WTD?

What’s the Deal With: The Axtell House?

Former home of famous female politician now apartments
August 17, 2022 at 5:45 a.m.
Frances Cleveland Axtell was one of the first women elected to the Washington State Legislature. She lived in the now-called Axtell House for 40 years.
Frances Cleveland Axtell was one of the first women elected to the Washington State Legislature. She lived in the now-called Axtell House for 40 years. (Charlotte Alden/Cascadia Daily News)

By CHARLOTTE ALDEN
Staff Reporter

The property at 413 E. Maple St. is grand and colorful for an apartment building.  

That’s because it’s not just an apartment building — it’s also the former house of Frances Cleveland Axtell, one of the first two women elected to the Washington State Legislature.

Axtell was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1913. She ran for U.S. Congress in 1916 but lost in the general election. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson appointed her the vice chairperson of the U.S. Employee Compensation Commission, making her the first woman appointed to a federal commission. 

Axtell was known for her advocacy around setting a minimum wage and public safety legislation, and she used to host politicians and suffragists in her home.

Built in 1902, her house in Bellingham is on the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. The house was converted into apartments in 1926, a project led by Axtell herself, though she lived there until 1942.  


WTD runs on Wednesdays. Have a suggestion for a “What's the Deal With?” inquiry? Email us at newstips@cascadiadaily.com. 

Have a news tip? Email newstips@cascadiadaily.com or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Register for email newsletters

* indicates required
Preferences:

Latest Stories


COMMUNITY
Helping Hands Thrift Store supports needs across the county
Find basic needs and friendly faces, all for 50 cents

PARKS & REC
Work parties help community members give back
Bellingham Parks and Recreation hosts weekly volunteer opportunities

EDUCATION
New police chief takes helm at Western
Katryne Potts aims to increase campus trust

COMMUNITY
Divine deviation: How the landscape of religion is shifting
Clearbrook Church in Lynden closes after 120 years

BASKETBALL
Lynden Christian extends win streak to 8 games
Lyncs allow only 6 fourth-quarter points in 53-38 win over Ferndale