Monday, September 30, 2013
Vernettie Oscar Ivy (1876-1967)
Joining New Hampshire's Zatae Longsdorff Straw and Utah's Sunday Cardall Anderson, multi-term Arizona state representative Vernettie Oscar Ivy becomes the third oddly named female political figure to receive a biography here on the site. Due to the distinct lack of interestingly named women who made a career in politics, only the aforementioned trio have had online profiles posted detailing their respective careers.
Vernettie O. Ivy was born Vernettie Oscar Greene in the town of Blackburn in Saline County, Missouri on January 1, 1876. She removed to Arizona in 1895 when she was nineteen and later attended the Tempe Normal School. She married on August 4, 1897, to James Pleasant Ivy (1864-1939, an Arizona territorial representative) and later had one daughter, Elizabeth Ivy McCreight (born June 1901).
Prominent in many Arizona women's clubs, Vernettie Ivy became president of the Rebekah Assembly of Arizona in the late 1900s and later served as President of the Central Arizona District Federation of Women's Clubs and chairwoman of the State Child Welfare Board. In November 1922 Ivy was elected as one of Maricopa County's representatives in the Arizona General Assembly, taking her seat in 1923. During her time in the legislature, Ivy took great strides to help usher through legislation that would be beneficial to both women and children. She and fellow Arizona representative Louise Boehlinger co-sponsored a bill aimed at developing a child state welfare law, and their legislation eventually passed and "mandated state money" to be used for county welfare boards that had been developed to aid widowed women with young children.
Her six years in state government saw Ivy serve as chairwoman of the Public Welfare and Public Health and Statistics committee and in 1924 served as part of the Arizona delegation to the Democratic National Convention in New York City. After leaving the legislature in 1929 Ivy continued to be active in many fraternal organizations for the remainder of her life, holding memberships in the Phoenix Women's Club, the Fowler Women's Club and was a past matron of the Order of the Eastern Star Lodge. She died at age 91 on July 15, 1967 in Phoenix and was later interred alongside her husband James at the Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix.