Just as women were not allowed to vote until 1920, they were discouraged from running for public office. During the late 1800s, a few women throughout the nation ran for office, some successfully. After women gained the right to vote, an increasing number of them became active in politics.
Cornwall elected its first female Town Clerk, Mary E. Wilcox, in 1927. A year later, May Wilford became the first Cornwall women to serve in the State House of Representatives. She was followed by Harriet Clark, who served in the State Legislature from 1956 until 1965.