Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election 1910 - Oswald West Elected Governor; Many Voted in Barns

Now that we have ourselves a Governor, it might be interesting to look at the Election 100 years ago.

(Front page, afternoon edition, Election Day 1910)

The big news was that the Hotel Marion had reopened after renovation in the space of the Chemeketa and Willamette Hotel. Note the "home industry" slant and the comparison to Portland.

In election news, Governor West was elected (for more on West, see here and here), and among some 32 ballot measures, women suffrage was defeated, Western Oregon University ("State Normal School at Monmouth") authorized, and the local option for liquor approved but statewide prohibition failed.

Most of this doesn't register in the early returns, however.

But Jim Crow does. Oklahoma had joined the union in 1907 in August of 1910 adopted for voters a literacy test with a grandfather clause.

While we couldn't quickly find the polling places in 1910, here are the Salem polling places in 1909 - presumably they didn't change much.

First ward - E.P. Walker's Barn, Union and Church street.
Second ward - The City Hall [Chemeketa and High]
Third ward - Yannke's livery barn, High street, between Court and State
Fourth ward - Low's livery barn, Ferry and High streets
Fifth ward - Wade's cooper shop, North Libery street
Sixth ward - Dalrymple's hall, Asylum avenue
Seventh ward - Townsend's hall, South Commercial street
A barn, two livery stables, a cooper shop, two halls, and city hall. That really gives a sense for how dependent on horses was the city still. It's also interesting how close together the ward locations are - three of them alone on High street: At Chemeketa, between Court and State, and at Ferry.

Salem was small.

And did voters have to hold their noses, too, when they cast their votes?

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