Idaho has a long history of women in that position. Seven have held it previously, including, in reverse order, Lydia Justice Edwards (R), 1987-1998; Marjorie Ruth Moon (D), 1963-1986; Ruth Moon (D) (Marjorie’s mother), 1945-1946, and 1955-1959; Margaret Gilbert (R), 1952-1954; Lela D. Painter (R) (who died in office) 1947-1952; and Myrtle P. Enking, 1933-1944.
Enking was Idaho’s first female treasurer and the second female treasurer in the nation. Myrtle Powell graduated from high school in Avon, Illinois in 1898, and came to Idaho in 1909 to take a position as a bookkeeper at the Gooding Mercantile Company. She married William Enking in 1911. He passed away in 1913 leaving Myrtle with a son to raise.
Mrs. Enking was the first librarian of the Gooding Public Library and served as the Gooding County Auditor for 15 years before her successful run for state treasurer. In 1943, UPI Correspondent John Corlett called her “the greatest vote-getter in Idaho history.” There was speculation at that time that she might take on Congressman Henry Dworshak, but she did not. She was known for wearing tall hats, possibly because she stood only four foot eleven inches.
Myrtle Enking passed away in Boise in July, 1972 at the age of 92.