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Library Search Results: Abstracts

Your search for womenshistory found 369 files.
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Cyberpedias & Features (Alphabetical)
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People's Histories

Showing 1 - 20 of 133 results

Abortion Reform in Washington State

On November 3, 1970, Washington voters approved Referendum 20, which legalized abortion in the early months of pregnancy. Fifteen other states had liberalized their abortion laws by that time, but Washington was the first -- and so far the only -- state to do so through a vote of the people. It was a triumphant moment in a campaign that had its genesis in 1967, in the office of Seattle psychologist Samuel Goldenberg (1921-2011), who had been asked to help two patients, one middle-aged and the other a young college student, both desperate for a way to end an unwanted pregnancy.
File 5313: Full Text >

Adams, Nora B. (1928-2004)

Nora B. Adams was an African American Seattle Public School principal who left more than $1 million in her estate to three of her major interests. She left $600,000 to the Seattle Public Schools Scholarship Fund and divided the rest between cancer and heart research. A shrewd investor, Adams divested herself of stock brokers and managed her own portfolio. She devoted 37 years to education, as a teacher and as an administrator and was one of the first black female principals in the city. According to her nephew, Gordon McHenry Jr. (Boeing executive and former member of the Seattle Public Library Board), she was the quintessential educator, not given to idle chatter but insisting on thoughtful and meaningful conversation.
File 8506: Full Text >

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909): Woman Suffrage

During the first week of July 1909, suffrage proponents from across the country gathered in Seattle to participate in the 41st Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and to celebrate Woman Suffrage Day at Washington's first world's fair, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (A-Y-P) Exposition, currently underway on the University of Washington campus. The Washington Equal Suffrage Association convention, held the day before the National convention, drew suffragists from around the state. The suffragists, their conventions, and their appearances in area clubs and churches received copious coverage in local newspapers and captured the attention of thousands of Washingtonians attending the A-Y-P Exposition. Suffragists used the A-Y-P as a massive public relations opportunity and this exposure was an important component in how Washington women achieved the vote on November 8, 1910.
File 8587: Full Text >

Alexander, Stella (1881-1960)

Stella Alexander was a woman ahead of her time. She broke into the previously exclusive boy's club of Issaquah politics when she was elected to the town council in 1927, and in 1932 was elected to a two-year term as mayor of the town (located in east King County). A large woman who seemed to enjoy confrontation, Alexander soon alienated her town council and eventually, the citizens she was elected to lead. The fire department resigned en masse; the police judge resigned; part of the town counsel refused to work with her; bedlam reigned in Issaquah politics in 1933. Three recall petitions were filed against the mayor; she nimbly dodged the first two, but the third was the coup de grace, and on January 2, 1934, she was recalled. In a grand finale, she refused to turn over the keys to the town hall.
File 8474: Full Text >

Anderson, Ernestine (b. 1928), Jazz Singer

Ernestine Anderson launched her amazing career as a jazz singer while still a teenaged Seattle high school student back in the 1940s. By the 1950s she was an experienced performer who'd toured widely and sung with big-name bands led by Johnny Otis, Lionel Hampton, and Eddie Heywood. Anderson's debut album brought rave reviews from leading music critics which led to her being included in the all-star lineup at the very first Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958, and she was soon heralded as an important new singing star by both Time and down beat magazines. In the decades since, she has cut more than 30 albums of sophisticated and sensual jazz and blues music, received four GRAMMY award nominations, and been honored with a command performance at the White House.
File 8520: Full Text >

Asberry, Nettie Craig (1865-1968)

Nettie Craig Asberry was an extraordinary, early African American resident of Tacoma who was known for her work in fighting racism and in helping to open doors for women. A founding member of the Tacoma NAACP, a music teacher, a club woman, and in later years a volunteer social worker in the community, she was a Tacoma icon.
File 8632: Full Text >

Axtell, Frances (1866-1953)

