Viewing Alexander T. Ankeny (1837-1917).
Alexander Thompson Ankeny was active in civic affairs and politics in Minneapolis from the 1870s to his death in 1917, at age seventy-nine. He also found time to practice law. He was elected to several terms on the school board and acquired a reputation for being an authority on public education. An ardent Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully for municipal court, district court and mayor. He was an influential voice for reform within that party. In 1886, he persuaded the State Democratic Central Committee to endorse the "Australian ballot" or secret ballot in its platform that year. Three years later the legislature required use of the secret ballot in cities with a population exceeding 10,000; in 1891, it extended that law throughout the state.