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Ada McPherson Morley

Catron County

Activist | Entrepreneur |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southwest

 

Agnes Morley Cleaveland

Catron County

Activist | Artist | Entrepreneur |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southwest

 

Agueda S. Martinez

Rio Arriba County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Amelia Elizabeth White

Santa Fe County

Activist | Community leader | Philanthropist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Ana de Sandoval y Manzanares

Valencia County

Community leader | Entrepreneur |

Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) |

Central

 

Captive Women and Children of Taos County

Taos County

Activist | Community leader |

Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) | Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) |

North Central

 

Cathay Williams

Luna County

Public servant |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) |

Southwest

 

Chief Justice Pamela B. Minzner

Bernalillo County

Community leader | Educator | Public servant |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Cora Durand

Taos County

Artist | Community leader | Cultural preservationist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Curanderas – Women Who Heal

Mora County

Community leader | Healer |

Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) | Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northeast

 

Doña Dolores “Lola” Chávez de Armijo

Bernalillo County

Educator | Public servant |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Doña Eufemia, “La Valerosa,” “The Spanish Entrada of 1598”

Socorro County

Community leader | Public servant |

Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) |

Southwest

 

Dr. Annie Dodge Wauneka

McKinley County

Activist | Educator | Healer | Public servant |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northwest

 

Dr. Meta L. Christy

San Miguel County

Community leader | Healer |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northeast

 

Dulcelina Salce Curtis

Sandoval County

Activist | Community leader | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Emma Estrada, Parteras of New Mexico

McKinley County

Community leader | Educator | Healer |

Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) | Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northwest

 

Estella García and Women of the WPA, Fabric Artists

Curry County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Esther Martinez, P’oe Tsáwä

Rio Arriba County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Eve Ball

Lincoln County

Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Evelyn M. Vigil, Phan-Un-Pha-Kee (Young Doe)

Sandoval County

Artist | Community leader | Cultural preservationist |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert

San Miguel County

Community leader | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northeast

 

Feliciana Tapia Viarrial

Santa Fe County

Community leader | Cultural preservationist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Fern Sawyer

Lea County

Community leader | Entrepreneur |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Founding Women of Albuquerque

Bernalillo County

Community leader | Public servant |

Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) |

Central

 

Georgia O’Keeffe

Rio Arriba County

Artist | Community leader | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Graciela Olivárez

Bernalillo County

Activist | Artist | Community leader |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Harriet Belle Amsden Sammons

San Juan County

Community leader | Entrepreneur |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northwest

 

Harvey Girls

Bernalillo County

Entrepreneur |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Helene Haack Allen

DeBaca County

Community leader | Entrepreneur | Philanthropist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Josephine Cox “Grandma” Anderson

Eddy County

Community leader | Healer |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Juanita T. Toledo, Pha-wa-lulh-luh (Ring-Cloud Around the Moon)

Sandoval County

Artist | Community leader | Cultural preservationist |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Katherine Stinson Otero, the “Flying Schoolgirl”

Santa Fe County

Activist | Artist | Entrepreneur |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Kewa Women’s Co-op

Sandoval County

Artist | Cultural preservationist |

Pre-Colonial | Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) | Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Ladies Auxiliary of Local 890

Grant County

Activist | Community leader |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southwest

 

Laura Gilpin

Santa Fe County

Artist | Cultural preservationist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Lea County Cowgirls

Lea County

Community leader | Entrepreneur | Philanthropist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Little Sister Lozen

Otero County

Healer | Public servant | Spiritual leader |

Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) |

Southeast

 

Louise Massey Mabie

Chaves County

Artist | Public servant |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Magnolia Ellis, “Magnificent Magnolia”

Sierra County

Entrepreneur | Healer | Spiritual leader |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southwest

 

María “Concha” Concepción Ortiz y Pino de Kleven

Torrance County

Community leader | Public servant |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Maria Delores Gonzales “La Doctora”

Bernalillo County

Activist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Maria Gertrudis Barcelo “Doña Tules”

Santa Fe County

Entrepreneur |

Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) |

North Central

 

Maria Gutierrez Spencer

Dona Ana County

Activist | Community leader | Educator |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southwest

 

Maria Montoya Martinez, Povika, “Pond Lily”

Santa Fe County

Artist | Cultural preservationist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Maria Ramita Simbola Martinez “Summer Harvest”

Taos County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Maria Rosa Villapando

Taos County

Activist |

Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) | Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) |

North Central

 

Marjorie Bell Chambers, Ph.D.

