Celebrating Women’s History Month: Indiana Women’s Roles in History
March is Women’s History Month, where we celebrate the contributions women have made to shape our local, state, regional, national, and international communities. Their contributions may be in government, businesses, schools, science, or numerous other aspects of our society. Women from Indiana have used their minds and their influence to better our state and our lives.
Eventually working alongside other suffragettes Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, May Wright Sewall initially championed women’s rights in Indianapolis.
Gene Stratton-Porter was a naturalist and author who often wrote about her beloved Limberlost Cabin home and the community surrounding it.
Albion Fellows Bacon was instrumental in passing affordable, sanitary housing for the poor after her children got sick with scarlet fever. She learned that living conditions affected one’s health and she fought for housing and health for communities.
Education about the home and the science behind it came to Purdue University, and then by extension to the rest of Indiana, thanks to Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis. They created and expanded the School of Home Economics, which was affiliated with the School of Agriculture, in 1913.
One of America’s first multi-millionaires was Madam C.J. Walker, who founded and ran a company making hair and beauty products especially for the black community. She started the company in Indianapolis.
Crown Point has its own famous woman in Lillian Holley. After her husband passed away, she was sheriff of Lake County when John Dillinger escaped from the jail. But that it not her lasting legacy in this community- she lived to 103 years and was an active supporter of preserving Crown Point history and buildings, including “The Grand Ole Lady” Courthouse.