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How Women Have Shaped the State

Weaving the Web of Minnesota Society

Expert Essay: Rhoda R. Gilman, a founding member of Women Historians of the Midwest and a former candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, considers the influence of women in Minnesota: the Willmar 8, the Schubert Club, the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association, and much more.

Black and white scan of a newspaper cartoon advertising the involvement of women in the Food Training Camp at the Minnesota State Fair. Image is from the New Ulm Review, August 8, 1917.

Food Training Camp advertisement for women

Newspaper cartoon advertising the involvement of women in the Food Training Camp at the Minnesota State Fair. Image is from the New Ulm Review, August 8, 1917.

Black and white photograph of the Woman Citizen Building, 1917 Minnesota State Fair.

Woman Citizen Building at the 1917 Minnesota State Fair

Woman Citizen Building, 1917 Minnesota State Fair.

Black and white photograph of Jeff, Patty (left), and Margaret Thompson, c.1957.

Thompson Children

Jeff, Patty (left), and Margaret Thompson, c.1957. Used with the permission of Margaret Chula.

Black and white photograph of Carol Thompson with her children, Margaret, Amy, Patty, and Jeff, c.1961.

Carol Thompson and her children

Carol Thompson with her children, Margaret, Amy, Patty, and Jeff, c.1961. Used with the permission of Margaret Chula.

Black and white photograph of Carol and Cotton Thompson on their wedding day, March 27, 1948.

Carol and Cotton Thompson

Carol and Cotton Thompson on their wedding day, March 27, 1948. Used with the permission of Margaret Chula.

Murder of Carol Thompson

The March 1963 murder of St. Paul wife and mother Carol Thompson shocked the Twin Cities as few local crimes have. Despite community fears of a homicidal maniac, investigators soon focused on T. Eugene "Cotton" Thompson, the victim’s husband, as their prime suspect. Three and a half months after the murder, Thompson was arrested and charged in connection with his wife’s death. In December 1963 he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Black and white photograph of Alice Ames Winter, c.1923.

Alice Ames Winter

Alice Ames Winter, c.1923. Winter was chair of the Woman’s Committee of the Minnesota Commission of Public Safety and the Minnesota Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense.

Black and white photograph of Evelyn Lightner (at left) and Red Cross workers distributing food, c.1918.

Red Cross workers

Evelyn Lightner (at left) and Red Cross workers distributing food, c.1918.

Color image of a World War I-era poster, 1917.

Women! Help America’s Sons Win the War

World War I-era poster, 1917.

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