Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mary Mackel, 1847- ?

By Kim Viner, independent historian, September 2017

Mary Mackel (often spelled Mackle) was born in New York about 1847. She was the wife of Joseph Mackel, a clerk at Fort Sanders, which was located 3 miles south of Laramie. March 1870 she was called by Sheriff N.K. Boswell to serve on the first formal jury in the world to seat women. She served with five other women (and additional men) on the March 1870 grand jury convened in Laramie, Wyoming Territory. Although she did serve, little is known about her or her family. Both Mackels appear in the census of the fort in June 1870, and The Laramie Sentinel newspaper listed Mr. Mackel as serving on a jury in March 1871. After that date both of the Mackels disappear from all available records.


1870 U.S. Census at

Laramie Boomerang "Women on the Jury" October 17, 1889, pg 1 at

Laramie Daily Sentinel "Albany County Circuit Court" March 3, 1871, p. 2

Viner, Kim. Laramie Wyoming Women Made World History. Laramie, Wyoming: Laramie Plains Museum Association, 2015.

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