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Martha Maria Hughes

1 July 1857–10 July 1932

Born 1 July 1857 in Llandudno, Creuddyn, Caernarvonshire, Wales.[1] Daughter of Peter Hughes and Elizabeth Evans.[2] Aunt of John Q. Cannon, EBW’s son-in-law.[3] Immigrated to the U.S. with her family aboard the ship Underwriter; arrived in New York City, 1 May 1860.[4] Migrated to Utah Territory with the Joseph Horne pioneer company; arrived, 13 Sept. 1861.[5] Set type for the Deseret News and Woman’s Exponent, 1871–1878.[6] Earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of  Deseret, 1878; a medical degree from the University of Michigan, 1880; a bachelor of science degree from the University of Pennsylvania, 1882; and a bachelor’s degree in oratory from the National School of Elocution and Oratory, 1882.[7] Resident surgeon at Deseret Hospital, 1882–1885.[8] Married Angus Munn Cannon, 6 Oct. 1884.[9] Went into hiding to avoid testifying against her husband, in Utah Territory, 1885–1886; in England, 1886–1888; and in California, 1890–1892.[10] Established Utah’s first training school for nurses, Jan. 1889.[11]  Attended the World’s Congress of Women in Chicago, May 1893.[12] Elected director of the Reaper’s Club, 21 May 1896.[13] Ran for the Utah Senate against her husband and EBW in the election of 1896.[14] First woman state senator elected in the United States, 1896–1900.[15] Authored bills to aid women and children, promote state sanitation laws, and provide education for those with hearing, vision, and speech impediments.[16] Appointed to the Utah State Board of Health, 1898.[17] Spoke in Washington DC before the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives about Utah’s successful efforts toward universal suffrage, 15 Feb. 1898.[18] Moved to Los Angeles, 1925.[19] Volunteered in the orthopedic department of the Graves Clinic, adjunct to the University of California.[20] Died 10 July 1932 in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles Co., California; buried in Salt Lake City.[21]

 

[1] Martha Maria Hughes, “General Register Office, E/W Birth 1857, Sept; Conway District, Vol 11B Page 501” (https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/admin/application_detail.asp?application_id=5T6E7381A7IE97CP2S70SIVUDNYMRA1EAZH, accessed 6 Dec. 2017). “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 5 Dec. 2017), Martha Maria Hughes (K2WH-N9R).

[2] Martha Maria Hughes, “General Register Office, E/W Birth 1857, Sept; Conway District, Vol 11B Page 501” (https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/admin/application_detail.asp?application_id=5T6E7381A7IE97CP2S70SIVUDNYMRA1EAZH, accessed 6 Dec. 2017).

[3] Carol Cornwall Madsen, Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2017), 233, 235.

[5] “Martha Maria Hughes,” Pioneer Database (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/42154, accessed 17 Nov. 2017).

[6] “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 June 1878, 12–13. Elizabeth Cannon Porter McCrimmon, “Dr. Mattie: The First Woman State Senator in the United States,” p. 2, CHL.

[7] “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 June 1878, 12–13. Martha Hughes Cannon Certificates, 1878–1917, University of Deseret, Martha M. Paul Hughes, 1878, MS 9339, CHL. “A Young Lady Doctor,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Aug. 1882, 37. “The Pursuit of Knowledge,” Deseret News, 26 July 1882, 12.

[8] “From Wednesday’s Daily—Nov 15,” Deseret News, 22 Nov. 1882, 1. “Local News,” Deseret News, 30 Apr. 1884, 1. Shari Siebers Crall, “‘Something More’: A Biography of Martha Hughes Cannon” (Honors Program thesis, Brigham Young University, 1985), 31–33.

[9] “Sealings of Couples, Living and by Proxy, 1851–1889,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. M, p. 73, Angus Munn Cannon and Martha Maria Hughes, 6 Oct. 1884, microfilm 183402 (restricted access), FHL. Jean Bickmore White, “Gentle Persuaders Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 43.

[10] Shari Siebers Crall, “‘Something More’: A Biography of Martha Hughes Cannon” (Honors Program thesis, Brigham Young University, 1985), 31–40. Jean Bickmore White, “Gentle Persuaders Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 43.

[11] “Training School for Nurses,” Deseret News, 30 Dec. 1888, 8. Jean Bickmore White, “Gentle Persuaders Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 43. Elizabeth Cannon Porter McCrimmon, “Dr. Mattie: The First Woman State Senator in the United States,” p. 4, CHL.

[12] EBW, Diary, 19, 20, 24, and 28 May 1893. “World’s Congress of Women,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 June 1893, 172.

[13] See EBW, Diary, 21–22 May 1896.

[14] Jean Bickmore White, “Gentle Persuaders: Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 31–32. 

[15] Martha Hughes Cannon, Certificates, MS 9339, CHL. Jean Bickmore White, “Gentle Persuaders: Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 32, 48. Elizabeth Cannon Porter McCrimmon, “Dr. Mattie: The First Woman State Senator in the United States,” p. 4, CHL.

[16] Jean Bickmore White, “Gentle Persuaders: Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 45–47.

[17] “List of Appointments,” Deseret Evening News, 7 Feb. 1898, 2. Martha Hughes Cannon, Certificates, CHL. Jean Bickmore White, “Gentle Persuaders: Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 48.

[18] United States Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary, “Hearing on House Joint Resolution 68: providing as follows ’Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex,’ . . .” Library of Congress (https://locgov/resource/rbnawsa.n9904/?st-gallelry&c=40, accessed 23 Jan. 2018), Martha Hughes Cannon. “Woman’s Convention: Interesting Letter from State Senator Mattie H. Cannon,” Deseret Evening News, 4 Mar. 1898, 8.

[19] JoAnn A. Peterson, The Life Story of Martha Maria Hughes (Paul) Cannon, July 1, 1857–July 10, 1932 (Whittier, CA: printed by the author, 1985), 51. 1930 U.S. Census, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., CA, ED 19-959, p. 17A, Martha H. Cannon.

[20] JoAnn A. Peterson, The Life Story of Martha Maria Hughes (Paul) Cannon, July 1, 1857–July 10, 1932 (Whittier, CA: printed by the author, 1985), 52. Barbara B. Smith and Blythe Darlyn Thatcher, eds., Heroines of the Restoration (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997), 255.

[21] California Department of Health and Welfare, California Death Index, 1905–1939, p. 1016, Martha H. Cannon, 10 July 1932. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, and Death Announcements, 1851–2003, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 1932, Ancestry.com (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=50000, accessed 24 Jan. 2018). Salt Lake Co., UT, Death Records, 1849–1949,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939J-DFQT-Z?i=256&wc=MXM9-429%3A42347201&cc=1459704,  accessed 17 Nov. 2017); citing burial permit no. 1007, Management and Archives, Salt Lake City, UT, Martha Hughes Cannon.