Los Alamos County

Activist | Community leader | Educator | Public servant |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Mary Cabot Wheelwright

Santa Fe County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Philanthropist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Mary Coon Walters

Bernalillo County

Activist | Community leader | Public servant |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter

Bernalillo County

Artist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Mary White

Otero County

Community leader | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Matilda Coxe Stevenson

Cibola County

Community leader | Educator | Scientist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northwest

 

Mela Lucero Leger

Guadalupe County

Community leader | Educator | Public servant |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northeast

 

Monica Fuentes Gallegos and Carlota Fuentes Gallegos

Harding County

Entrepreneur |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northeast

 

Mother Magdalen and the Sisters of Loretto

Santa Fe County

Educator | Spiritual leader |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Nina Otero-Warren

Valencia County

Activist | Community leader | Educator | Public servant |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Pablita Velarde, Tse Tsan, “Golden Dawn”

Rio Arriba County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Peggy Pond Church

Los Alamos County

Activist | Artist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Rose Powers White

Roosevelt County

Artist | Community leader | Cultural preservationist | Philanthropist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southeast

 

Sisters of Charity

Santa Fe County

Community leader | Healer | Philanthropist | Spiritual leader |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

St. Francis Women’s Club

Santa Fe County

Artist | Community leader | Philanthropist | Spiritual leader |

North Central

 

Tesuque Rain Gods

Santa Fe County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Three Fates

Taos County

Activist | Artist | Community leader |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Three Wise Women: Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin, and Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo and the Acequia Madre House®

Santa Fe County

Cultural preservationist | Entrepreneur | Philanthropist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Trinidad Gachupin Medina

Sandoval County

Artist | Cultural preservationist |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Virginia Duran

Taos County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Virginia T. Romero

Taos County

Artist | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

North Central

 

Women of Cochiti

Sandoval County

Artist | Community leader | Cultural preservationist |

Pre-Colonial | Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) | Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Women of Shakespeare (Emma Marble Muir, Rita Wells Hill, Janaloo Hill Hough)

Hidalgo County

Community leader | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Southwest

 

Women of the Santa Fe Trail

Colfax County

Community leader |

Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) |

Northeast

 

Women Veterans of New Mexico

Sandoval County

Public servant |

Statehood (1912 - present) |

Central

 

Yetta Kohn

Quay County

Community leader | Entrepreneur |

Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northeast

 

Zuni Olla Maidens

McKinley County

Artist | Community leader | Cultural preservationist | Educator |

Pre-Colonial | Spanish Colonial (1540 - 1821) | Mexican Period (1821 - 1848) | Territorial Period (1848 - 1912) | Statehood (1912 - present) |

Northwest

Ada McPherson Morley

She ran the ranch and raised three children, all of whom became prominent figures in New Mexico history, including Agnes Morley Cleaveland, author of No Life for a Lady.

Agnes Morley Cleaveland

Her book No Life For a Lady, first published in 1941, is an autobiographical story of a woman's life on a turn-of-the-century ranch. The book has been an invaluable resource to subsequent generations of scholars interested in the ranching west.

Agueda S. Martinez

Called the “matriarch” of Hispanic weaving in New Mexico, she made her own dyes from plants and flowers, constantly invented new designs, and taught others how to weave, including fifty-two direct descendants in her family.

Amelia Elizabeth White

Her magnificent estate on Garcia Street, now home to the School for Advanced Research (SAR), was a gathering place for Santa Fe artists, writers, and archaeologists, and White worked tirelessly to protect the heritage and improve the lives of the residents of her adopted community.

Ana de Sandoval y Manzanares

A survivor of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, she led her family back to New Mexico, widowed and destitute, and in 1716, successfully petitioned the New Mexico governor to reinstate her as the lawful owner of her late father's San Clemente land grant, which had been his encomienda before the Pueblo Revolt.

Anita Scott Coleman

An important western voice in The Harlem Renaissance, Coleman taught and published more than thirty short stories and poetry, appearing in The Competitor, Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life, and other outlets popular with Harlem Renaissance writers.

