Rep. Bill Orton, D-Utah, is asking Congress and the Postal Service to honor another Utah Democrat - Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman state senator in the nation.

Orton has introduced a bill calling for a stamp to honor Hughes, who was elected a state senator in 1896, and also wrote to the postmaster general suggesting she be featured on a stamp."Dr. Cannon was an outspoken, independent thinker and women's advocate who was firm in her defense of women working and engaging in worthwhile activities outside the home," Orton said.

Orton added that her accomplishments include "establishing the first nurse training school and the state board of health in Utah, and helping to provide for compulsory education for deaf, blind and disadvantaged children."

In a letter to the postmaster general, Orton said, "By issuing a stamp in her honor, you will also be recognizing and honoring the many women who fought to grant women the right to vote and to broaden their role in society."

The Utah Legislature last year also passed a resolution calling for such a stamp, which it said would be fitting for the state's upcoming centennial in 1996.

Cannon was a physician at Deseret Hospital and wanted to ensure health and women's issues were included in Utah law at statehood, so she ran for the state Senate as a Democrat. One of her opponents was her husband, Angus, a Republican.

Local newspapers had some fun when the Salt Lake Herald backed Martha and the Salt Lake Tribune backed her husband.

The Herald wrote, "Against him we haven't a word to say, only that Mrs. Cannon is the better man of the two. Send Mrs. Cannon to the State Senate, and let Mr. Cannon, a Republican, remain at home to manage home industry."

She wasn't running in direct competition to her husband because it was an at-large contest with 10 candidates running for five seats. Martha finished fifth and Angus finished seventh.