Minnie Craig Wins Speakership; First Woman in Nation to Serve in that Office
January 12, 1933
Not since 1922, when the voters of Des Lacs elected an entire slate of women to run their town, has an event brought such national attention to North Dakota. Newspapers as far away as New York City have called the country’s attention to the unanimous election of Minnie Craig as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives. First elected to the House in 1922, Craig begins her sixth term as one of the most politically powerful persons in the state.
Craig, born in 1883, grew up on a Maine farm. She graduated from high school in 1896 with a teaching certificate. She met Edward Craig in 1901 and they married in 1906. Mr. Craig returned to North Dakota where his father managed a large farm. After a year of music study in Boston, Minnie Craig joined her husband in North Dakota.
Edward Craig opened a bank in Esmond, which became their life-long hometown. The Craigs became active members of and campaigners for the Nonpartisan League. By 1922 Minnie had developed significant political skill and decided to accept the NPL nomination for representative. She won easily and has been reelected five times. She has told the North Star Dakotan: “I think women should be laboring with the men.”
By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton
Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.