Frances Axtell of Bellingham was one of the first two women elected to serve in the Washington state legislature, serving between 1913 and 1915. She promoted minimum wage and public safety legislation, and left an impression in the Legislature as an independent, broad-minded reformer. In 1917 President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) appointed her vice-chairman of the newly-created U.S. Employees Compensation Commission in Washington D.C., making her the first woman appointed to a federal commission. Axtell was subsequently promoted to chairman of the commission in 1918, and served in this position until 1921.
File 9625: Full Text >

Ayer, Elizabeth (1897-1987), Architect

Elizabeth Ayer, the first female graduate of the University of Washington's architecture program, helped fashion the residential architecture of many Seattle neighborhoods in the mid-twentieth century. Notwithstanding the growing popularity of modernism, Ayer integrated modern needs with traditional forms and throughout her career embraced historical styles.
File 1721: Full Text >

Barr, Roberta Byrd (1919-1993)

Roberta Byrd Barr was an African American educator, civil rights leader, actor, librarian, and television personality. She was born in Tacoma and lived for much of her life in Seattle.
File 306: Full Text >

Blaine, David (1824-1900) and Catharine Paine Blaine (1829-1908)

David Blaine and Catharine Paine Blaine came to Seattle from Seneca Falls, New York, the site of America's first women's rights convention, in which Catharine Paine participated. The Blaines were Methodist missionaries who arrived in Seattle in 1853 via the Isthmus of Panama sea route. David founded Seattle's first church, called the "Little White Church," and Catharine became Seattle's first teacher and school administrator. After the January 1856 Battle of Seattle (a conflict with Indians), the Blaines left for missionary duty in Portland. They returned to Seattle in retirement in 1882.
File 1447: Full Text >

Borst, Kate (1855-1938)

Kate Kanim Borst was a Native American woman who was the third wife of Snoqualmie Valley settler Jeremiah Borst. During her lifetime, she witnessed the transformation of the valley from prairies and Indian encampments to the beginnings of suburbia.
File 294: Full Text >

Bowen, Betty (1918-1977)

Betty Bowen was assistant director of the Seattle Art Museum, a civic activist on behalf of the arts and historic preservation, and an indefatigable promoter of Seattle artists. Two days before her death at age 58, Mayor Wes Uhlman (b. 1935) named her First Citizen of Seattle and proclaimed Valentine's Day in her honor.
File 662: Full Text >

Bullitt, Dorothy Stimson (1892-1989)

Dorothy Stimson Bullitt purchased a small Seattle radio station with almost no listeners in 1947. She expanded it into one of the finest broadcasting empires in the nation. She was a Seattle civic leader who entered the business world at a time when women were not welcome. The Seattle-King County Association of Realtors named Dorothy Bullitt First Citizen of 1959.
File 677: Full Text >

Butler, Maude Eliza Kimball (1880-1963)

Maude Eliza Kimball Butler, born 1880, was a pioneer teacher-educator who devoted her life to public service and her family, a fidelity she inherited from her mother and bequeathed to her children and students. She was encouraged to be independent, self-reliant, and curious, and she was. She became a teacher at age 16, Wahkiakum County superintendent of schools at age 23, and widowed at age 36 with three children -- yet following the last, she resolutely survived to become a successful educator and parent. In addition to crusading for education, she pursued a full civic life and nurtured her own children to take on service careers. Her daughter, Julia Butler Hansen (1907-1988) was a groundbreaking state legislator and member of the U.S. Congress, and her son, James H. Butler (1908-1985), was chairman of the University of Southern California Drama Department from 1953 to 1974. Maude was an avid artist and possessed a full range of domestic skills. Said Julia Butler Hansen: "She was a brilliant, able, and talented woman, an excellent citizen and a wonderful mother ... . Her upbringing was strictly Victorian. Hers was a high code of duty, responsibility and morals but she was the most tolerant, adventurous and happy human being I have ever known" (J. B. Hansen to B. Leroy). Maude Butler died on December 9, 1963.
File 8711: Full Text >

