Encyclopedia of Women in the American West

The West is frequently portrayed as a coarse and tumble man's global, yet in the back of those men--and usually independently--were girls with the goals, energy, and backbone to make a difference.

The "Encyclopedia of girls within the American West" is a tribute to their independence, intelligence, braveness, spirit, perseverance, and bold.

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Supreme Court justice. In 1998 O’Connor returned to Arizona to swear in the five women elected to the top executive positions in Arizona government—a first in the nation’s history. These accomplishments were not made in a vacuum, but were the product of a long tradition of female participation in Arizona politics. —Heidi J. S. Department of Justice. From there, she moved on to become the commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission until 1986. S. Parole Commission. In 1989 she became a judge in the Alameda Superior Court of California.

Suffrage leaders like O’Neill and Munds had learned many political strategies during their campaign—aligning with labor, working with Mormon leaders, trading votes in the legislature—and now were anxious to use those skills in achieving a women’s agenda for public office. In other words, they were anxious to engage in the kind of “grubby” politics that women in many other states abhorred. Politicized by the suffrage battles, large numbers of women ran for county, legislative, and state office from 1914 to 1950, but they often had to do so without the blessings of the state’s political parties.

The Arizona WCTU met with only limited success in obtaining its goals of eliminating drinking, gambling, and vice in the territory, so leaders like Hughes quickly became convinced that women needed the vote to become more effective. qxd 5/17/03 2:34 PM Page 14 14———Arizona Political Women to take up the leadership of the suffrage movement in 1891. Many other woman suffrage leaders, including Pauline O’Neill (the widow of Spanish-American War hero and Populist politician William “Buckey” O’Neill) and Frances Willard Munds (a relative of Frances Willard), came over from the WCTU to hold positions of leadership in the fledgling Arizona suffrage movement.

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