The Willmar 8 Bank Strike

For nearly two years, eight female employees of Willmar's Citizens National Bank, dubbed the Willmar 8, picketed in front of their downtown workplace seeking pay equity. They never got pay increases, they never got strike-related compensation, and after the strike, only one woman returned to work at the bank for more than a few months. But for the women's movement, the 1977-1979 strike was a resounding success. It was a chink in the armor of the institutional sexism women faced in the workplace.

Black and white Triple exposure of Susie Schmitt Hanson seated at a table.

Susie Schmitt Hanson

Triple exposure of Susie Schmitt Hanson seated at a table : back to audience, standing behind table working and seated to right of table. Each exposure shows her in a different outfit.

Black and white photograph of Susie Schmitt Hanson is seated wearing a light-colored long-sleeve floor-length dress.

Mrs. Susie Schmitt Hanson Inside Her House

Susie Schmitt Hanson is seated wearing a light-colored long-sleeve floor-length dress.

Black and white photograph of Susie Schmitt Hanson's  millinery store, on the corner Main and Olive in Waconia.

Susie Hanson Store

Susie Schmitt Hanson's millinery store, on the corner Main and Olive in Waconia.

Black and white photograph of Susie Schmitt Hanson pictured at age eighty-five with a birthday cake, c.1945.

Susie Schmidt Hanson, age eighty-five

Susie Schmitt Hanson pictured at age eighty-five with a birthday cake, c.1945.

Black and white photograph of Susie Hanson Smith With Button Collection.

Susie Hanson Smith With Button Collection

Woman standing wearing dark dress and an apron covered with buttons. A table showing her button collection on the right, 1930s or 1940s.

Black and white portrait of Susie Schmitt Hanson, c.1885.

Susie Hanson

Portrait of Susie Schmitt Hanson, seated in a dress with roses in her lap, c.1885.

Black and white photograph of Mrs. Schmitt and family, c.1895.

Mrs. John Schmitt and Family

Mrs. John Schmitt and family. Mrs. Schmitt sitting on chair in center with children all around her. Susie Schmitt Hansen, row 2, far right, c.1895.

Hanson, Susie Schmitt, (1860–1956)

A prime example of entrepreneurial spirit, Susie Schmitt Hanson was a pioneer for Minnesota women in business. As the owner of one of Waconia's longest-running businesses, she remains a prominent figure in the history of that town.

Julia B. Nelson

Photograph of Julia B. Nelson, first president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association, c.1903.

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