Ceremony In D.C. Honor’s Utah’s Seraph Young – First Woman To Vote
Sep 29, 2020, 12:52 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2021, 11:09 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A special honor took place in September 2020 in the nation’s capital for Utah’s Seraph Young — the first woman to ever vote in a modern election in the United States.
The organization Better Days 2020 requested her name be corrected on her headstone after it was spelled incorrectly decades ago.
Her name has been misspelled on the marker since 1938.
In addition to having it fixed on her headstone, Seraph Young’s name was also added to the list of notable women buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Young cast her ballot on Valentine’s Day in 1870.
“She was on her way to work,” said Tiffany Green, a historian with Better Days 2020. “She was a school teacher.”
Young was the very first woman in the U.S. to vote under a woman’s equal suffrage law, which opened doors for more voting rights for women.
“It definitely wasn’t the beginning of the women’s suffrage, and it for sure wasn’t the end, but that marked the significant opening,” Green said.
Decades after her death, she was honored in Arlington Cemetery by her distant relatives, White House officials, Better Days 2020 and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and First Lady Janette Herbert.
“It feels so symbolic that we are able to change the name on her headstone to actually be what it was,” Green said. “With Better Days 2020, I feel like that is the perfect symbol with what we’ve tried to do with Utah’s women’s history: Let’s get it right. Let’s share these stories.”
In Utah, a monument has been erected to honor Young and the other women who voted for the first time 150 years ago – and the monument is located right next to the building in which they voted.