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Nevada Government & Politics
Contemporary Nevada

Maude Frazier

Maude Frazier made an impact in Nevada in several ways, and her career paved the way for other women in politics and those who choose to pursue a career.  Frazier was born in Wisconsin in 1881.  Her parents wanted her to be a teacher, but in recalling that decision in later life, Frazier remembered her objections to restrictions placed on teachers just after the turn of the century.  Teachers could not dance or play cards.  Frazier rode a bicycle and the school board did not approve.  She saved her salary of $22 a month so she could go on to college.  Teachers in those days needed only to have a high school education and to pass a competency exam to teach.

In 1906 Frazier came west to teach in Genoa, then moved on and taught in different schools around the state.  By 1921 she was a deputy superintendent for the Department of Education.  She worked out of Las Vegas, but covered a large territory in a car she named Teddy (after Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders).  She went to work as a superintendent for the Las Vegas School District in 1927, staying there until her retirement in 1946.

After retirement, Frazier launched a political career.  She won a seat in the Assembly in 1950 and was a state legislator for 12 years.  Frazier was an important promoter of a college for southern Nevada.

In 1962 Lieutenant Governor Rex Bell died in office and Maude Frazier was appointed to fill that vacancy.  She was the first woman to hold that office. (In 1991 Sue Wagner became the second woman to be Lieutenant Governor, but the first to be elected to the office.)  Maude Frazier died in her sleep a few months after leaving office in 1963.

Photo Credit:
Nevada State Library and Archives