Buxbaum, Edith (1902-1982), Psychoanalyst

The Viennese-born psychoanalyst Edith Buxbaum, author of Your Child Makes Sense (1949) and Troubled Children in a Troubled World (1970), arrived in Seattle on January 1, 1947. She was a leading psychoanalyst here for more than 30 years and was a principal founder of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute (later renamed Seattle Institute of Psychoanalysis [SIP]). She served as its Child Analysis Division Head and as Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington. Her devotion to children, her desire to improve the quality of their lives and, thus, better the world, by emphasizing the child's individuality and creativity -- with more listening, less discipline, a nuclear family with the mother preferably at home -- informed her philosophy and practice.
File 3674: Full Text >

Cabrini, Mother Francesca Xavier (1850-1917)

Mother Francesca Xavier Cabrini, Saint Cabrini was the first American citizen to be declared a saint by the Catholic Church. In her journeys around the country, she came to Seattle three times: in 1903 to establish an orphanage, in 1909 when she gained American citizenship (and attended the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition), and in 1916 to establish a hospital.
File 2325: Full Text >

Campbell, Bertha Pitts (1889-1990)

Bertha Pitts Campbell, an early Seattle civil rights worker, was a founder of the Christian Friends for Racial Equality and an early board member of the Seattle Urban League. She was also one of 22 young women at Howard University in 1913 who founded the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, one of the largest African American sororities.
File 28: Full Text >

Chase, Doris Totten (1923-2008), Painter, Sculptor, Video Artist

Doris Chase, painter and teacher, sculptor of monumental kinetic forms, was best known as a pioneer in quite another field. Beginning in the 1970s, she produced more than 50 videos regarded as key works in the history of video art. This biography of Doris Chase is reprinted from Deloris Tarzan Ament's Iridescent Light: The Emergence of Northwest Art (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002). Doris Chase died in December 2008.
File 5330: Full Text >

Children's Orthopedic Hospital

In early 1907, Anna Herr Clise (1866-1936) called together 23 affluent Seattle women friends to address a health care crisis -- namely the lack of a facility to treat crippled and malnourished children. Each of the women contributed $20 to launch Children's Orthopedic Hospital. The hospital opened on Queen Anne Hill and in 1953 moved to Seattle's Laurelhurst neighborhood. Today known as Children's Hospital and Medical Center, it is still governed by an all-women board of trustees. Key to the hospital's development has been income raised by volunteers through their work in the hospital guilds. In 1944, the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors honored the Orthopedic as Seattle's First Citizen for the contribution made by Children's Hospital to the community and to the Northwest. The honor paid tribute to the thousands of women in the guild and junior guild organizations, to the volunteer staff of doctors, and to the many hospital volunteers who cared for the patients over the years.
File 2059: Full Text >

Chow, Ruby (1920-2008)

Ruby Chow was dubbed a "living legend" (Rhodes) for her 50-year career as a restaurateur, Chinese community pioneer, civic activist, public official, and a major bridge between Seattle's Chinese community and the city at large. For Chinese communities from San Francisco to Taiwan,Ruby Chow and her husband Ping were "Seattle tourist attractions" (Chin). A high school dropout who rose to the pinnacles of power and public service, her life story was punctuated by firsts: first Chinese restaurant in Seattle outside Chinatown; first Chinese frozen food business; world's first female board member of a Chong Wa Benevolent Society chapter, world's first female president of a Chong Wa chapter, first Asian American member of the King County Council. She served three terms on the Council, retiring in 1985, but continued her civic activities. She lived with her husband, Ping, in Seattle's Seward Park neighborhood. Ruby Chow died on June 4, 2008.
File 8063: Full Text >

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Showing 1 - 20 of 201 results

Missionary women organize the Columbia Maternal Association, the first women's club in the Northwest, on September 3, 1838.

On September 3, 1838, the wives of six pioneer missionaries meet at the Whitman mission at Waiilatpu (near present-day Walla Walla) and organize the Columbia Maternal Association, the first women's club in the Northwest. It is the first and only time the charter members -- assigned to widely separated missions -- are able to gather together in person. Instead, the women (and seven others who join later) hold something like virtual meetings. They set aside an appointed hour, twice a month, for club activities, sometimes in the company of one or two other women but often alone. The association continues to function in this manner until 1847, when an Indian attack on the Whitman mission leads to the closure of all Protestant missions in the Northwest.
File 9236: Full Text >

Esther Clark Short and her family settle near Fort Vancouver on December 25, 1845.