Captive Women and Children of Taos County

On the New Mexico frontier during the 17th and 18th centuries, Hispanic and Indigenous communities regularly raided each other, suffering enormous consequences. Thousands of women and children were taken captive. Most were never returned.

Carlotta Thompkins Thurmond “Lottie Deno”

Generally considered the inspiration for Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke and Laura Denbo in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, her prowess at the faro table and her tough-as-nails personality cemented her reputation as the archetypal "virtuous gambler."

Carrie Wooster Tingley

Sharing a commitment to the sick and disadvantaged, she and her husband secured WPA funds and strong support from President Roosevelt to build a hospital in New Mexico for children with polio. When it opened in 1938, the Carrie Tingley Hospital for Crippled Children was a state-of-the-art facility.

Cathay Williams

Born into slavery then forced to work for Union Army officers, she disguised herself as a man at the end of the Civil War, reversed her name to William Cathay, and enlisted in the Army. She served honorably with the “Buffalo Infantry” from 1866 to 1868.

Chief Justice Pamela B. Minzner

A tireless jurist, trailblazer for other women, and UNM professor dedicated to and admired by her students, she was said to have influenced more young female lawyers than any other individual in the state. In 1999, she became the first woman Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Clarita Garcia de Aranda Allison

Part of a large musical family, her love for the flamenco tradition brought greater awareness and appreciation to this centuries-old art form and its importance in the cultural history of the Southwest.

Cleofas Martinez Jaramillo

As Spanish traditions began to fade in New Mexico, she wrote books to record important oral traditions in writing and founded La Sociedad Folklόrica, which today continues to preserve Spanish folklore, colcha embroidery, traditional attire, tinwork, literature, dance, music, and art.

Cora Durand

Learning from mothers and grandmothers in their community, she was one of three women who were instrumental in preserving the traditions of micaceous clay pottery making. While micaceous pottery has long been valued for cooking, these three women helped promote them as works of art.

Curanderas – Women Who Heal

Women with special knowledge of herbs, household remedies, human health, and faith, curanderas have been an integral presence in Hispanic communities in New Mexico for centuries, trusted with childbirth and to treat real and imagined maladies, particularly where medical doctors and clinics are scarce.

Debbie Martinez, “La Chicanita”

One of the youngest in a musical family, she was a star of the unique Nuevo Mexico sound that started in the 1950’s. At age 12, her recording of “Una Pobre Tambien” became a hit and she toured extensively. When she lost her hearing in her 20s, she returned to school and became a lawyer for immigrants.

Doña Ana Robledo

A spirited woman who backed her husband even in opposition to governors, she was referred to as Doña Ana for her age, stately manner, and knowledge. She survived the siege of Santa Fe and traveled with the people as they fled northern New Mexico to the south. Doña Ana county is named in her honor.

Doña Dolores “Lola” Chávez de Armijo

The first woman to serve as New Mexico State Librarian, she won her gender discrimination lawsuit against Governor Curry, ultimately leading to 1913 legislation allowing women to hold appointed office. Prior to this, women were eligible to hold only 4 of 144 elected or appointed positions in New Mexico.

Doña Elena Gallegos

During the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, she fled New Mexico as an infant with her parents, Hispanic colonists. She returned in 1693 with two brothers and an uncle, was married in 1699 and widowed in 1711, when she became owner of the vast landholding near Albuquerque that has since borne her name.

Doña Eufemia, “La Valerosa,” “The Spanish Entrada of 1598”

Part of a colonizing expedition that suffered from delays and disagreements, she reinvigorated her fatigued fellow travelers with a pep talk described as both a rebuke and a call to action. For her valorous entreaty, she is known today as “La Valerosa.”

Doña Teresa de Aguilera y Roche

Wife of a controversial New Mexico governor, she successfully defended herself against the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Mexico City, as the Spanish Inquisition reached into North America. Historians value her testimony for insights into life, society, and the political and religious institutions of colonial Santa Fe.

Dorothy McKibbin, “Gatekeeper of Los Alamos”

Her office was the entrance and departure point for scientists, military personnel, Project employees, and their families who worked and lived at the top-secret Manhattan Project headquarters in Los Alamos. As the head of the Santa Fe office, she played an indispensable role during the war and until her retirement in 1963.

