This Month in Edmonds History: Alice Kerr becomes town’s first woman mayor

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Alice Kerr was the first woman to serve as mayor of Edmonds.

My Edmonds News is proud to present a monthly look at Edmonds history, straight from the archives of the Edmonds Historical Museum. For the month of January, we’ll revisit 1925.

The election of Edmonds Mayor in December 1924 was expected to be a foregone conclusion with incumbent M. C. Engels having been re-nominated with no obvious opposition. However, on Election Day, the women of Edmonds began handing out stickers with the name of Mrs. Alice U. Kerr. When the final tally had been made, Mrs. Kerr had beaten Mr. Engels by a vote of 163 to 159.

Alice Kerr moved to Edmonds from Chicago in 1920. She was installed as Mayor of Edmonds in January 1925 and served in the position for one year. In October of that year, she clashed with the Edmonds City Council — of which George Brackett was a member — over pool and card rooms.

The council had prepared an ordinance to repeal all regulations affecting the practices and passed it with a five-to-two vote. Mrs. Kerr immediately vetoed but the vote was passed over her veto during the next session. After complaints were raised about dances in the basement of the Beeson building and Mrs. Kerr became critical of the events, a new ordinance covering card rooms, pool rooms and dances was introduced and passed in December 1925.

Mrs. Kerr also served as secretary of the National Baptist Association and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Edmonds. She passed away in 1949 at the age of 91. At the time of her passing, she was the first and only woman to have served as Mayor of Edmonds.

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