peninsula,” Senator Peters said. “This legislation will help honor her legacy as a barrier-breaking leader for Michigan and the first Native American woman to serve in any state legislature.”