Dr. Annie Dodge Wauneka

Well respected within the Navajo community and on the national level for her efforts to improve healthcare on the reservation, she educated Navajos through home visits, a public health film, weekly radio programs, and collaboration with doctors on an English-Navajo dictionary of medical terms.

Dr. Meta L. Christy

The American Osteopathic Association recognizes Dr. Christy as the first Black osteopath in the United States, while Duke University calls her the first Black osteopath in the world. She served her community with distinction, grace, and warmth, and is remembered fondly for her kindness.

Dulcelina Salce Curtis

Teacher, agriculturalist, farmer, orchardist, and conservationist in flood control and surface water protection, she devoted her life to the betterment of the Corrales community, agriculture, schools, youth groups, church historical and civic programs, flood control, and politics.

Elizabeth Gutierrez Garrett

Blind from a very early age, she lived an active outdoor life as a child, composing one of her first songs “swinging from an old apple tree.” She performed her original compositions in places as extraordinary as Sing Sing prison, and her composition “O, Fair New Mexico” became the Official State Song in 1917.

Emiteria “Matie” Martinez Robinson Viles

Orphaned as a child in Golondrinas, she established the Viles Foundation in 1959 to provide higher-education scholarships to orphans and other youth in San Miguel and Mora counties. Through her generosity, more than 1,000 students have received a total of nearly $3 million for higher education as of 2023.

Emma Estrada, Parteras of New Mexico

A traditional partera (midwife), her willingness to work closely with the medical profession and become licensed was unique. Estrada and others like her were the incentive for a program to formally train, qualify, and license midwives at the University of New Mexico’s School of Nursing.

Estella García and Women of the WPA, Fabric Artists

As part of the Federal Art Program (FAP), she taught colcha embroidery at community-based art centers. Her students’ superior work was praised by State and Federal officials, featured in New Deal art exhibitions and installed at Melrose High School, Carrie Tingley Hospital, and the Albuquerque Playhouse.

Esther Martinez, P’oe Tsáwä

She received dozens of awards recognizing her role as a storyteller, educator, and champion for the preservation of indigenous languages and cultures, and left behind a profound legacy and wealth of cultural knowledge that will guide her community of Ohkay Owingeh for generations.

Eve Ball

She wrote more than 150 articles and numerous books chronicling Mescalero and Chiricahua Apaches, as well as Anglo and Hispanic settlers in the Ruidoso highlands of New Mexico. She received numerous awards for her work, including nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom and induction into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

Evelyn M. Vigil, Phan-Un-Pha-Kee (Young Doe)

Pairing Jemez knowledge of pottery making with research conducted by park workers, two women experimented with natural pigments, firing techniques, fuels, and local clays, and ultimately achieved their goal: Successful recreation of the lost art of Pecos style pottery.

Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert

A charter member of La Sociedad Folklorica in Santa Fe, she was committed to preserving hispanic cultural traditions, including dance, music, language, folklore, and costumes. Her traditional cooking became legendary and her three books on food preparation, history, and oral traditions are valuable resources for historians.

Feliciana Tapia Viarrial

Mother of eleven, she helped reestablish the Pueblo of Pojoaque, a Tewa village founded circa A.D. 1000. After the U.S. Federal government restored the Pojoaque homelands in 1932, she returned and served as a matriarch of the community as it revitalized its culture.

Fern Sawyer

Deeply immersed in New Mexico ranch life, both mother and daughter could equal men in ranching skills, sought an education, and gave their time, money, and effort to help society from local to national levels. Legendary as ranchers, philanthropists, athletes, and activists, both are in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

Florinda Naranjo Ortiz

Part of a family-based vaudeville-style show known as La Compania Hermanos Ortiz, she toured the southwest performing with her husband and five children. Singing rhythm and blues and acting in comedy skits, she was also a healer and sold herbs on her travels. Many of her children became musicians and singers.

Founding Women of Albuquerque

While the identities of many individuals who helped found the largest city in New Mexico remain unknown, at least twenty women were fundamental to the successful establishment of the new Village of Albuquerque. Without the founding women of Albuquerque, the community could not have survived.

