Friday, March 5, 2010

The Great Seal of the State of Idaho, Part 2

March 5, 1891, Emma Edwards Green was handed the honorarium by Governor Norman B. Willey for designing the Great Seal of the State of Idaho.  

Idaho became a state on July 3, 1890 and that summer a young woman came to Boise to visit relatives.  Emma Sarah Etine Edwards, who was the daughter of John C. Edwards, a former Governor of Missouri (1844-48).

Emma, the oldest of eight children, was well educated for a woman of that time.  She stopped in Boise on her way home from New York where she had spent a year at art school.  She was intending on a short stay but fell in love with the area and stayed.  Emma went on to start art classes where she taught locals to paint.

She was invited to enter a design for the Great Seal of the State of Idaho.  The First Legislature passed Concurrent Resolution No. 1 which offered a prize of one hundred dollars for the best design submitted.

Artists from all over the country entered, but the unanimous winner was Emma Edwards, who became the first and only woman to design a Great Seal of a State.  Later she married miner James G. Green.  Emma died in Boise on January 6, 1942.


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