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Ms Emerine Lapsley Runs for School Superintendent before 1900

Ran close race for Russell County's top school post in 1896. 'Lapsleys always felt close to Adair Co. because, of course, their land was in Adair Co. before the separation into Russell Co. - TINE REYNOLDS
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By Tine Reynolds

Emerine Lapsley was the sister of J. V. Lapsley, one-time postmaster at Esto before 1900 and store-keeper, as well as farmer on his fifth-generation family farm established about 1800. (Historic Farm in state of KY. where my sister and I grew up.) She was my great-aunt and was always considered an ambitious-type. Both Emerine and J. V. graduated from the Valparaiso Teachers College (Valpo).


In 1910, Emerine finally stopped teaching, married her childhood sweetheart, as written up in both The Adair Co. News (Jan.) and also The St. Louis Star. She and Cortez Collins went on from the wedding in LaClede, St. Louis to live in Texas, where she became an avid Christian Scientist and he worked in real estate.

However, before she married about age 50 she taught many short-term and long-term school sessions. Not being content with just teaching, she decided to actually run for School Superintendent in Russell County in 1896. What seems amazing to us today is that her race took place long before the amendment assuring women even the right to vote, much less the right to hold public office!!

The race for school superintendent in Russell Co. (J. B. Wheat 948 votes, Emerine Lapsley 759 votes) was overshadowed, though, by all the violence on that particular Presidential election day, 1896. Tragedies of the day included 20 men killed or mortally wounded in the state. In Jamestown, Tarter was reported to have cut the throat of Wm. Redmon, who died instantly. Emerine, even when losing her race, was no doubt thankful just to have avoided violence and she lost by such a few votes. (Her photo in which she is wearing a hat, is impressive, am getting it digitized and will send sometime, it is soooooo good.)

James Lapsley, Sr., Farm, Russell Co. owned by same continuous farming family since 1800 or before. "Kentucky Historic Farm," Kentucky Bicentennial Award from Tine S. Reynolds and Sons.

Lapsleys always felt close to Adair Co. because, of course, their land was in Adair Co. before the separation into Russell Co.



This story was posted on 2016-12-21 07:26:13
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