Georgia O’Keeffe

One of New Mexico’s most famous citizens, her abstract charcoal drawings from 1916 are now recognized as among the most innovative in all of American art of the period. As early as the mid-1920s, she was considered one of America's most important and successful artists, a legacy that continues today.

Graciela Olivárez

Despite lacking a high school diploma, she was accepted to Notre Dame Law School and in 1970 became its first woman graduate. Through her work as an attorney, public servant, entrepreneur, and civil rights activist, she became one of the most notable Hispanic women in the United States.

Harriet Belle Amsden Sammons

An astute financial manager, she is believed to be the first woman bank president in New Mexico and became a very beloved leader in the Farmington community. She led her bank through the depression, bought another bank to keep it solvent, and helped save many Farmington citizens from bankruptcy.

Harvey Girls

At a time when women had few options and little prospect of achieving financial independence, the Fred Harvey Company offered young women an opportunity to work as waitresses for very decent wages and in a safe living environment. Between the 1880’s and 1950’s, thousands of young women served as Harvey Girls.

Helene Haack Allen

An active member of the Fort Sumner community, she operated businesses, opened the first Billy the Kid Museum, and purchased property, including the site of the fort overseeing the Bosque Redondo Reservation, now a moving memorial to the forced internment of Native Americans there from 1863 to 1868.

Ida O. Jackson

A Black woman who began teaching when schools were segregated, she helped grow Clovis’s Black school from two to 35 students; their school was named in her honor. She contributed to her community in many ways, teaching Sunday school, offering housing, and helping launch a social club for Black women.

Inez Gill

Part of the original staff of the Legislative Council Service founded in 1951, she impressed governors, legislators, and journalists with her fiscal expertise. In nearly 30 years of service, she developed many of the financial procedures that modernized state government and helped bring order to New Mexico’s finances.

Josefa Baca

While historians disagree on some facts regarding Josefa Baca, there is no dispute that she was the owner of the large tract of land known as the settlement of Pajarito located south of Albuquerque. After six generations of continuous occupation, her descendents successfully petitioned for ownership of the land.

Josephine Cox “Grandma” Anderson

An artist and nurse, she helped shape the town of Carlsbad from its early beginnings, painting a mural for the church altar and leading efforts to care for the sick in tents along the Pecos River. A humanitarian, nurse, and teacher, she earned many fond nicknames, including “The Angel of the Pecos.”

Juanita T. Toledo, Pha-wa-lulh-luh (Ring-Cloud Around the Moon)

Pairing Jemez knowledge of pottery making with research conducted by park workers, two women experimented with natural pigments, firing techniques, fuels, and local clays, and ultimately achieved their goal: Successful recreation of the lost art of Pecos style pottery.

Juliana Gutiérrez y Chavez Hubbell

She and her husband built an extensive ranch that she often managed alone, becoming the matriarch of one of the most successful trading families in New Mexico history and helping establish the modern village of Pajarito. Their ranch is preserved today as the historic Gutiérrez-Hubbell House.

Katherine Stinson Otero, the “Flying Schoolgirl”

One of the first American women to earn a pilot’s license and the first female skywriter, she marveled spectators, helped found the Stinson Aviation Company, designed aircraft, and operated a flight school. After setting aviation records, she went on to a successful career designing Santa Fe homes.

Kewa Women’s Co-op

Through the Kewa Women’s Co-op, women of the Santo Domingo Pueblo maintain cultural traditions–heishi jewelry making, pottery, embroidery, weaving, traditional foods–passing traditions on to community members, with younger women learning through observation.

Ladies Auxiliary of Local 890

When a judge prohibited miners from impeding strike breakers, their mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters stood on the picket lines, risking their lives for equal pay and work conditions. The Ladies Auxiliary 890 attracted national headlines and inspired a documentary, Salt of the Earth.

Laura Gilpin

One of the foremost women photographers of the twentieth century, she spent more than half a century photographing Southwest cultures and landscapes. Renowned for her depiction of Native American people, she emphasized the enduring nature of their culture despite countless threats.

