||Dr. Cannon was well known nationally. She
was described by a Chicago newspaper as "the brightest
exponent of the women's cause in the United States." The
fourth wife of a polygamous Mormon, "Mattie" was
determined to become a physician to help alleviate the
endless sickness and death associated with early frontier
life. Her credentials were so impressive that she was
one of the few applicants accepted to the University
of Michigan Medical School without an interview.
Cannon established her medical practice
and in 1896 won a seat in the Utah State Senate by
easily defeating (among others) her own husband.
As a state senator, Cannon worked for the passage
of one of the first "pure food" laws in the
nation and the establishment of the State Board of
Health - the forerunner of the Utah Department of
Health. She also helped found the state's first nursing
college, and the first school for the deaf and blind,
and she raised her children.
Active in the women's suffrage movement,
Cannon was a featured speaker at the 1893 Chicago
World Fair. She later became the first woman to vote
in Utah. She was born in 1857 in Llandudno, Wales,
and died in 1932 in Los Angeles.