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Women's History Milwaukee

In honor of International Women’s Day (Thursday, March 8, 2018), Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs announced that the City of Milwaukee will be honoring notable women in the city’s history with a series of informational vignettes that will run on the front page of the city’s website and the City Channel. “From influential international leaders to entrepreneurs to civil rights icons, women have shaped our city since its founding,” Alderwoman Coggs said.

The Women’s History Milwaukee initiative will highlight seven iconic local figures in history—one each day over the course of a week. During this informational campaign, photos and facts about the women of Milwaukee’s history will be featured on this page, and these same informational vignettes will also run regularly during City Channel programming.

Photo of Kitty Brennan

Kitty Brennan

Milwaukee’s first woman Chief Judge, appointed in 2005.

Photo of Mary O. Kryszak

Mary O. Kryszak

First female representative in the State Legislature from Milwaukee, first elected in 1929 and again in 1933, 1935, 1937, 1941, 1943, and 1945.

Photo of Mathilde Anneke

Mathilde Anneke

Feminist, suffragette, journalist; born in 1817 in Germany; settled in Milwaukee in 1849; published the first monthly German women’s suffrage paper in the U.S., Die Frauen Zeitung; helped found the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association in 1869; buried in Forest Home Cemetery.

Photo of Barbara Nichols

Barbara Nichols

The first African-American president of the Wisconsin Nursing Association and of the American Nursing Association.

Photo of Dr. Laura Ross Wolcott

Dr. Laura Ross Wolcott

First woman doctor in Milwaukee (1857) andthird woman in the United States licensed to practice medicine; founder and first president of the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association.

Photo of Meta Berger

Meta Berger

Born in Milwaukee in 1873; prominent socialist organizer and public schools advocate; served on the Milwaukee School Board for 30 years; wife of Victor Berger, the first Socialist elected to the U.S. Congress.

Photo of Betty Brinn

Betty Brinn

Dedicated to helping needy children after being raised in orphanages and foster homes; founder of Managed Health Services, Inc. and philanthropist to the Boys and Girls Clubs and La Causa Day Care Center; after her death, a $1 million anonymous donation was made in her name to help build a children’s museum at O’Donnell Park, henceforth known as the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. Also the namesake of the children’s room at Central Library.

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