Woman of the Century/Annie White Baxter
BAXTER, Mrs. Annie White, business woman, born in Pittsburgh, Pa., 2nd March, 1864. She is of American parentage and of English and German extraction. She spent her early school-days in Newark, Ohio. Her parents removed to Carthage, Mo., in 1877, where her education was finished. She was graduated from the high school department of the Carthage public schools in 1882, and in July of the same year, she went to work as an assistant in the county clerk's office under George Blakeney, then clerk of the county court of Jasper county. Mo. She continued to perform the duties of that position with increased efficiency and remuneration under Mr. Blakeney's successor until November, 1885, when she was appointed and sworn as a regular deputy clerk of the county court, with power and authority to affix the clerk's signature and the county seal to all official documents, and to perform all other official acts under the law. The elevation of a woman to a position of so much responsibility attracted no small amount of attention. The statutes of Missouri required that a deputy should have all the qualifications of a clerk, and the opinion of the attorney-general ANNIE WHITE BAXTER. of the State was necessary before the county court would approve the appointment. The duties of this office are by far the most complicated and laborious of any office in the county, embracing the entire tax levy and extension, in a county of more than 50.000 people, the custody, computation and collection of interest on a public school fund of over $225,000 loaned out to citizens of the county, and keeping accounts and making settlements with the state treasurer, state auditor, county treasurer, county collector and all County and township officers entrusted with the collection and custody of state and county revenues, as well as writing the records and executing the acts and orders of the county court. Miss White shrank from no duty, and her keen perception, intuitive acumen, mathematical precision, untiring application, energy and directness, and her pleasing address and manners w on for her the esteem and Confidence of the entire population. She was found equal to every occasion and served so well that under the next incumbent of the clerkship she was again appointed and qualified as principal deputy. She w as married to C. W. Baxter, of Carthage, Mo.. 14th January. 1888, and withdrew from official duty to attend to the more pleasant tastes of domestic life, but, the county clerk becoming partly disabled by paralysis, she was induced again to take charge of the office. In 1890, she was placed in nomination for county clerk by the regular Democratic county convention for county clerk. Jasper County bad for years polled a large Republican majority, but, although her rival was regarded as a popular and competent man, Mrs. Baxter received a majority of 463 votes at the polls. She took charge of the office as clerk under a commission signed by Gov. D. K. Francis. She is the first woman in the United States elected by the people and qualified under the law to (ill the office of clerk of a court of record. Mrs. Baxter retains all her womanly refinement and modesty, maintains a popular position in social life, and bears her honors and responsibilities with unconcious ease and natural grace.