Friday, April 10, 2015

Texas Women in History and Government

I missed posting early this morning as I remembered until yesterday. We didn't have internet all day, so I guess I removed all traces of responsibility from my head. BIG oops. I'm sharing a post I submitted to Smart Girls Read Romance last month on Women in Texas History and Government. I promise to be better next month.

March was Women's History Month so I thought I'd talk about several women who've made strides in government to help shape our future in the state of Texas and the world

Sarah Cockrell

 I've spoken before about Sarah Cockrell (1819-1892), a business woman who built the first iron bridge over the Trinity River in Dallas in 1872. She thought big and invested wisely and set up her own corporations. When she died in 1892, her properties were so extensive that her will had to be published in pamphlet form.

Molly Goodnight (1839-1926) established the first ranch household in the Texas Panhandle in 1877. She rescued orphaned buffaloes, had her own cattle brand, the Flying T and helped establish the Goodnight College in 1898.
Mollie Goodnight

Elizabet Ney

Elizabet Ney (1833-1907) was a renowned sculptor from Bavaria. She
moved to Texas with her husband in 1872. She secured a commission to create statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston for the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. She became the outspoken advocate of the teaching of fine arts in the state's schools and was instrumental in the founding of the Texas Fine Arts Association.

Minnie Fisher Cunningham
Minnie Fisher Cunningham (1882-1964) was President of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association from 1915 to 1920 and became the first executive secretary of the National League of Women Voters. She was an important leader in the campaign for votes for women on the state and national levels. Graduating in 1901, she was one of the first women in Texas to receive a pharmacy degree from the University of Texas medical school. She ran for but lost races for the U.S. Senate in 1928 and for governor in 1944.

Sarah T. Hughes
Sarah T. Hughes was an attorney, legislator, women's rights activist, United Nations supporter, and Texas' first female state and federal judge. A member of a Dallas law firm from 1923 to 1935. she was elected to her first term in the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat on 1930 and voted "Most Valuable Member" her second term. In 1935, she became Texas' first female district judge and was reelected seven times. She was Dallas County co-chair of the Kennedy-Johnson campaign in 1960, and in the following year, President John F. Kennedy appointed her Texas' first female federal judge. After Kennedy's assassination in 1963, she administered the Presidential oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson.

These are but a few of the many women who have influenced me and I hope by reading about these women, you'll be inspired to read more about them or look up other influential women in our state of Texas and other states in our great nation.

Thank you for stopping by today. I love seeing y'all here on Sweethearts of the West.

Hugs, Carra

  Carra Copelin WebsiteCarra's Blog , Carra's FB page , Carra's Twitter Page


  1. Hi Cara. I love the little histories on these women. Very interesting. People think women in the 1800s were helpless and under a man's thumb but this proves they were far from it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You're welcome, Sharla. We need to sing their praises more. Happy to see you here today!

  3. Carra--sometimes our days don't go exactly right--but I'm glad you shared this post with us.
    I've at least heard of all these women, but two stand out.
    I wrote an entire post about Molly Goodnight some time ago. It's right that she has a revered place in Texas History. She has quite a story--one of my favorites.
    Also, Elizabet Ney is well known around here, especially in Austin. There's the Elizabet Ney museum, a lovely place, where many of her sculptures are displayed. It's worth visiting.
    (Being without the internet is like being in a black hole!)
    Thanks for the post.


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