The South Dakota Federation of Republican Women march in Pierre

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KELO Pierre Capitol building legislature

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Federation of Republican Women met Saturday in Pierre at the state Cultural Heritage Center. 

A handful marched from the center to the state Capitol to mark the centennial of South Dakota legislators in 1919 agreeing to the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote nationwide.

They chanted slogans as they covered the one-mile route, first down Governors Drive and then up South Dakota Boulevard. Some dressed in the same fashion as women 100 years ago.

Karon Gubbrud of Sioux Falls is president for the South Dakota Federation of Republican Women president. She said women of all political affiliations were welcome. More events will be held this year.

It took women seven statewide tries to win the right to vote in South Dakota elections.That victory came in 1918. Leading the fight was a Republican from Huron, Mamie Pyle. Her husband, John, served four years as South Dakota attorney general.

Mary was the mother of another barrier-breaker. Daughter Gladys Pyle was the first woman to win election to the South Dakota Legislature. Gladys was in the state House of Representatives from 1923 through 1926. Gladys later placed first in the 1930 Republican primary for governor but lost the nomination at the state Republican convention.

Gladys was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from South Dakota. filling the remainder of Peter Norbeck’s final term after his 1938 death. This past year, South Dakota voters elected their first woman as governor, Republican Kristi Noem. 

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