On December 25, 1845, Esther Clark Short (1806-1862) arrives at the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver in what will become the city of Vancouver, Clark County. She, her husband Amos Meade Short (1808-1853), and their children explore the area near the fort and the Willamette Valley across the Columbia River before becoming the first American settlers to locate permanently in the future Clark County. They claim a section of land near Fort Vancouver, where they will establish their farm. Their move will lead to tension with the British Hudson's Bay Company, which seeks to confine American settlement to south of the Columbia River. The Shorts will not be deterred and will successfully defend their claim, which stretches from the banks of the Columbia River up to what is today W Fourth Plain Boulevard and Main Street. After Amos's death, Esther will play a pivotal role in building the new city of Vancouver.
File 8528: Full Text >

Arthur Denny proposes white-woman suffrage amendment in the Territorial Legislature's first session on February 28, 1854.

In 1854, Arthur Denny (1822-1899), one of the founders of Seattle, proposes an amendment at the first session of the territorial legislature "to allow all white females over the age of 18 years to vote." It is defeated by a single vote. Lawmakers make a small concession, granting every taxpaying inhabitant over 21 years of age the right to vote in school elections.
File 5211: Full Text >

Sisters of Providence arrive at Fort Vancouver on December 8, 1856.

On December 8, 1856, five Sisters of Providence, Roman Catholic nuns, arrive at Fort Vancouver, Washington. Sister Joseph (formerly Esther Pariseau) (1823-1902) is their leader. She will later be known as Mother Joseph, the Northwest's first architect.
File 5207: Full Text >

Sarah Yesler arrives in Seattle in July 1858.

In mid-July 1858, Sarah Burgert Yesler (1822-1887) arrives in Seattle to join her husband Henry Yesler (1810-1892), Seattle pioneer and proprietor of the town's first sawmill. Upon her arrival, she becomes cook for the sawmill employees, and actively involves herself in the Yesler business enterprises. She is in the forefront of the suffrage movement, active in the Seattle Library Association, a founder of Seattle's first social service organization, and in general, moves at the center of life in Seattle. The Yeslers were spiritualists who refused to join any church and resisted the anti-Chinese agitation in the 1880s. Sarah Yesler formed a passionate attachment to at least one other woman, while remaining a loyal wife to Henry. When she died in 1887, the entire city mourned the passing of one of their leading citizens.
File 2724: Full Text >

John Pinnell builds a Seattle brothel in 1861.

In 1861, John Pinnell (or Pennell, in some sources), the proprietor of several lucrative brothels in San Francisco, arrives in Seattle, Washington Territory, and establishes a brothel. He builds it just south of present-day (2014) Yesler Way. Seattle is a rough logging town with few women among the non_Indian population, and Pinnell's first prostitutes are Indian women. This marks a significant moment in Seattle's becoming an "open town" -- open, that is, to saloons, brothels, and gambling -- which will define local controversies and politics for many years to come.
File 2738: Full Text >

Mercer Girls reach Seattle on May 16, 1864.

On May 16, 1864, the first Mercer Girls from the East Coast reach Seattle. Seattle resident Asa Mercer (1839-1917) has recruited the group to provide teachers for the young community and in order to alleviate the problem of lack of women in the Puget Sound area.
File 166: Full Text >

Mary Low Sinclair arrives in Cadyville (future Snohomish City) on May 1, 1865.

