The Chronicle -

By Finn J.D. John
Chronicle Columnist 

Offbeat Oregon History: Umatilla mayor's wife had an 'election-day surprise' for him


April 4, 2019

Image provided/Smithsonian

A typical piece of anti-suffrage propaganda masquerading as humor, from the 1910s.

It was around 2 p.m. on Election Day, in December of 1916, that Umatilla's mayor, E.E. Starcher, first discovered that he was not running unopposed for re-election.

That's when someone mentioned to him that his wife, Laura Starcher, was running a write-in campaign against him.

Mayor Starcher thought this was a fine joke, of course. "I felt secure enough," he told a reporter from the Pendleton East Oregonian, "but I got busy at once. Everywhere I went among old adherents I found they had voted for my wife, and I thought all the time they had voted for me!"

By the time the polls closed that...

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