One of Utah's boldest women likely to represent Utah in Statuary Hall

One of Utah's boldest women likely to represent Utah in Statuary Hall (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - On November 4th, 1896, Angus Munn Cannon, the Republican candidate for Utah State Senate, was having trouble getting over his resounding defeat.

What potentially made the sting that much worse, was that he was beaten, rather soundly, by his wife, Martha Hughes Cannon.

Cannon was Angus’s 4th of 6 polygamist wives.

Martha Cannon’s victory made her the first female state senator in the country.

Cannon’s life prior to politics was already remarkable.

She was a doctor, a suffragette, and advocate for the hearing and vision impaired.

This special life is about to be honored by the Utah State Senate.

On Monday, the body will vote on a bill that would place Cannon’s bronze likeness in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol in Washington DC. “I think it makes sense to put that favorable foot forward for Utah,” says State Senator Todd Weiler, the sponsor of the bill. Each of the fifty states has 2 representatives in Statuary Hall, Utah’s other statue is of Brigham Young.

Stephanie Pitcher of the Utah Women’s Coalition says this symbolic notion is a positive move, “there are only 9 female statutes in the collection of 100 I think it’s important to have more female presentation,” says Pitcher.

If Cannon ends up in the hall, someone will have to leave, and that someone is Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television.

Farnsworth spent time in Utah and Idaho, and is claimed, at least sentimentally, by Idaho.

Weiler says Philo would eventually come home to Utah and will likely end up in Beaver where he died.

Weiler is also quick to point out that no taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for the new Cannon statue.

He suspects it will cost about $200,000 and it will be raised by private donations.

Now both Farnsworth and Cannon have statues at the Utah State Capitol.

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