Seraph Young Ford

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Seraph Cedenia Young Ford was the first woman known to cast a ballot in the February 14, 1870, Salt Lake City municipal election, which made her the first woman with equal suffrage rights to legally vote in the United States. The Utah territorial legislature had passed an act giving the vote to women on February 10, 1870.

A large mural depicting her casting her historic ballot adorns the north House Chamber of the Utah State Capitol building.

A grandniece of Brigham Young, she was born on November 6, 1846, at Winter Quarters, Nebraska Territory. She was a schoolteacher at the University of Deseret model school at the time. She cast her vote before she went to work.

She married Seth L. Ford on February 11, 1872, and they had three children. They moved from Utah to New York in the late 1870s, possibly because Seth suffered from injuries sustained in the Civil War and his family would be close by. They eventually moved to Baltimore and later Maryland to be near their two adult daughters. Seraph was never able to return to Utah due to the need to care for her husband and the resulting financial burdens. He passed away in 1910.

She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She died in 1938 and was buried next to her husband in Arlington National Cemetery.

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