March is National Women’s History Month. To give our celebration a Texas taste, we are offering some of the famous and a few infamous women from our fair state. Our sources for the list below include an article by J. M. Scott in the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.
Created in 1984 by the Texas Governor's Commission for Women, the Texas Women's Hall of Fame recognizes women who have attained significant achievements in areas such as the arts, community service, education, leadership, health, science and business. Inductees include former First Ladies, astronauts, entrepreneurs and olympic athletes. The Texas Women's Hall of Fame ensures the achievements and contributions of women from across Texas are written into the state's legacy.
Famous Texas Women
Janis Joplin (1943-1970)
Born and raised in Port Arthur, Joplin began her music career in Austin, but moved to San Francisco to escape the rigid cultural restrictions of 1960s Texas. Before she died at the age of 27, Joplin had carved a place for women in rock-n-roll alongside Bob Dylan and Jimmie Hendrix. She was inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
Barbara Jordan (1936 - 1996)
Civil rights activist Barbara Jordan was the first woman ever elected to the Texas Senate. Later, Jordan was the first African-American congresswoman to come from Texas and the South, and she delivered the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic Convention.
Bette Graham (1924-1980)
Born and raised in San Antonio, she was the inventor and entrepreneur behind Liquid Paper white-out. That, and she raised a son, Michael Nesmith of the Monkeys.
Jane Long (1798-1880)
Often referred to as the “mother of Texas,” Long is among the first English-speaking pioneers to give birth in Texas. Widowed at the age of 24, when her husband was killed in Mexico City, Long worked as a single mother, operating a boarding house and developing a plantation, which she ran with the aid of 19 slaves.
Sarah Bowman (c. 1813 – 1866)
Known as the Great Western, Bowman was a legendary camp follower during the Mexican War, tending to soldiers as a laundress, cook, hotelkeeper and prostitute. When she died after moving to Fort Yuma, she was buried with full military honors.
Susana Dickinson (ca 1814-1883)
The wife of a Texian defender, Dickinson and her daughter Angelina were among the few, if only, Americans who survived the Battle of the Alamo. With a blanket and $2, “the Lady of the Alamo” was sent to Gonzales with a message from Santa Ana to the Texians that he would crush any resistance.
Margaret Heffernan Borland (1824–1873)
Borland took over her husband’s business as an independent rancher after he died, and became the only woman known to have led a cattle drive. Buying and selling livestock, she grew the herd to more than 10,000 cattle.
Caro Crawford Brown, (1908 - 2001)
She was first Texan and first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in reporting in 1955. She wrote series of articles exposing the virulent corruption of political boss George Parr; it was her fearless reporting that led to his eventual downfall. Brown was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1986.
Mary Kay Ash, (1918 – 2001)
One month after her husband’s Mel's death on September 13, 1963, Mary Kay Ash at 45 years old started her company with a $5,000 investment from her oldest son, Ben Rogers, Jr. and with her young son, Richard Rogers. The company started its original storefront operation in Dallas.
Liz Carpenter (1920 - 2010)
Carpenter wrote the statement that Lyndon B. Johnson delivered to the nation shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy. She was the press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson and became known for her wry wit. Carpenter was also a founding member of the National Women’s Political Caucus.
Dean & Draper
We hope that you enjoyed our short list of noteworthy Texas women and will take a few minutes to visit the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame on their website. When you have questions about personal, homeowner, and commercial insurance, we invite you to call us. Contact us.
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