Farese, Orene E.

In 1938, Orene E. Farese became a high school English teacher in Ashland, MS, located in Benton County. In 1939, she married John Farese. During World War II, Gov. Paul Johnson appointed Farese as the chief clerk of the Benton County Draft Board. In 1948, her husband was elected to the State Senate. Four years later, in 1952, both John and Orene ran and were elected into the State House of Representatives, becoming the first couple to be elected to a legislature. In 1956, Orene was elected to the Senate and her husband was re-elected to the House. She served alongside William Winter and worked on school equalization following the Brown decision, opposing the proposed bill to abolish public schools in the state rather than integrate. She was not re-elected in 1959 because of such stances on school desegregation.