Portage Town Hall

Jessie E. McTarnaghan (1883-1948)

First women to serve as Town Supervisor in Livingston County

At a meeting of the Town Board of Portage, held at Hunt on December 9, 1947, Jessie E. McTarnaghan was appointed Town Supervisor to fill out the unexpired term of her late husband, J. A. McTarnaghan, which ended on December 31, 1947. 

Mrs. McTarnaghan sat with the Livingston County Board of Supervisors for the first time at the December 22, 1947 meeting and fully participated in the session. She also attended the December 23rd and December 31st meetings. 

Mr. McTarnaghan had been re-elected to this office in November 1947 and Jessie was re-appointed to such position by the Town of Portage on January 2, 1948 to serve a one year term. Her last Board of Supervisors’ meeting was January 14th before she passed away five days later following a brief illness.

It would take 48 years before a woman, Donna Avery of Conesus, was elected to serve as Town Supervisor in 1996.