Branson Area's First Female Judge
Gladys Stewart 1898-1981
This one's for the sisters...
The Woman's Sufferage movement was still in its infancy when Gladys was born. She once remarked: "There isn't any such thing as the woman's viewpoint. Intelligence doesn't have any sex." In 1966, at age 67, she was appointed Douglas County probate and ex officio magistrate judge.
Springfield attorney Gladys Berger Stewart, previously a judge for the 31st circuit, served in the legislature from 1934 to 1942, where she sponsored a bill giving women the right to serve on juries. "Missouri Women Who Led the Way" According to Douglas County Court officials she would regularly bring her poodle to the courthouse affectionately named after her friend J Paul Getty.
Clay Cantwell - Prosecuting Attorney for Taney County was appointed by the Governor Warren E Hearns - Served as Douglas County Prosecuter for 2 months while the only other person that wanted the job was waiting to take the bar. His observations - colorful woman with a dog that licked you if you got too close to the bench - an incident that happened once to his dismay.
**Clay ran on a Democratic ticket 57-60 and claims the title of the first Democrat Taney County Prosecuting Attorney. Judge Justus, who ran on a Rupublican ticket for his recent and succesful re-election bid for Associate division 1 judge, succesfully won the Taney County Prosecuter election twice on a democratic ticket in the 1980's.
The photo above was taken at Judge Eiffert's retirement party. We're not exactly known for our progressive leanings when it comes to civil rights; but, after studying the legacy of Gladys Stewart and witnessing oaths of office taken by several elected female politicians .... maybe we should
Prepared by: Darin Codon