“Editor’s Column,” Carbon County News, October 17, 1912.
Josie Fitzgerald was a newcomer to the city of Price at the turn of the 20th century. Born in 1862 and raised in Pennsylvania by her Irish immigrant parents, she travelled to the eastern Utah mining town in 1900 to visit her sister Isabelle Murphy and brother Thomas, and by 1903 she was a permanent resident of Price. She was employed at the county courthouse, where she worked for nearly a decade as deputy to several county officers including auditor, clerk and recorder. In 1912, when the titles of county clerk and recorder were separated into two distinct offices, Fitzgerald’s name made it to the ballot for county recorder. Running on the Republican ticket, she was elected as the first female municipal officer in Carbon county.
Local newspapers printed articles praising her capabilities as well as her dedication to the job. The Carbon County News printed an editorial of a “well known Price woman” who stated that, “Miss Fitzgerald…knows all the ins and outs of the office. Go to it ladies; your candidate is well qualified and the way for you to show appreciation of the ballot is to make good use of it.”
Barbara Forrester, in “The Progressive Candidates,” Carbon County News, October 29, 1914.
When Barbara Forrester was elected Carbon county recorder in 1914, she was the sole provider for a household of 5 children. She had been widowed earlier that year when her husband William was in an accident at the Cameron Mine that claimed his life. When rumors started surfacing that she might be receiving income from another source, Forrester herself sent a letter the editor of the local newspaper to humbly set the record straight. Once elected, she filled the duties of her office so well as to receive the following praise when she ran for re-election 2 years later: “she has been one of the most capable…officials who ever held office in Carbon county. Her re-election will be one of the best things that could happen as it will ensure the same kind of work in that office for another term.” Forrester won that election and ran again for re-election as a Republican in 1918, but in a sweep of the county the Democratic party took over all but one of the county offices.
Alice Kasai. Photograph courtesy of the Marriott Library Special Collections, University of Utah.
Alice Kasai grew up in Price, Utah. As a civil rights leader, she devoted her life to empowering, mentoring, and advocating for the rights of Japanese Americans and other disfranchised groups. Despite experiencing firsthand the injustices of racial bigotry, Kasai remained patriotic, optimistic, and relentless in her lifelong activism on behalf of Japanese Americans as well as minority and women’s rights on a broader scale. Read more about her work here.
Helen Papanikolas. Photograph courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society.
Helen Zeese Papanikolas spent many of her childhood years in Helper. She devoted her life to expanding the story of Utah. By documenting the histories of immigrants and the various ethnic communities of Utah, she promoted an inclusive view of Utah’s diverse heritage and history. Her work sparked a new, fuller kind of history that emphasized the value and importance of everyday people and ways of life. Read more about Papanikolas’ life and work here.