On the last day of April 1865, Mary Low Sinclair and her one-month-old son Alvin, board the small, unfinished steamer Mary Woodruff in Port Madison, Kitsap County, for a journey across Puget Sound and up the Snohomish River to a place called Cadyville, where her husband Woodbury Sinclair (1825-1872) has purchased the Edson T. Cady claim that previous December. Mary remembers the day of her arrival in an article published 46 years later in the November 24, 1911, issue of the Snohomish County Tribune. She does not mention the fact that she was the first Caucasian woman to take up permanent residence in the place that was to become Snohomish City. She also fails to note that even by 1911, she is considered to be the founder of education in Snohomish by opening her home as the first classroom. Plus, she skips over the intriguing fact that by learning the native languages of the area, she served as translator for visiting officials and journalists. The last recorded event was two years before her death, at 79 years of age, when she helps a reporter from Seattle's Post-Intelligencer interview Snohomish's famous Pilchuck Julia.
File 8327: Full Text >

Susan B. Anthony addresses territorial legislature on October 19, 1871, then helps found Washington Woman Suffrage Association.

On October 19, 1871, Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), national women's rights leader and vice president of the National Woman Suffrage Association, becomes the first woman to address the Washington Territorial Legislature. She and Oregon suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915) are touring Oregon and Washington Territory to promote the cause of woman suffrage. Nine days after Anthony's speech, the two women will help organize the Washington Woman Suffrage Association.
File 5557: Full Text >

Seattle women hold Apron Festival on May 9, 1872.

On May 9, 1872, the "Ladies of the Congregational Church" put on an Apron Festival at the Pavilion (located in Seattle at the southeast corner of Front Street [renamed 1st Avenue] and Cherry). The women associated with the church decorate the hall and display more than 150 aprons of "every conceivable design and style."
File 1626: Full Text >

Clara McCarty becomes first person to graduate from the Territorial University (of Washington) in June 1876.

In June 1876, Clara McCarty (1858-1929) is the first person to graduate from the Territorial University (of Washington) in Seattle. McCarty becomes a teacher and the first superintendent of schools in Pierce County.
File 222: Full Text >

Eldridge Morse dedicates the Snohomish Atheneum on June 5, 1876.

On Monday, June 5, 1876, Eldridge Morse (1847-1914) dedicates the Snohomish Atheneum beginning with the words, "Around me are many familiar faces of brave, true-hearted pioneers, who, a few years ago found this valley a wilderness, uninhabited by civilized beings." His address at the laying of the cornerstone will be published in his own newspaper, the Northern Star, the following Saturday. Located at Snohomish's central intersection of Avenue D and 1st Street, the two-story building represents the evolution of a literary and cultural organization begun in 1873 when the elite of early Snohomish pooled their books to establish the county's first lending library of some 300 volumes. Ultimately hard times will result in the building's being sold for use as a saloon. It will be dismantled and sold for scrap in 1910.
File 8329: Full Text >

Sisters of Providence open their first Seattle hospital on August 2, 1878.

On August 2, 1878, the Sisters of Charity of Providence open their first Seattle hospital at 5th Avenue and Madison Street. Known as "the Builder," Mother Joseph (1823-1902) designed and supervised construction of the three-story, wood-frame building.
File 461: Full Text >

Clara McCarty is elected superintendent of Pierce County schools on November 2, 1880.

On November 2, 1880, Clara McCarty (1858-1929) is elected superintendent of Pierce County schools. McCarty, still in her early twenties, is the first woman in Pierce County to win elective office. She was also (in 1876) the first college graduate of the University of Washington. McCarty wins this election three years before women in Washington Territory first obtain the right to vote. (Women win and lose the right to vote several times before 1910, when Washington state becomes the fifth state in the nation to enfranchise women.)
File 5061: Full Text >

Washington women win and lose the vote between 1883 and 1888.

In 1883, Washington women win the vote. In the next election they tip the balance for law and order, closing down saloons and brothels in local communities, including Seattle. Legal challenges follow. One emotional argument holds that women who serve on juries are being exposed to "sordid facts of life." In the conventional opinion of the time, women were too delicate and pure to know such facts.
File 5215: Full Text >

Woman's Club of Olympia is founded on March 10, 1883.