Lea County Cowgirls

Deeply immersed in New Mexico ranch life, both mother and daughter could equal men in ranching skills, sought an education, and gave their time, money, and effort to help society from local to national levels. Legendary as ranchers, philanthropists, athletes, and activists, both are in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

Little Sister Lozen

A respected Apache warrior and medicine woman, she excelled in horseback riding, shooting, roping, and horse thievery, participating in raids and Apache resistance to placement on reservations. Her special powers are credited for successful evasion of pursuers.

Louise Massey Mabie

The “original rhinestone cowgirl,” she sold millions of records sung in both English and Spanish, and her song “My Adobe Hacienda” achieved the distinction of being listed on both the hillbilly and the pop charts simultaneously—thus becoming one of the first “crossover” hits.

Magnolia Ellis, “Magnificent Magnolia”

After completing a two-year pre-med course, she opened a clinic in Hot Springs, New Mexico, where she treated more than 100 people daily using only her hands to heal. Through her natural gift, education, and desire to help others, she helped diagnose and heal many people, bringing national fame to Hot Springs.

Maralyn Budke

In 1959, she joined New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee; she served as its first woman director from 1968-1982. A brilliant strategist and trusted advisor, she was highly valued by legislative leaders and served as chief of staff for two Governors, contributing 40 years of exemplary public service.

María “Concha” Concepción Ortiz y Pino de Kleven

The first female majority whip in the New Mexico legislature, she knew and served many Presidents. Her stately air conveyed her pride in her identity as a member of a multi-generational New Mexican Hispanic family, and her warmth and curiosity touched many lives, directly and indirectly.

María de la Luz Beaubien Maxwell

She and her husband became the owners of the largest land grant in the history of the United States—the Maxwell Land Grant. A beautiful woman, she also was a partner in the ownership and operation of their extensive ranching and farming properties.

Maria Delores Gonzales “La Doctora”

Through her development of Spanish heritage materials, teacher training, and one-on-one work with students, she made enduring contributions that continue to help preserve the Spanish language and Hispano culture unique to New Mexico, while meeting the needs of bilingual children in our education system.

Maria Gertrudis Barcelo “Doña Tules”

After making the difficult journey up El Camino Real from Mexico, she amassed great wealth and notoriety through real estate, most notably her gambling house and saloon on Burro Alley near Santa Fe Plaza. Multiple depictions secure her position as one of the most infamous women in New Mexico history.

Maria Gutierrez Spencer

A bilingual student who excelled in school, she became a lifeline advocate for bilingual education and helped pioneer the field in New Mexico schools and beyond. Her revolutionary work teaching Spanish for heritage speakers became a model for programs throughout the country.

Maria Montoya Martinez, Povika, “Pond Lily”

One of the most written about and photographed Pueblo potters, she reinvigorated interest in Pueblo pottery and helped transform a utilitarian item to an art. She and her husband visited the White House and attended world’s fairs, serving as ambassadors of Pueblo life.

Maria Ramita Simbola Martinez “Summer Harvest”

Learning from mothers and grandmothers in their community, these three women were instrumental in preserving the traditions of micaceous clay pottery making. While micaceous pottery has long been valued for cooking, these three women helped promote them as works of art.

Maria Rosa Villapando

On the New Mexico frontier during the 17th and 18th centuries, Hispanic and Indigenous communities regularly raided each other, suffering enormous consequences. Thousands of women and children were taken captive. Most were never returned. Maria Rosa Villapando was one of these women.

Marjorie Bell Chambers, Ph.D.

A lifelong advocate of women’s rights, she was a national spokesperson for the Equal Rights Amendment, advisor to five U.S. Presidents and four New Mexico governors, and a leader in academia. Through education, politics, and community service, she worked tirelessly to make a positive difference in the world.

Mary Ann Deming Crocker

Born into a wealthy family, she married one of the “Big Four” railroad developers, supporting his efforts to build the railroad and using their wealth to support charitable causes. The town of Deming was named in her honor.

Mary Cabot Wheelwright

Daughter of a wealthy Boston family, she became an admirer, collector, and promoter of Native American art and a student and staunch supporter of indigenous cultures and traditions. Her extensive collection is now housed in the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, named in her honor.

Mary Coon Walters

A transport pilot in World War II, she was the only woman in her UNM law school class when she graduated at age 40. After serving on the state Court of Appeals and as a probate judge, she became the first female New Mexico Supreme Court justice in 1984.

