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 photograph of Clara H. Ueland, 1918.

Clara H. Ueland

Clara H. Ueland, 1918.

Black and white photograph of the University of Minnesota's women's suffrage club, 1913.

University of Minnesota's women's suffrage club

University of Minnesota's women's suffrage club, 1913.

Black and white photograph of Laura Ingalls Wilder, c.1894.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder, c.1894.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls (1867–1957)

Laura Ingalls Wilder was sixty-five when she published Little House in the Big Woods, a novel for young readers inspired by her childhood in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Her book, and the others that followed, made her an icon of children's literature. The Little House series offered generations of children a glimpse into life on the nineteenth-century American prairie and immortalized a sod house on the banks of Minnesota's Plum Creek.

Black and white photograph of Katherine McCaffrey Donnelly, wife of Ignatius Donnelly, 1888.

Katherine McCaffrey Donnelly

Katherine McCaffrey Donnelly, wife of Ignatius Donnelly, 1888.

Elizabeth Ayer's gravestone

Elizabeth Ayer's gravestone at Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls, Minnesota. Elizabeth's son Lyman, his wife Laura Hill Ayer, and his daughter Agnes are buried nearby. Photograph by Linda Louise Bryan, c.2013.

Black and white tintype photograph of Elizabeth Ayer, c.1880.

Missionary Elizabeth Ayer

Tintype photograph of Elizabeth Ayer, c.1880.

Black and white tintype photograph of Elizabeth Ayer, c.1870.

Elizabeth Ayer

Tintype photograph of Elizabeth Ayer, c.1870.

Ayer, Elizabeth Taylor (1803–1898)

Elizabeth Taylor Ayer's life spanned nearly the entire nineteenth century. In an era when women rarely had professional careers, her work as a teaching missionary gave her more status and independence than most women enjoyed.

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