On March 10, 1883, the Woman's Club of Olympia is founded for study and the mutual improvement of its members. Founders are Abbie Howard Hunt Stuart (ca.1840-1902), Emily Olney French (1828-1906), Mary Olney Brown (ca. 1821-1884), Clara Sylvester, Ella Stork, and Janet Moore. Members, limited to 50 in number, will meet in a variety of locations until the Stuart Block becomes available for club meetings. Later, Abbie Stuart will donate land for a permanent clubhouse structure, which still stands today.
File 9168: Full Text >

Women organize Seattle's first charity, The Ladies Relief Society, on April 4, 1884.

On April 4, 1884, 15 women meet and organize The Ladies Relief Society to address "the number of needy and suffering cases within the limits of the city" (Seattle Children's Home). The society will build an orphanage on land donated by David and Louisa Denny which will evolve into the Seattle Children's Home (in 2001 located at 2142 10th Avenue W on Queen Anne Hill). At the beginning of the home's second century, it will serve troubled children with a variety of treatments and services.
File 3398: Full Text >

First Kittitas County Fair is held near Ellensburg from September 30 to October 2, 1885.

From September 30 to October 2, 1885, the first Kittitas County Fair is held near Ellensburg. The event runs for three days, closing on October 2, 1885, and attracts celebrants from throughout the Kittitas Valley. Exhibitions include livestock such as horses, hogs, and chickens; produce such as grapes and apples, and handicrafts. Among the games and entertainments are catching a greased pig and climbing a greased pole.
File 7558: Full Text >

Woman suffrage is declared unconstitutional in Harland v. Washington on February 3, 1887.

On February 3, 1887, the Washington territorial supreme court declares the suffrage act of 1883 unconstitutional in a case brought by a swindler convicted by a Grand Jury that included women. His appeal claimed that women were not legal jurors.
File 464: Full Text >

Ladies Library Association revives Seattle's library in 1888.

In 1888, Seattle women organize the Ladies Library Association and revive the Seattle Public Library, which had apparently fallen inactive. The Association is organized at the home of Babette (Schwabacher) Gatzert (wife of Bailey Gatzert) at 3rd Avenue and Cherry Street. Seattle Post-Intelligencer owner L. S. J. Hunt and his wife give considerable assistance. Henry Yesler (1810-1892) donates a lot for the library, perhaps in memory of Seattle's first librarian, his recently deceased wife Sarah Yesler (1822-1887).
File 1940: Full Text >

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Showing 1 - 20 of 35 results

A Letter Written by Annie Hall from a 1900 Railroad Trip from Spokane to Athena, Oregon

This people's history, contributed by Richard Hall, consists of an eight-page letter written by his great grandmother, Annie Hall (1869-1921) in late November 1900. She boarded a Spokane-bound Northern Pacific train in Edwall, Lincoln County, and recorded her trip in a letter addressed to "My Dear Joe and Children." Joe is Joseph Banyon Hall (1857-1947), her husband. In Spokane, Annie changed to a Union Pacific train that took her to Athena, Oregon. The writing commenced at Tekoa and the letter was mailed, on December 2, 1900, several days after her arrival in Athena. Following the letter is a brief history of the Hall family by Richard Hall.
File 5445: Full Text >

A Remembrance of Patsy Collins by her brother Stimson Bullitt

Stimson Bullitt (1919-2009) gave this remembrance of his sister Priscilla "Patsy" (Bullitt) Collins (1920-2003) at her Memorial Service at Seattle's Town Hall on July 8, 2003.
File 4218: Full Text >

Agnes Johnson Remembers Three Years At Firland Sanatorium

Agnes "Aggie" Guttormsen Johnson (b. 1928), is an Everett native. After graduating from Providence Everett School of Nursing in 1949 Agnes was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and admitted to Firland Sanatorium in Seattle. She remained a patient at Firland for three years. On June 24, 2007, Aggie Johnson met with HistoryLink.org Deputy Director David Wilma and staff historian Paula Becker at Cedars Bay restaurant at Tulalip Casino, Marysville, Washington (Snohomish County) to recount her experiences at Firland.
File 8204: Full Text >

