How Women Have Shaped the State

Women in Minnesota: Weaving the Web of Society in the North Star State

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.

Edna Larrabee

Edna Larrabee

Edna Larrabee (left) and a Shakopee Reformatory for Women matron after Larrabee turned herself in to police. Published in the Minneapolis Tribune on March 28, 1948.

Edna Larrabee and Beulah Brunelle

Edna Larrabee and Beulah Brunelle

Edna Larrabee and Beulah Brunelle in 1948. Composite of photographs published in the Minneapolis Star, November 22, 1948.

Escape from Shakopee State Reformatory for Women, 1949

Beulah Brunelle (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) and Edna Larrabee escaped from Shakopee State Reformatory for Women five times between 1946 and 1949. Though most of the breakouts ended in their recapture within a few days, their fourth escape, in 1949, led to eight months of freedom and allowed the two women to live together as a couple while traveling around the United States.

Nellie Stone Johnson at Nellie's Shirt and Zipper repair shop

Nellie Stone Johnson at Nellie's Shirt and Zipper repair shop

Nellie Stone Johnson at work inside Nellie's Shirt and Zipper repair shop, Lumber Exchange Building 1035, Minneapolis, November 1980. Photograph by Elizabeth M. Hall.

Women at the March for Oromia in St. Paul, 2007

Women at the March for Oromia in St. Paul, 2007

Oromo women participate in the March for Oromia at the Minnesota state capitol in St. Paul on July 26, 2007. Photo by Oromia Entertainment, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Incarcerated women working in laundry room

Incarcerated women working in laundry room

Incarcerated women working in the laundry room of the Women's State Reformatory, Shakopee, ca. 1950.

Incarcerated women sewing

Incarcerated women sewing

Incarcerated women working in the sewing room of the Women's State Reformatory, Shakopee, ca. 1950.

State Reformatory for Women, Shakopee

State Reformatory for Women, Shakopee

State Reformatory for Women, Shakopee, ca. 1937.

Higbee Hall

Higbee Hall

Higbee Hall, the administration building at the Women's State Reformatory, Shakopee, 1936. Photo by A. F. Raymond.

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