Rachel Berry (legislator)
|Rachel Emma Berry|
January 11, 1915
|Born||March 11, 1859|
|Died||November 25, 1948
Rachel Emma Berry (née Allen) (March 11, 1859 – November 25, 1948) was an American suffragist and politician who in 1914 became one of the first women in the United States to win election to a state legislature when she was elected to a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives to represent Apache County, Arizona.
Family and early life
Rachel Allen was born in Ogden, Utah on March 11, 1859. She grew up in Kanarraville, Utah and taught school there. Rachel married William Berry in 1879. In the fall of 1881, Rachel and William left for Arizona with a group of 18 other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by covered wagons. They arrived in St. Johns, Arizona on January 27, 1882.
William Berry became a leading rancher and cattleman with the horses and herd of cattle he had brought from Utah. The Berrys had seven children, four daughters and three sons.
In 1912, shortly after it became a state, Arizona gave women suffrage, so Arizona's women gained the right to vote eight years before universal suffrage occurred in the United States. Women in Arizona soon after ran for elected office. In 1914 Rachel Berry became one of the first women to win a seat in a State Legislature in the United States. Her term representing Apache County began on January 11, 1915. During her one term in office, Berry focused on bills that were concerned with education and child welfare, and served as Chairwoman of the Good Roads Committee. She worked to adopt a bill for Arizona's current state flag.
After she completed her term in the House of Representatives, Berry was appointed the chairman of the Apache County Child Welfare Board. She was president of the local Relief Society and the Mutual Improvement Association of her church. She was the trustee of the school in St. Johns.
Death and legacy