Almonjuela, Dorothy: Growing Up Squamish

Dorothy Almonjuela (b. 1918) was born on an Indian reserve in North Vancouver, Canada. A Squamish Indian, she moved to Bainbridge Island in 1942. This account includes memories of her life on the reservation, berry-picking on Bainbridge Island, and her 1942 wedding to the Filipino farmer Tomas Almonjuela. This excerpt is taken from an interview conducted by Teresa Cronin on April 9, 1975 for the Washington State Oral History Project.
File 2510: Full Text >

Bennie Paris recalls 39 years at Seattle City Light

Bennie Paris worked for City Light for 39 years, beginning as a clerk in September 1956 and (with about three years out to have children) retiring as Senior Finance Analyst in January 1998. This file contains her reminiscences, including memories of the days of discrimination against women, as well as the fun and family-like feeling of working for Seattle's publicly owned utility.
File 2893: Full Text >

Bryant, Alice Franklin (1899-1977)

Alice Bryant was a life-long peace activist and advocate for justice, based in Seattle. She was a world traveler, a prolific writer of letters to the editor, a lecturer, poet, essayist, and an author of books for children and adults. This biography is written by her granddaughter, Ruth Williams.
File 8865: Full Text >

Caffiere, Blanche (1906-2006): An Appreciation

Blanche Hamilton Hutchings Caffiere was a Seattle teacher, librarian, writer, and storyteller. Over the course of her very long life she influenced many people. Among these were her childhood friend, world-famous Northwest writer Betty MacDonald, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who was her student at View Ridge Elementary School. In this essay HistoryLink.org staff historian Paula Becker, a friend during the last six years of Caffiere's life, remembers her.
File 8060: Full Text >

Campbell, Bertha Pitts: An Oral History

Bertha Pitts Campbell (1889-1990), an early Seattle civil rights worker, was a founder of the Christian Friends for Racial Equality and an early board member of the Seattle Urban League. This is an excerpt of an oral history interview of Bertha Pitts Campbell done by Esther Mumford on April 23, 1975, as part of the Washington State Oral History Project. The interview contains reflections on discrimination against African Americans in Seattle as well as an account of the internment of Japanese Americans at the beginning of World War II.
File 2427: Full Text >

Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley (1890-1964)

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a Socialist activist in the Spokane Free Speech fight that began in October 1909. The free speech movement was an action by members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) to challenge a Spokane City ordinance prohibiting street meetings. For a few weeks, the IWW, including Flynn, gathered en masse every day in the streets to make speeches, expecting to get arrested and fill the jails. Benjamin H. Kizer prepared this essay on Flynn's role from a longer article he wrote for the July 1966 issue of The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. The shorter version was published in the Fall 1966 issue of The Pacific Northwesterner (Spokane). It is reprinted here by kind permission.
File 7309: Full Text >

Frederick, Fay (Swick) (1891-1959): a Biography by her Great Grandson

This biography of Fay (Swick) Frederick, wife of the founder of Frederick & Nelson's Department Store, was written by her great grandson, Gordon Padelford. It is an unusual and slightly juicy biography. Gordon Padelford is 13 years old at this writing (May 2002).
File 3793: Full Text >

Gerber, Anne (1910-2005): A Life in Art

Anne Gerber (1910-2005) was a lifelong supporter of contemporary, cutting-edge art in Seattle. She and her husband Sid Gerber (d. 1965) were collectors both of modern art and of Native American art. They donated their collection of Native American art to the Burke Museum. This People's History biography of Anne Gerber is by Debra Bouchegnies.
File 2852: Full Text >

God Dies: An Essay by Frances Farmer

Film star Frances Farmer (1913-1970) was a senior at West Seattle High School in April 1931 when she gained her first taste of national notoriety, with this award-winning essay, titled "God Dies." The essay won first place and a prize of $100 in a contest sponsored by The Scholastic, a magazine for high school students. It also generated considerable outrage, especially from local ministers.
File 4008: Full Text >

Group Health 1974: A Ward Clerk's Story

This is a first person account reprinted from From the Ground Up: A Seattle Feminist Newspaper, June 1974. In it, Helen Dunn describes the inequities and gender politics of hospital work in the mid-1970s.
File 2441: Full Text >

