Woman of the Century/Eliza A. Garner
ELIZA A. GARNER. GARNER, Miss Eliza A., educator, born in Union, S. C., 23rd April, 1845. She is the daughter of G. W. Gamer, sr., the oldest child of a family of seven. She received her early education from her mother, and she subsequently attended a select school, two boarding schools and a State Normal School. Miss Garner, after finishing her studies, began to teach in the public school of her neighborhood. She taught successfully for twelve years She was the first woman candidate for political office in South Carolina or in the South. In 1888 she announced herself a candidate for county school commissioner, with the proposition to the people that, if elected, she would use the salary of the office to lengthen the school term from three to six months and to supply the schools with books A few conservatives and her own family prevented her election. The Democratic committee refused to print her ticktes or to allow them to be printed. She engaged the editor of the county paper to print her tickets, paying him in advance, and he printed them on inferior paper and in an unlawful shape, saying afterward that he had done so under the direction of the committee. When the votes were counted, her tickets were thrown out because of their unlawful shape. She was thus defeated. In 1890 she renewed her candidacy and her offer. She attended campaign meetings and read an address to the voters, but was again defeated in a similar way. Her opponent in 1890 was a former schoolmate. She returned to the work of teaching, only to receive a notification from him that the public money of the school district in which she was teaching had been appropriated to other schools He requested her to close the school. She refused. She taught the school a full term and claimed her salary by law. Miss Garner's experience illustrates the disagreeable nature of the obstacles in the way of women in the South, who venture out of the beaten path.