Isabella S. Greenway

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Isabella Dinsmore Greenway (Selmes)

Also Known As: "Isabella Munro-Ferguson"
Birthdate: (67)
Birthplace: Boone, Kentucky, United States
Death: December 18, 1953 (67)
Tucson, Pima, Arizona, United States
Place of Burial: Burlington, Boone, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Tilden Russell Selmes and Martha Macomb Selmes
Wife of Robert Harry Munro Ferguson; John Campbell Greenway and Harry O. King
Mother of Robert Munro Ferguson, Jr.; Martha Breasted and John Selmes Greenway

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Isabella S. Greenway

Isabella Selmes Ferguson Greenway King (born March 22, 1886, Boone County, Kentucky; died December 18, 1953, Tucson, Arizona) is best known as the first U.S. congresswoman in Arizona history, and as the founder of the Arizona Inn of Tucson. During her life she was also noted as a one-time owner and operator of Los Angeles, Calif.-based Gilpin Air Lines, a speaker at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, and a bridesmaid at the wedding of Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Representative Isabella Selmes Greenway of Arizona

March 22, 1886 - On this day, Isabella Selmes Greenway of Arizona—the state’s first Congresswoman—was born in Boone County, Kentucky. Twice a widow of Rough Riders from the Spanish-American War, an enterprising and successful businesswoman, and a close friend of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Greenway won a special election to the 73rd Congress (1933–1935) on October 3, 1933. As Arizona’s lone Representative in the House, Greenway was a persuasive advocate who tried to ease the economic pain and hardship borne by her constituents during the Great Depression. In a meeting to discuss public works projects to revive the state’s flagging economy, Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes declared, “Mrs. Greenway, my time is very valuable. Can you compress all that Arizona wants onto one page?” She shot back, “Mr. Secretary, Arizona would never forgive me if I could get all it wanted onto one page.” Greenway subsequently secured three major projects, which created 9,000 jobs for Arizonans. Citing family considerations, Representative Greenway retired to her Arizona ranch at the conclusion of the 74th Congress in January 1937. (2)


  1. Conroy, Will. Tucson's Arizona Inn. Tucson, Ariz: Arizona Inn, 2010. Print.  Page 24.
  2. Representative Isabella Selmes Greenway of Arizona
  4. # Isabella S. Greenway Office of History and Preservation, Office of the Clerk, Women in Congress, 1917–2006. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2007. (May 12, 2012).
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Isabella S. Greenway's Timeline

March 22, 1886
Boone, Kentucky, United States
Age 19
Age 21
New York, United States
Age 37
December 18, 1953
Age 67
Tucson, Pima, Arizona, United States
December 1953
Age 67
Burlington, Boone, Kentucky, United States