First Woman to Vote Honored by Correcting Misspelled Gravestone

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) — A major correction was made to a grave marker at Arlington Cemetery. For more than 80 years, the headstone of the first woman to vote in the United States had a major misspelling: her name!

Seraph Young Ford was honored for not just what she did for Utah, but the entire country. Tuesday, in Washington DC, Governor Gary Herbert, Utah Leaders, and Seraph Young’s descendants gathered for a ceremony honoring the Utah woman.

Governor Herbert said, “It is a great day for us to recognize Seraph and a great day for Utah to be recognized as the first place for people to have equal rights to vote.”

While the celebration marked Seraph Young’s contributions to the country – the gathering today also unveiled a correction.

Tiffany Green, a Historian for Better Days 2020 explained, “Her name was misspelled in Arlington and so about a year ago we wrote a letter to the cemetery and connected with the White House to honor Seraph and correct the headstone.”

Green and the team at Better Days 2020 first found the mistake over a year ago. Green explained, “When we first started researching we didn’t know that there was even a picture of her, we found pictures and found this headstone was misspelled.”

Now we have a better understanding of who Seraph Young was and although this woman may have considered herself ‘normal’ her ambition to vote helped to shape the future of our country.
Green said, “She was the first woman to vote in our nation under the new suffrage law and she did that right here in Utah.”

It was Valentine’s Day 1870 when Young became the first woman in Utah and the Country to vote under an equal suffrage law as she cast her ballot in a Salt Lake City municipal election.

Green said, “She is the perfect example of how normal people can – the average everyday people – can make history.”

A normal Utah Woman pioneering a future of the freedom to vote for the rest of us.

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