Indiana is not a state where women have made many inro. We've never had a female governor, nor a female senator. Most of our favorite sons are indeed sons, not daughters.
10 bad-ass women in indiana history
But scratch the surface of Indiana's history and you'll find more than our share of women who didn't play by the rules, women who made the state and the world a better place and did so with attitude. Albion Fellows Bacon, housing crusader Had two of Albion Fellows Bacon's children not developed scarlet fever, she might never have become a crusader for better housing.
But after her children fell ill, the Evansville mother of four went first to their schools and then the city's riverfront slums, looking for the source of their infection. Her tour of the tenements opened her eyes to the horrific living conditions of her city's poor. InBacon drafted the first of many bills to regulate such housing. Bythe Indiana legislature had passed a statewide bill limited to Indianapolis and Evansville. Four years later, Bacon was once again instrumental in the passage of a law allowing for the condemnation of unsafe buildings statewide.
Born inBacon extended her efforts to juvenile justice, child welfare and city planning. Kathleen Flossie Bailey, civil rights activist Kathleen "Flossie" Bailey, born inwas known in Marion as a voice for racial justice. Inshe headed up the local chapter, which had almost members, including the white mayor of the town.
So when she started to hear talk that three jailed teenagers were going to be lynched, she lept into action. She tried to get the teens, who were suspected of murdering a white man and raping a white woman, moved for their protection. Her efforts were to no avail, and two of the teens were killed.
A continuing crisis
After the lynching, Bailey wanted to see the lynchers brought to justice. She lobbied national NAACP leaders to take up the cause and eventually two men were brought to trial, though the all-white, all-male jury acquitted them. Although Bailey's family was harassed, she organized a successful effort to pass a state law the next year that said any sheriff who allowed one of his prisoners to be lynched would lose his job.
Vivian Carter, recording executive Had things been different, Vivian Carter could have died a rich woman. Instead, she is a footnote in the annals of Beatlesmania and the shadow of Motown. Born inCarter worked as a disc jockey at a Gary radio station.
Her husband, James Bracken, owned a record store. The company ed blues, doo-wop and jazz musicians.
Early black settlements by county
The first song they recorded made it to the Top 10 of the national rhythm and blues charts. Pre-Motown, Vee Jay Records was the most successful black music company. Inthey ed the Beatles, engineering the initial release of "Please Please Me. Their next Beatles release, "From Me to You" drew no air time and the label dropped the British band. A few years later, inVee Jay records went bankrupt. Rhoda Coffin, prison reformer Rhoda Coffin never did time herself. But through her efforts, she helped improve life for all women prisoners.
Born to an Orthodox Quaker inat age 18 the Ohio native moved to Richmond, considered the Midwest heart of Quaker activity. While in Indiana, she met and married Charles Coffin, scion of a local banking family. After raising six children, Coffin and her husband opened a Sabbath school in a working-class Richmond neighborhood in Women, she believed, wielded extensive moral influence.
When she learned that male prison guards stripped and whipped incarcerated women, she sprang into action, arguing for the establishment of separate women's prisons with female wardens. Inlargely due to her work, the Indiana Reformatory Institute for Women and Girls opened, the first prison in the country run by women. Even after her husband was accused of fraud and embezzlement and the couple relocated to Chicago, Coffin continued to work for prison reform. She died in The pilot offered her and her family a quick ride, and Ringenberg was hooked.
With her father's encouragement she attended flight school and completed her first solo flight at the age of After a year, she moved to Fort Wayne and offered flying lessons. When Japan surrendered in Augusta local radio station hired her to drop 56, pamphlets, heralding the war's end, on the city. After the war, Ringenberg married.
She agreed to let her husband golf; he promised to let her fly. Over the years, she won more than racing medals. Inshe raced around the world. At the age of 84, she competed in the 29th Annual Air Race Classic, in which pilots fly more than 2, miles over four days.
May Wright Sewall, suffragette Lest you think that our state did not have its share of suffragists, consider the case of May Wright Sewall. Born inSewall founded a female counterpart to the Indianapolis Classical School for Boys started by her second husband in and insisted that the curriculum for girls mirror that for boys.
That meant that the girls took physical education, at a time when it was thought to be improper for young ladies to engage in physical activity. Inshe helped found the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society, and fromshe campaigned for women's suffrage in Indiana. She later worked alongside Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. From toshe chaired the National Woman Suffrage Association. Locally, Sewall founded the Propylaeum, a social and cultural club for women, and the Art Association of Indianapolis, the predecessor to the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Inthe year she died, she published a book called "Neither Dead Nor Sleeping," in which she talked about communicating wit her dead husband. Frances Slocum, Indiana abductee Long before missing children appeared on milk cartons, Frances Slocum was abducted at age 5 from her Pennsylvania home by the Delaware Indians.
Although her Quaker family sought to find Slocum, born inthey were not successful, at least not for several years. Ina white trader found her living in Indiana and alerted her surviving relatives. Her brothers and sisters visited and begged her to return to Pennsylvania. But she said she promised her late husband she would stay in Indiana. When Congress passed a federal order to move the Miami tribe from Indiana to Kansas, Slocum's family appealed for an exemption for her and her family.
She remained in Indiana until her death in An estimated 20 percent are her descendants. Stratton saw many changes throughout the more than a century she lived.
City seeks new approach to continuing gun violence problem in evansville
Born inshe became Purdue's first full-time dean of women in Under her watch, the of co-eds at the school went from to more than 1, and three new women's residence halls were built. She also helped bring aviatrix Amelia Earhart to West Lafayette as a career counselor. Inshe became director of the Women's Reserve of the Coast Guard. The first female commissioned officer in the Coast Guard, Stratton received a Legion of Merit medal in Four years after Stratton's death in at the age offirst lady Michelle Obama christened a Coast Guard cutter with her name in her memory.
Instead, she and the couple's 5-year-old son went with him. Streight, who was born innursed the wounded, eventually earning her the title "The Mother of the 51st. The third time, she brandished a gun she had stashed inside her skirts.
Although her husband spent 10 months as a prisoner of war himself, the couple survived to return to their home in Indianapolis, where each year Streight organized a reunion of the regiment. After her husband died inStreight buried him in her front yard, to her neighbors' dismay. Abel was exhumed and reburied at Crown Hill Cemetery. When Streight died inshe was buried alongside her husband in a funeral that included full military honors and about 5, mourners, including 64 survivors of the 51st.
Madam CJ Walker, businesswoman Born into a former slave family inSarah Breedlove was America's first self-made female millionaire. If you've never heard her name, that's no surprise. Inshe married St. Louis journalist Charles J. Walker, and became Madam C.