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Kate Barnard
Birth: May 23, 1875
Geneva
Fillmore County
Nebraska, USA
Death: Feb. 23, 1930
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma County
Oklahoma, USA

Pioneer Politician, Social Reformer, Folk Figure. Born in Nebraska, Kate Barnard spent most of her childhood in Kansas, where family dislocation and financial failure clouded her early life. After Barnard and her father moved to Oklahoma Territory in the 1890s, Kate had stints as a schoolteacher and a stenographer before she discovered her life's work in politics and social reform. Kate Barnard was already an active social reformer when she was elected as Oklahoma's first Commissioner of Charities and Corrections in 1907. She was the first woman ever to be elected to a statewide office in the United States and without a single female vote (at that time women couldn't vote). From the time of her election in 1907 until the end of her two terms of office in 1914, she got 30 statutory laws passed through the Oklahoma Legislature, a record few legislators could compete with even today. These laws all dealt with the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Corrections. At the time of statehood there were no prisons in Oklahoma. Kate Barnard, during her seven years as commissioner, founded, built, and put in operation both the penitentiary and the reformatory. She had lofty, but realistic goals for the institutions, gave personal attention to the inmates herself, and expected the staff to do the same. While the Governor and the legislators wanted the institutions to be not only self-sufficient, but also revenue earners for the state, Kate wanted the inmates to be good citizens on release from the prison. Because of new constructions and the new programs, the staff had a sense of pride in their institutions. The prison inmates also gave a good account of themselves and cooperated with the staff, at least in the initial years. (bio by: Barry Sharpe) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John P Barnard (1842 - 1909)
 
Burial:
Fairlawn Cemetery
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma County
Oklahoma, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Barry Sharpe
Record added: Oct 07, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9564189
Kate Barnard
Added by: Barry Sharpe
 
Kate Barnard
Added by: Barry Sharpe
 
Kate Barnard
Added by: Thomas Fisher
 
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May you rest in peace, Kate.
- Agent 99
 Added: Oct. 6, 2013

- Bling Blinky of TEXAS
 Added: Aug. 3, 2013

-Anonymous
 Added: Apr. 14, 2013
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