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Topic: Women's History

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Ryan, John Henry (1865-1943) and Ella (1866-?)

John Henry Ryan and his wife Ella Ryan were two of the earliest African American business owners in Tacoma, where they owned and were the editors of The Forum, a weekly newspaper in the Tacoma area. A...

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Ryther, Mother Olive (1849-1934)

In 1882, Olive "Ollie" Ryther and her husband Noble Ryther, parents of four children, adopted four orphans. Ollie Ryther vowed to never turn an orphaned child away. She founded Seattle's Ryther Home a...

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Seattle's First Female Officers on the Beat

This essay by Adam C. Eisenberg on Seattle's first female patrol officers hired and trained to be cops on the beat equal to men (nine women hired in 1976), originally appeared in the Seattle Post-Inte...

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Shackleford, Elizabeth (1895-1989)

Elizabeth Shackleford, a lifelong Tacoman, was a lawyer and judge in her hometown for 60 years. She was the second female justice of the peace in Pierce County and for several years the only female la...

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Shu, Dr. Ruby Inouye (1920-2012)

Dr. Ruby Inouye Shu was the first Japanese American woman physician in Seattle and an icon in the local Japanese community. Her general practice was in Seattle’s Nihonmachi or Japantown. She deliver...

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Sommers, Helen Elizabeth (1932-2017)

Helen Sommers was elected as a Democrat in November 1972 to represent Seattle's 36th District in the state House of Representatives. She won re-election 17 consecutive times over the next 36 years, wa...

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Spafford, Michael (b. 1935), and Elizabeth Sandvig (b. 1937)

Michael Spafford was a young art student at Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1956 when a car accident put him out of commission for months. When he returned to school, he found another youn...

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Spear, Lillian S. (1897-1963)

Lillian E. Anderson Sylten Spear was an important player in Snohomish County's public-power movement. She began her career as an educator, served as president of the Snohomish County Parent-Teacher As...

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St. Nicholas School (Seattle)

St. Nicholas School was a private nonsectarian girls' school founded in 1910 and located in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. The school was named to honor St. Nicholas, the patron saint of childr...

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Stern, Bernice (1916-2007)

Bernice Stern devoted much of her life to public service, starting at age 15, and was the first woman elected to the King County Council, where she served for 11 years, retiring in 1980. Before and af...

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Strahorn, Dell (1854-1925)

The author of this People's History, Barbara Fleischman Cochran, was a regional historian in Spokane, author of Exploring Spokane's Past, and a member of the faculty at Washington State University. Sh...

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Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)

Anna Louise Strong remains one of the notable radicals in the history of the United States. During her Seattle years (1914-1921), she won her election as the lone woman on the School Board, only to be...

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