Celebrating Wisconsin’s Historical Women

The month of March is Women’s History Month and Magic 98 wants to celebrate while we educate.

Every weekday, Lanette Hansen will share a story about a Wisconsin Historical Woman.  The women who didn’t necessarily make the history books…but those who definitely made history.

Lanette is joined by Charlotte Deleste and Susan Siman from News 3 Now for each of these historical journeys. You’ll be able to find these stories, photos, and more here!

Belle Case LaFollette

Belle Case LaFollette was the first woman to earn a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and the brains behind her husband, ‘Fighting’ Bob LaFollette’s political career.

Carrie Jacobs Bond

A singer, pianist, and songwriter who composed over 175 pieces of popular music from the 1890s through the early 1940s.

Olympia Brown

Olympia Brown was an American minister and suffragist. She was the first woman to be ordained as clergy with the consent of her denomination. Brown was also an advocate for women’s rights and one of the few first-generation suffragists who could vote with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Cynthia Bentley

From foster care to gold medals…this woman has proven everyone wrong many times.

Mee Moua

A refugee from Laos when she was barely 5 years old escaping the Vietnam War, Mee put in the time and effort to make it to the top.

Vel Phillips

Vel Phillips made a career of ‘firsts’.  She trudged through so much unchartered territory and championed most things she put her heart into.

Ingrid Washinawatok

By the time she graduated high school, she had joined an activism movement and interned in New York City.  She was ready to make a difference.

Milly Zantow

This busy mom of three had a problem…and her solution changed the world.

Ellen Ainsworth

Ellen Ainsworth went from little Glenwood City, Wisconsin to war hero.  She was awarded the Red Cross Bronze Medal, a Purple Heart, and one of the highest honors awarded by the military, a Silver Star Medal.  She along with a group of other nurses were the first women to receive this commendation.

Electa Quinney

Armed with knowledge from some of the best schools on the east coast, Electa Quinney came to Wisconsin.  She started a school without charging fees allowing everyone to get an education and essentially Wisconsin public schools as we know them, began.

Ho Poe Kaw

The first woman to lead a Ho-Chunk nation and the first woman who was ever written about in all of Wisconsin history.

Dickey Chapelle

Dickey Chapelle was an American photojournalist known for her work as a war correspondent from World War II through the Vietnam War.

Dr. Laura Ross Wolcott

Laura Ross Wolcott was the first female doctor in Wisconsin and an important leader of the woman suffrage movement in Milwaukee.

Joyce Carlson

Raise your hand if you knew that a major part of the Disney theme parks was created by a woman from Wisconsin?  Me neither.

Lorraine Hansberry

The brief, brilliant, radical life of Lorraine Hansberry brought her through Madison going to the UW before heading to NYC to start her writing career.  I’m not sure even she could’ve predicted her success.

Donna Burkett and Manonia Evans

Decades before same-sex marriage was legalized…they played a key role in getting us there.

Laurel Clark

Laurel Clark was a United States Navy captain, NASA astronaut, Space Shuttle mission specialist, and medical doctor. She grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, and graduated from UW-Madison.

Marjorie Engelman

Marjorie Engelman paved a new path for women working at UWGB and also as an artist inspired by her newfound freedom.

Anita Herrera

From 6 years old in a family of migrant workers to the Governor’s office, Anita is a true role model.

Margaret Danhauser

Girls weren’t supposed to play professional baseball…but this ‘girl’ sure did!  Wisconsin’s own…Margaret Danhauser.

Dr. Fannie Hicklin

Dr. Fannie Hicklin earned her Ph.D in Theatre from UW-Madison and then quickly made history.  In ’64, she became the first African American faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the same year President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.

Ardie Clark Halyard

Ardie Clark Halyard, along with her husband, opened the first African American-owned Savings and Loan with just a ten-dollar bill.

Betsy Thunder

Betsy Thunder was a medicine woman.  She opened her door to anyone who needed healing and in doing so created quite a name for herself.

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