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.

Promotional pamphlet featuring photographs of Florence Macbeth and excerpts from positive reviews of her singing performances.

Florence Macbeth promotional pamphlet

Promotional pamphlet featuring photographs of Florence Macbeth and excerpts from positive reviews of her singing performances. Image reproduced with permission by Heritage Protocol & University Archives, Florida State University Libraries.

Black and white photograph of Florence Macbeth taken c.1915-1920.

Florence Macbeth seated at piano

Photograph of Florence Macbeth taken c.1915–1920.

Black and white studio portrait of Florence Macbeth, 1917.

Studio portrait of Florence Macbeth

Autographed studio portrait of Florence Macbeth, 1917.

Black and white publicity photograph of Florence Macbeth taken on June 24, 1913.

Florence Macbeth

Publicity photograph of Florence Macbeth taken on June 24, 1913.

Macbeth, Florence Mary (1889–1966)

Mankato-born Florence Macbeth won international acclaim as an operatic soprano during the 1910s and 1920s. Known as "the Minnesota nightingale," Macbeth made hundreds of concert and recital appearances during her career. She toured the U.S. with the Chicago Opera Company for fourteen years before retiring from singing in the 1930s.

Black and white photograph of Sarah Elizabeth Gordon Chubb, c.1870.

Sarah Elizabeth Gordon Chubb

Sarah Elizabeth Gordon Chubb, c.1870.

Photograph of Smith and a client at the Olive Hair Store, 1913.

Lena Olive Smith and client at Olive Hair Store, Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis

Smith owned the Olive Hair Store, before becoming an attorney, 1913.

Black and white photograph of Lena O. Smith, first female African American lawyer in Minnesota, undated.

Lena O. Smith

Lena O. Smith, first female African American lawyer in Minnesota, undated.

Smith, Lena Olive (1885–1966)

Lena Olive Smith was a prominent civil rights lawyer and activist during the 1920s and 1930s. She made major contributions toward securing civil rights for minorities in the Twin Cities. Smith began fighting for the rights of others when she became the first African American woman licensed to practice law in Minnesota in 1921. She was the only African American woman to practice law in the state until 1945.

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