Former State Senator Lulu Haddon attends the swearing-in ceremony for her daughter, State Senator Frances Haddon Morgan, on January 10, 1961.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 12/30/2014
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 11008

On January 10, 1961, Lulu Haddon (1881-1964) attends the swearing-in ceremony for her daughter, Frances Haddon Morgan (1909-1971), in the Washington State Senate. Morgan holds the same seat her mother held two decades earlier. Haddon and Morgan are the only mother and daughter who have held the same seats in both the Washington State House and Senate.

Lulu Haddon

In 1932, Lulu Haddon -- a New Deal Democrat -- was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives, representing the 23rd legislative district of Kitsap County. During her first term, Haddon -- who had served on the Bremerton School Board, and was instrumental in the creation of the Bremerton School District Parent Teacher Association -- was named chair of the house Educational Institutions committee.

Haddon was re-elected to the House in 1934, and in 1936 she ran for the state Senate and was elected in a landslide. While there, she was named chair of the senate education committee, and was an early supporter of junior colleges. She was re-elected to the Senate in 1940, but resigned mid-term to serve instead as Bremerton's finance commissioner.

Haddon held that office for 10 years, during which time she helped create Olympic College. In 1952, she made one last attempt to run for the state senate, but was defeated. Haddon retired from politics at the age of 71.

In Her Mother's Footsteps

Haddon's daughter, Frances, shared her mother's interest in politics and education, and often helped in Haddon's campaigns. In 1956, Frances Haddon Morgan was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives, filling the seat her mother had held two decades earlier.

After serving one term in the house, in 1960 Morgan was elected to the Washington State Senate. At the opening of the 37th Legislature on January 10, 1961, nine women were sworn in with 90 men in the House, but Morgan was the sole woman sworn in with 48 men in the Senate. She was greeted with bouquets and boxes of candy when she arrived at her Senate desk.

One of those bouquets came from her mother, who drove to Olympia to attend the swearing-in ceremonies. Haddon sat in one of the large chairs that were provided for former senators, and watched as Morgan officially took her old seat -- the first (and to date, only) time in Washington history that a daughter has won both legislative seats once held by her mother.

The Lone Woman

Morgan encountered one small problem that day -- where to hang her coat and hat. When her mother was in office, there used to be a lounge for women senators, but for the past 15 years, the senate had been made up entirely of men. In 1957, the women's lounge was converted into the minority caucus room, and was then used by Republicans.

Haddon felt that her daughter should have that room, but advised her not to raise a fuss over it, noting that "It wouldn't look good, since she is the only woman senator and it is her first term" ("Only Woman in State Senate gets Bouquets").

Morgan was busy during her first day in office, and at one point she turned to look at her mother, only to find her gone. Later, she called Haddon at her home at Bremerton, and her mother explained why she left early. "Sister, when you've been there, you've been there," she told her daughter, "You are either in it or you're not in it," and that she felt it was time to go home ("Sister, Vote It Straight").


Sources: "Lady Lawmakers Fit Into Picture at State Capital," The Seattle Times, January 22, 1933, pp. 1, 8; "Six King County Republicans Ousted from Legislature," The Seattle Times, November 5, 1958, p. 6; "Only Woman in State Senate gets Bouquets," The Seattle Times, January 10, 1961, p. 19; "Lulu D. Haddon Succumbs at 83," The Bremerton Sun, June 22, 1964, pp. 1, 2; "Sister, Vote it Straight," Frances Elizabeth Haddon Morgan, Centennial Oral History Project, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Olympia, 1981; "Women in the Legislature" Washington State Legislature website accessed December 13, 2014 (http://web.leg.wa.gov/WomenInTheLegislature/Members/ MemberBios/ MorganFH_1961.pdf).

Related Topics:   Government & Politics | Women's History

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