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.

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.

Black and white photograph of Female employees at the M. A. Gedney Company, c.1912.

Female workers at the M. A. Gedney Company

Female employees at the M. A. Gedney Company, c.1912.

Execution of Ann Bilansky, 1860

Ann Bilansky was the only woman executed by the action of Minnesota courts. She died in 1860, but doubts about her guilt remain alive.

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.

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