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter

She designed some of the greatest hotels of the Harvey Hotel chain, including the Hopi House, Hermits Rest, Lookout Studio, Phantom Ranch, Desert’s View Watchtower, and the Bright Angel Lodge, all of which were added to the National Registry of Historic Buildings in 1987.

Mary White

For more than eighty years, she provided opportunities for Girl Scouts to experience the outdoors through Camp Mary White. Thousands of young women had life-changing experiences; today, many of them are restoring the old camp to its original grandeur.

Matilda Coxe Stevenson

The first woman employed as an anthropologist anywhere, she was a pioneer in her field by any measure and her work has withstood the test of time. She devoted her life to the study of Native Americans of New Mexico, leaving an important body of research for scientists and indigenous communities.

Mela Lucero Leger

A teacher and bilingual expert, she developed model programs and helped shape New Mexico laws on bilingual education still in use today. Through her work, she was part of the cultural resurgence and recovery in New Mexico that has helped preserve the state’s multicultural roots.

Monica Fuentes Gallegos and Carlota Fuentes Gallegos

The sisters helped establish Harding County, running the general store and saloon on their family ranch, and playing instrumental roles in the building of a church and school. The tough sisters are representative of many women on the plains who succeeded in building a future for their families and communities.

Mother Magdalen and the Sisters of Loretto

Some of the first women to travel the Santa Fe Trail, these nuns established education for women in the Territory of New Mexico at a time when public education did not exist. In 1853, 44% of the young women attending school were receiving their education at the Loretto Academy.

Myra Ellen Jenkins

The first state historian, she was an authority and expert witness on Pueblo Indian issues and assisted many pueblos in trying to either retain or regain title to their ancestral lands. Teacher, scholar, and friend, her independent thinking, forthright opinions, feisty wit made an impact on all she met.

Myrtle Attaway Farquhar

Inducted into the Southeastern New Mexico Education Association Hall of Fame in 1969, she devoted her career to advancing opportunities for Black children through education, encouraging and inspiring her students to pursue their personal interests and achieve their educational best.

Nina Otero-Warren

A leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement, she was active in politics and served as one of the first female Superintendents of Public Schools for Santa Fe. In 2021, the United States Mint selected her to be one of the first women in the American Women quarters series.

Pablita Velarde, Tse Tsan, “Golden Dawn”

Challenging conventional roles for women, she became one of the most prominent Native American painters in the Southwest. From 1939 to 1945, she completed more than eighty paintings for the Bandelier project, offering a glimpse into Pueblo life in the early twentieth century.

Peggy Pond Church

A noted author for her poetry, novels, and memoirs, she captured the unique beauty of New Mexico’s land and people, leaving a legacy in her literature that both described and shaped the culture of the state. Shortly before her death in 1986, she was named a Living Treasure of Santa Fe.

Rose Powers White

Known as “the unofficial, but unanimously recognized, historian of Roosevelt County,” she corresponded with most of the region’s historians and folklorists and her groundbreaking research is the basis for nearly every subsequent history of eastern New Mexico.

Sallie Chisum Robert “First Lady of Artesia”

At 19, her ranching skills rivaled fellow cowboys, her orchards near Roswell were known as the “Oasis in the Desert,” and she left valuable written records of Billy the Kid, the Regulators, and the Lincoln County War. She helped develop Artesia, where her landholdings included the house in which she raised many orphans.

Sarah “Sally” Rooke

When storm waters threatened the town of Folsom, the town’s telephone operator began calling everyone with a telephone, warning them to leave immediately to escape the approaching wall of water. She lost her life by staying at her post but saved many others.

Sarah Jane Creech, “Sadie” Orchard

While her life and lifestyle are open to speculation, she was a central figure in the economic development of southwestern New Mexico during the mining boom of the late 1800s. An enterprising businesswoman, she was also a caring member of her community. “For a bad woman, Sadie was one of the best.”

Soledad Chávez Chacón

Two years after women gained the right to vote, she was elected Secretary of State, the first Hispanic woman to hold statewide office in New Mexico and the country. In 1921–only three years earlier–New Mexico had become one of the last states to allow women in public office. Her achievements opened doors.

