Ramsland, Sarah Katherine (1882–1964)

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Ramsland, Sarah Katherine (1882–1964)

Canadian legislator who was the first woman elected to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly. Name variations: Sarah Katherine McEwen; Sarah Katherine McEwen Ramsland. Born on July 19, 1882, in Buffalo Lake, Minnesota; died on April 4, 1964, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada; married in 1906 (husband died, 1918); children: three.

Sarah Katherine Ramsland, born in 1882 in Buffalo Lake, Minnesota, was a teacher in the Minnesota public schools until she married and moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1906. Members of both her and her husband's families had served in the state legislature in Minnesota. In 1917, eleven years after the family relocated to Saskatchewan, Ramsland's husband was elected to the Saskatchewan legislature as a member of the Liberal Party. He died the following year.

Now a single mother of three children, Ramsland gained the Liberal Party's nomination for Pelly riding (district) and won the byelection in 1919, earning the distinction of being the first woman elected to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly. She was reelected in the provincial election in 1921. Ramsland stressed the need for rural high schools and libraries. Later, her proposal that men and women be entitled to file for divorce on identical grounds won the overwhelming support of her fellow legislators.

Ramsland left the legislature in 1925, after which she was in charge of the traveling library service of the Saskatchewan Provincial Library and assumed leadership roles in the Women's Canadian Club and the Business and Professional Women's Club. A member of the Eastern Star and the Red Cross, she died in 1964.

Howard Gofstein , freelance writer, Oak Park, Michigan

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Ramsland, Sarah Katherine (1882–1964)

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