Hazel Wolf Recalls Life at Firland

Seattle activist Hazel Wolf (1898-2000), who embraced a wide variety of social, political, and environmental causes during her 101 years, spent nine months as a patient at Firland Sanitorium for the treatment of tuberculosis in 1946. Firland (sometimes misidentified as "Firlands"), located north of what were then the city limits, was Seattle' municipal tuberculosis hospital. Wolf chafed at the strict rules there, broke several of them, and finally left the institution before being formally discharged. "I tried to introduce a little sanity in the sanatorium," she told writer Susan Starbuck, who conducted hundreds of oral history interviews with Wolf between 1980 and 1998. Starbuck compiled and organized the interviews in her book, Hazel Wolf: Fighting the Establishment (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002). This excerpt is used with her permission.
File 8801: Full Text >

Hazel Wolf Remembers the McCarthy Era

Hazel Wolf (1898-2000), Seattle's quintessential activist, championed many causes in her 101 years. First an advocate of women's rights, she went on to support labor and environmental issues. She was a member of the Communist party long before it was illegal, and suffered the ire of McCarthy-era red-baiting in the 1950s. Hazel recalled these difficult times in a 1999 speech, transcribed in part below. (Note: Hazel Wolf died on January 19, 2000.)
File 2274: Full Text >

Helfgott, Anna (1899-1996)

Anna Helfgott was a vigorous activist for progressive causes and a leader in Seattle's Gray Panthers. In her working years she was a dressmaker and fitter, and was an early member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). This obituary was written by Marge Leuders and is reprinted from the Gray Panthers of Seattle Newsletter.
File 4020: Full Text >

Holden, Grace: Living with a Legend

The following account was excerpted from an interview with Oscale Grace Holden (b. 1930), the daughter of Oscar Holden (1886-1969), who was, according to Paul DeBarros in Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle, the patriarch of Seattle jazz. The Holden children, Grace, and her brothers Oscar Jr., Dave, Ron, and Jimmy were all musicians who played in Seattle in the late 1940s and beyond. Grace Holden still sings in her church's gospel choir. In this interview, conducted by HistoryLink's Heather MacIntosh on May 17, 2000, at Grace Holden's home in Madison Valley in Seattle, she shares memories of her father and of life as a Holden in Seattle in the 1930s and 1940s.
File 2505: Full Text >

Home of the Good Shepherd Oral History Interviews: former resident Jackie (Moen) Kalani

Toby Harris conducted this oral history interview of Jackie (Moen) Kalani, former resident of the Home of the Good Shepherd, on August 27, 1999, at the Good Shepherd Center, located at 4649 Sunnyside Avenue N. in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. The oral history project was funded by King County Office of Cultural Resources (Landmarks & Heritage). For 60 years, from 1907 to 1973, the Home of the Good Shepherd was operated by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd to provide shelter and education to troubled young girls. Jackie Kalani was a resident from February 1949 to 1952.
File 5744: Full Text >

Kirk, Priscilla Maunder: An Oral History

Priscilla Maunder Kirk (1898-1992), an African American Seattleite, was born on August 9, 1898, in Seattle. In 1919 she moved to Montana with her husband, where she lived until 1929. She also lived in Minnesota before returning to Seattle in 1955. This is an excerpt of an oral history interview of Priscilla Kirk Maunder done by Esther Mumford on June 18, 1975, as part of the Washington State Oral History Project. Priscilla Maunder Kirk died on November 14, 1992.
File 2429: Full Text >

Lee Minto, Director of Planned Parenthood from 1967 to 1993, recalls the history of abortion reform

Lee Minto (b. 1927), executive director of Planned Parenthood of Seattle-King County from 1967 until her retirement in 1993, played a key role in the campaign for Referendum 20, which legalized abortion in Washington state in 1970. Fifteen other states had enacted liberalized abortion laws by that time, but Washington was the first to put the issue before the voters. In this interview, conducted for Historylink by Cassandra Tate on August 31, 2000, Minto recalls the early days of the abortion rights campaign in Washington.
File 2643: Full Text >

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