Remember Jeanette Rankin?

jeanette rankinOne Hundred years ago on November 7, 1916 Jeanette Rankin (1880-1973) of Montana became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Just four day after she took office, Congresswoman Rankin made history yet again. She voted against U.S. entry into World War I.

Four years later, women nationwide were granted the right to vote by the 19th Amendment.

Published in: on November 7, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ute Women in World War I

Ute Women Red Cross 1918 The Ute women in this 1918 photo are knitting socks for the Red Cross.
          After the United States entered World War I, Mrs. L.W. Curry met with the chiefs of the Uintah and Uncompahgre Ute reservations. She explained the work of the Red Cross. 
 SOX         The Indian Agent reminded the Utes that some of their own young men would serve in the war. Sixty-six Utes of military age had already signed up for the first draft in 1917.
          As a result of Mrs. Curry’s visit, 450 Utes joined the Red Cross and paid the $10 membership fee.
          The Utes held a fundraising event for the Red Cross. It included a horse race, demonstrations of Indian dances, and a sale of women’s fancy work. The event raised $435. 
          They also subscribed $50,000 to the Fourth Liberty Bond campaign which helped fund the war effort.

Story from Chipeta: Queen of the Utes. The book is available from Western Reflections Publishing

Photo courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

Denver National Recuperation Camp, Part 3

“On Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, the capacity of Army General Hospital No. 21  in Aurora, Colorado was reported at 380 beds. New construction underway was 50-percent complete and would add 736 beds.”
          After the war ended, the patient load decreased. Local officials worried about keeping the facility open. Fortunately, Colonel Roger Brooke of the Surgeon General’s Office saw Denver as the best site for a permanent Army tuberculosis hospital.
          On June 26, 1920, Hospital No. 21 was “redesignated” by the War Department as Fitzsimons General Hospital. The name honored William Thomas Fitzsimons, the first U.S. Army officer to die in World War I. In 1920, 60% of the total 3,442 admissions at Fitzsimons  were for tuberculosis treatment.
          Fitzsimons became the largest active military hospital in the world and the largest tuberculosis hospital in the United States.
          The facility closed in 1999 and the grounds are being redeveloped for civilian use as the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Fitzsimons Life Science District.

Information and quoted material from the Historic American Building Survey, by Emily Thompson Payne, Intermountain Regional Office, National Park Service, Denver, Colorado, August 2009

Pathfinding in the Misty Past

A cheery fire was burning in the grate, and I sat down before it with a comforting sense of relief. For two hours I sat there, thinking of bygone times; recalling old scenes, and summoning half-forgotten faces out of the mists of the past; listening, in fancy, to voices that long ago grew silent for all time, and to once familiar songs that nobody sings now.

–  From “A Ghost Story” by Mark Twain in Sketches New and Old, copyright 1903, Samuel Clemens.


This year I have been writing short story. I don’t need the comfort of a fireplace to see faces from the past or hear voices long silent. They live in my head until I let them speak through my stories. 

            My story “Working Girl” won third place in the 2008 Women Writing the West short story contest. It will be published in 2009 by Women Out West Magazine. Set in 1918 Denver, it is based on true experiences of my late friend Marie Richey Collins. Researching Denver newspapers of the period gave me new perspective on the years of World War I along with similarities and contrasts to our current era of war. I knew Marie in the last decade of her life. Through writing her story I met the woman of her youth with hopes and dreams yet to be fulfilled. 

Published in: on December 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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