Glen Park Women Hall of Fame

Glen Park: Home of a Co-Leader in

America's First March for Woman's Suffrage!

On August 27, 1908, members of the California Equal Suffrage Association co-led a march for suffrage to the California State Republican Convention being held in Oakland, California.

Image courtesy of the California Historical Society and the Jeanette Wall Pinther Family.

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For over a century, Glen Park has been powered by women striving to make our community a better place for one and all. While the passage of time has likely erased many names, we are fortunate to have rediscovered a significant few.

 

In 2021 as we celebrated a century of woman's suffrage in America, the GPNHP was honored to have been selected as a Task Force Partner of the 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative. As a partner (see all partners of WVCI), we were part of a national collaborative effort that included several Smithsonian museums and affiliates, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Archives, National Park Service, National Susan B. Anthony House and Museum, the Girl Scouts, the American Bar Association, the Alice Paul Trust, and several others, to bring greater awareness to the story of women, their fight for suffrage, and the ongoing fight for full rights and equality.

 

The GPNHP also collaborated with the National Women's History Alliance, an organization committed to the goals of education, empowerment, equality, and inclusion. The NWHA recognized the achievements of women in all facets of life – science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine – and the huge impact it can have on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women.

 

We hope the stories of women from the Glen Park district help provide inspiration as we all work toward that final, attainable goal. Keep checking back as additional women are added to our Glen Park Women Hall of Fame

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Color Line or Color Blind? San Francisco Suffragists’ Battle for Inclusivity

Virtually presented at the

San Francisco Public Library, on Women's Equality Day, August 26, 2021. 

This virtual presentation focuses on the "white hot" battle among San Francisco's suffragists over inclusion of women of color in the California Federation of Women's Clubs, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and why America's first march for suffrage in 1908 included only White participants. 

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Johanna Pinther and the First Suffrage March in America, August 27, 1908

From 1908 to 1910, women whose families had been displaced by the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 made their way to Glen Park, a new rural district located immediately south of Twin Peaks. Not only would their civic activities be successful in helping create the sylvan character for which Glen Park is known, they would enable Johanna Pinther to become a co-leader in what is now believed to be the first suffrage march in the United States. Learn more about the first suffrage march in the United States, and the backstory of suffrage in Glen Park.

Image courtesy of the California Historical Society.and Jeanette Wall Pinther Family.

Mary Ellen Pleasant, Mother of California Civil Rights

A gothic-styled home on Laidley Street in Fairmount Heights was for decades claimed to have once been owned by Mary Ellen Pleasant, considered by most to be the mother of California civil rights. We now know the link to the residence to be indirect at best. Yet, her life story is so important (including an association with abolitionist John Brown) that the house provides opportunity to share her legacy with others. Read more about the mother of California civil rights.   

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Image courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library.

Ada Parker Stillings: Early Glen Park Activist

Along with her husband a refugee of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Ada Parker Stillings would serve as the second president of the woman's club known as the Glen Park Outdoor Art League. Under her leadership, the new district would secure its first library and first volunteer fire department. While she moved from Glen Park in 1910, Mrs. Stillings continued to make a difference for the duration of her life. Read the life story of Ada Park Stillings.

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Image courtesy of the Ada Francis Parker Stillings Family.

Minnie Straub Baxter & the Gum Tree Girls Save Glen Park From Freeways

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Image courtesy of the San Francisco Public LIbrary.

Fifty years after the first suffrage march between 1958 and 1970, lifelong Glen Park resident Minnie Straub Baxter and the young housewives who became famously known as the Gum Tree Girls battled the City of San Francisco and the State of California to keep the city from tearing Glen Park apart. Learn more about Glen Park's Freeway Revolt and how these women saved the district. 

Read the remembrance of Zoanne Theriault Nordstrom (1933 - 2001) (scroll down and click on Zoanne's article).

Read more about the day Glen Park celebrated Glen Park Moxie at the Glen Park Gum Tree Girls Festival on July 10, 2022!

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Image courtesy of San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department.

Dolores Huerta: American Civil Rights Activist

Any talk of changing the name of Fairmount Elementary School, one of the oldest, continuously active schools in San Francisco, was initially met with opposition from local residents in 2019. But given the school had been leading a Spanish immersion program for the previous 17 years, the decision to name it for civil rights activist Dolores Huerta was ultimately greeted with pride. On the day of naming ceremony, the words of 89-year-old were received with great excitement by students. Learn more about the celebration (scroll down) and the legacy of Fairmount School.

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Image by Theo Rigby.

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America's First Suffrage March & the San Francisco Women Who Led It! 

Virtually presented at the

San Francisco Public Library, August 27, 2020, on the 112th anniversary of the march.

The presentation focuses on San Francisco's local suffrage activities, the activities of the California Equal Suffrage Association leading up to the march, and the women's leadership during a public health crisis. 

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Emboldened Women: The Suffragists of San Francisco's Glen Park and Their Role in America's First Suffrage March

Virtually presented at the California Historical Society on May 11, 2020, their very first digital public program!

This presentation takes a broader look at the history of women's suffrage in the United States and California and provides reasons why we believe this event does represent America's first march for suffrage!

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approves Resolution Recognizing America's First Suffrage March, Co-Led by Glen Park Women!

In partnership with the Office of San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu (now San Francisco City Administrator) and her staff, the GPNHP is proud to announce that what we believe is America's first suffrage march was approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on August 25, 2020! Read the approved resolution!

Irene Ryan: Television Icon Whose Gift Continues to Uplift Aspiring Actors

A resident of Arlington Street and graduate of Fairmount School, Irene Ryan began her career at the age of 11 when she won a singing contest at the old Valencia Theater. Throughout the 20th century, she would be a popular artist in vaudeville, radio, and ultimately television. Known as "the gal who makes Bob Hope laugh," she also performed for troops in Hope's USO shows. By the early 1960s when American television offered escapism from the stresses of The Cold War, Irene Ryan became a beloved television icon. Upon her death, her gift to support aspiring actors at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, continues to support the arts. Learn more about the life of Irene Ryan

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Image from The Everett Collection at DoYouRemember.com.

More women will be added to the Glen Park Women Honor Roll soon!

Please visit us again for updates.