Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"It is understood that one or more members of the [health] board are in favor of appointing a man . . ."

More on the Portland health board's market inspection/women in appointed office story from 1905.

By July 6, 1905 mayor Harry Lane, M.D. was organizing his new administration and there was still no woman candidate on hand for the office of market inspector. Portland women had lobbied successfully for the post before Lane's election, but the city council had underfunded it. Lillian Tingle, director of the Portland School of Domestic Science, had held the post for two months but resigned on July 1 because the salary was too small.

The Oregon Journal ("No Successor Found to Miss Tingle Yet," Oregon Journal, July 6, 1905, 6) worried that Tingle's two months of accomplishments would be lost if the office was not soon filled. And the paper reported that "It is likely that in case a woman cannot be found to take the position a man may be appointed. It is understood that one or more members of the board are in favor of appointing a man, and Dr. Biersdorf, city health officer, so expressed himself today."

Lane, on the other hand, believed that "there are many good women who could be secured to fill this position."

Would Portland women lose this important appointed office that many had fought so hard to achieve? How would they resolve the dilemma of low salary?

What a difference a month would make. Stay tuned -- Portland got a new health board (including Esther Pohl) and a new market inspector who would keep the job for twenty years.

No comments:

Post a Comment