St. Francis Women’s Club

For centuries, Catholicism has been central to Nambe Pueblo life, but the community had no church in 1960. The St. Francis Women’s Club organized an annual event that raised enough funds to rebuild the church and now continues to support preservation of Nambe cultural traditions.

Susan “Susie” Parks

A 21-year-old switchboard operator, she woke early in the morning March 9, 1916, to gunshots and shouts of, “Viva Villa!” as Pancho Villa’s army raided her village. Under direct gunfire, she used her switchboard to summon National Guard troops from Deming, saving herself, her daughter, and many others.

Susie Rayos Marmon (Ga-wa goo maa)

A lifelong educator, she helped preserve Indian history through her teaching, service on Laguna’s Land Claims Commission and the first New Mexico Commission on Indian Affairs, and contributions to the American Indian Oral History Collection. Her 110th birthday was celebrated nationally.

Tesuque Rain Gods

As the railroad helped make tourism a viable source of income for Pueblos in New Mexico, the Tesuque Pueblo Indians began making figurines of rain gods for sale to tourists. Women were the primary makers of pottery in Pueblo communities and their rain gods provided Tesuque families with much needed income.

Three Fates

Progressive thinkers, intellectuals, and artists, these three women were instrumental in shaping the artistic life of Taos, individually and together. A painting by one of the women entitled “Lawrence’s Three Fates” has become emblematic of their complex relationships with each other and D.H. Lawrence.

Three Wise Women: Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin, and Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo and the Acequia Madre House®

These astute businesswomen contributed to the establishment of prominent cultural institutions still in existence throughout the world, including their former home, the Acequia Madre House®, now a museum holding treasured collections of books, art, furniture, and textiles, as well as thousands of photographs.

Trinidad Gachupin Medina

One of the most notable Zia potters of her generation and arguably in the history of Zia pottery, she traveled throughout the United States introducing non-Indians to the arts and culture of her community and Pueblo culture in general. Her elaborate designs won numerous prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Virginia Duran

Learning from mothers and grandmothers in their community, these three women were instrumental in preserving the traditions of micaceous clay pottery making. While micaceous pottery has long been valued for cooking, these three women helped promote them as works of art.

Virginia T. Romero

The mother of ten children, she supported her family by selling her micaceous pots to locals and tourists, ultimately helping preserve the micaceous pottery tradition. Still valued for their utility, these pots are now also considered works of art and appear in museum collections throughout the country.

Women of Camino Real

Thousands of women traveled the Camino Real, a difficult and dangerous 1,800-mile journey. Successfully crossing through deserts, broken rough terrain, and river crossings, these women defined the culture and shaped the history and traditions of New Mexico throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.

Women of Cochiti

Storytellers–seated human figures with mouths wide open to represent oral storytelling–have flourished into a cottage industry in Cochiti, New Mexico. Women have played a central role in keeping figurative ceramics alive and innovating the craft to meet changing demands and interests.

Women of Shakespeare (Emma Marble Muir, Rita Wells Hill, Janaloo Hill Hough)

Through the tireless efforts of three women from three generations, a piece of New Mexico history has been preserved for posterity. If not for their preservation, protection, research, and education efforts, the “ghost town” of Shakespeare would have faded into oblivion both physically and in memory.

Women of the Santa Fe Trail

While their names remain lost in history, the women who crossed the Great Plains on the Santa Fe Trail brought significant change to the territory that would become New Mexico. As they raised families and shaped communities, their tastes and values influenced everything from culture to architectural styles.

Women Veterans of New Mexico

Women have been able defenders of our people and region for centuries. Since New Mexico gained statehood in 1912, more than 15,000 New Mexico women have served in the military. Their contributions are a tribute to the strength of New Mexico women and pride and honor for all New Mexicans.

Yetta Kohn

A minority on many fronts, she overcame daunting odds and significant obstacles to leave a legacy of achievement that she passed down to her family. Through her foresight, grit, and hard work, the family became financially secure and influential locally and statewide.

Zuni Olla Maidens

A group of all women dancers, they have performed throughout the United States and Canada dancing with water jars on their heads, wearing colorful dresses and the turquoise jewelry the Zuni are known for, while singing songs in the Zuni language with drums, rattles, and other hand instruments.

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