U.P. post office renamed for trailblazing representative

What's happening: A Baraga post office is being renamed after a trailblazing woman who served the area. It will now be named the Cora Reynolds Anderson Post Office, after the woman who was born, raised and represented the area.

Who she is: Born in L’Anse in 1882, Reynolds Anderson was the first woman to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives, serving Baraga, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon Counties. She won one term, but lost after redistricting in 1926. In just the one term, she held roles at the Northern State Normal School (now Northern Michigan University) and sat on committees for agriculture and insurance. She is a 2001 Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductee.

What they're saying: “Cora Reynolds Anderson is such an important part of Michigan’s history. As the first woman elected to the Michigan House of Representatives – and the first Native American woman to serve in any state legislature – she paved the way for so many women, including me, to hold public office. Naming this post office in the county she represented after her is one special way that Michiganders can honor and remember her for generations to come,” Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow said. 

How it happened: The push to change the name gained traction when Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Stabenow drafted legislation through the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The law was needed to go through congress and approved by the president to go into effect. 

Tribal influence: Reynolds Anderson also was Native American as a member of the Ojibwa tribe. She fought for tribal fishing rights that still have influence on today’s agreements between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and tribal populations in Michigan. “As the first Native American woman to serve in any state legislature, Cora Reynolds Anderson remains a vital part of our state’s and our nation’s history,” said Senator Peters.