Portrait of Nell K. Irion. Courtesy of the Bonner County Historical Society, donor unknown.
Recognizing Nell K. Irion
Brought to you by the Bonner County Historical Society & Museum
On March 8, the world celebrates women, and Bonner County owes so much to the brave, creative, intelligent women that settled and grew with it. One woman to be recognized is Nell K. Irion. She was born in 1889 and moved to Sandpoint in 1906. She earned herself “the first woman” designation for several local and federal positions. She was the first woman to become the county's school superintendent, and about 10 years later the first woman to serve on the Sandpoint City Council. Around the same time, in the 1920s, her talents expanded nationally as she was the first woman nominated from Idaho to run for U.S. Congress. This was an uncommon honor considering it was in 1917, just a few years before Nell’s nomination, that the first woman ever served in the U.S. Congress. So many women made lasting impressions and changes in Bonner County and set the stage for the women of today. We owe them our gratitude.