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Minnie J Grinstead

Minnie Grinstead, from Crawford County, Kansas, was the first woman Kansas state legislator. Before that, she was a teacher, an organizer, a good orator—particularly when it came to voicing her opinion about that old demon rum. Minnie was a big supporter of alcohol-free Kansas. She became a lecturer for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), and was even whispered to be considered for a candidate for the United States Senate.

History tells us, Minnie was elected to the Kansas House in 1918, but it took the men in the Chamber to get used to the fact. At first they were skeptical, believing (according to the Kansas City Star) "that Mrs. Grinstead would be a 'fussy' member, and that she would scold and find fault, and 'nag' them for smoking cigars. They had visions of having to speak in whispers when they wished to express their thoughts in the plain Kansas language."

Minnie, however, prevailed and so impressed her fellow legislators as well as her constituents that she was re-elected in 1920 and again in 1922.

Learn more about Minnie here: