Clara Antoinette <I>McCarty</I> Wilt

Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt

Steilacoom, Pierce County, Washington, USA
Death 29 Jan 1929 (aged 70)
Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington, USA
Burial Sumner, Pierce County, Washington, USA
Memorial ID 30421171 · View Source
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Sister of:
Charles C. Mccarty 1856 – 1936
Laura Candace McCarty Cook 1860 – 1941
J. Warren McCarty 1861 – 1889
Mary Estella McCarty 1862 - 1942
William W. Mccarty 1866 – 1944
Frank Truman McCarty 1876 - 1951

Clara McCarty of Puyallup became the first student to receive a bachelor's degree, which was based on the "scientific course." She became a teacher, the usual career for an educated woman at the time. In 1879, she was elected superintendent of schools in Pierce County, supervising schools in Tacoma, Orting, Sumner, and Puyallup. A year later she married John H. Wilt, but remained active in civic life.

McCarty Hall, a UW student dormitory, is named in her honor.In 1880, Clara McCarty (1858-1929) is elected superintendent of Pierce County schools. McCarty, age 20, is the first woman in Pierce County to win elective office. She was also (in 1876) the first college graduate of the University of Washington. McCarty wins this election three years before women in Washington Territory first obtain the right to vote. (Women win and lose the right to vote several times before 1910, when Washington state becomes the fifth state in the nation to enfranchise women.)
McCarty was born in Steilacoom. In 1858, during the treaty wars, her parents had evacuated their home in Sumner for Steilacoom and Clara was born there. She graduated from the Territorial University in 1876, and became certified to teach in Pierce County three years later.
McCarty married John H. Wilt, and declined reelection. The next Pierce County superintendent of schools was also a woman -- Cornelia Greer.

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Beloved Wife of John Henry Wilt
Born in Oakland Ca.

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  • Created by: Melissa (Lively) Sherry
  • Added: 8 Oct 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 30421171
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt (12 Feb 1858–29 Jan 1929), Find A Grave Memorial no. 30421171, citing Sumner Cemetery, Sumner, Pierce County, Washington, USA ; Maintained by Melissa (Lively) Sherry (contributor 46883526) .