Alice U. Kerr is elected mayor of Edmonds on December 2, 1924.

  • By Charles P. LeWarne
  • Posted 11/08/2007
  • Essay 8350

On December 2, 1924, Alice U. Kerr (1858-1949) is elected mayor of Edmonds on December 2, 1924.  After two recounts Kerr, a write-in candidate, defeats incumbent Mayor Matt Engels by a margin of 161 to 159 to become one of the earliest woman mayors in Washington.
Born in Chicago, Kerr had lived in Nebraska before her family moved to Edmonds in 1909; she immediately became involved in local and regional Baptist church activities as well as women¹s organizations.  She ran for mayor at the behest of citizens concerned about lax law enforcement. 

During her two-year tenure she helped deal with the issues of a growing town and its infrastructure. Her most controversial act was the veto of an ordinance that would repeal regulation of pool halls; the veto was overridden by the city council.  She did not run for reelection but continued to be active in the community until her death on August 10, 1949.

Sources: Edmonds City Council Minutes, 1924-27; The Edmonds-Tribune Review, 1924-27; Marie Botnen, "Early Edmonds ... City Has Woman Mayor," Ibid.,  February 12, 1969, pp. 1, 10; "Mrs. Alice U. Kerr Former Mayor, Passes," The Edmonds-Tribune Review, August 11, 1949, p. 1; "Many Pay Tribute at Funeral of Alice U. Kerr," Ibid., August 18, 1949, p. 1.

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