Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Complimentary appetizers provided. Free and open to the public.
Meet Nettie Crook, Nellie Tayloe Ross, Dr. Susan Anderson, Dr. Byrd Howell Granger and Florence Lawrence – the courageous and fascinating women whose lives became a part of the lore of the West! Travel back in time to hear stories of real women who made a significant impact on the West, be entertained with lively, historical portrayals and go on an educational adventure with the Unconventional Women of the West. Put on by The Legendary Ladies, a non-profit educational women’s organization.
Nettie Crook made the strange and long trip on what's known as the Orphan Train. No one ever told her why her parents were giving her up. Together with her five-year-old identical twin sister, Nellie, the girls end up on display in various small towns, where prospective parents examine and select children for adoption. The girls were eventually selected by Mr. and Mrs. Chapin in South Dakota. The hardships Nettie faced as a young girl trying to create a new life shape the adult woman she would become.
Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman in the U.S. to be elected governor, being sworn in as the 14th governor of Wyoming in 1925. Despite only serving one term, her political career continued into positons within the federal government. She was appointed as the first female director of the U.S. Mint by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, serving five terms before retiring in 1953.
Dr. Susan Anderson is better known in Colorado as “Doc Susie.” She made her way to Cripple Creek, Colorado after the gold rush and became a physician in 1897. Although she attempted to practice medicine in several Colorado cities, she eventually ended up in Fraser, where she was the only physician for 49 years. Her practice included a wide range of patients and conditions, from childbirth to pneumonia during the 1918 flu pandemic.
Dr. Byrd Howell Granger joined the military during World War II, becoming a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Squadron in 1942. She was one of the first women to complete cadet flight training, eventually becoming a commanding officer in the Air Transport Command. Air transport was responsible for ferrying aircraft, from trainers to bombers, to locations throughout the U.S. After the war, she became an English instructor at the University of Arizona, eventually earning her M.A. from there, and a Ph.D. in English from UCLA. After retiring from academia, Granger documented her military experience in the book On Final Approach: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of W.W.II.
Florence Lawrence was a Canadian-American stage performer and film actress who is known for being "The First Movie Star." She was the first film actor to be named publicly. At the height of her fame in the 1910s, she was known as “The Biograph Girl” for work as one of the leading ladies in silent films from the Biograph Company. She appeared in almost 300 films for various motion picture companies throughout her career.