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Blair, Emily Newell (09 January 1877–03 August 1951), feminist, politician, and writer, was born in Joplin, Missouri, the daughter of Anna Cynthia Gray and James Patton Newell, a mortgage broker. She enrolled in the Woman’s College of Baltimore (now Goucher College) in 1894, but her father’s death cut short her education after just one year. Returning home, she helped raise her younger siblings, taught school, and attended classes at the University of Missouri without completing a degree. In 1900 she married Harry Wallace Blair, a former classmate at Carthage High School....

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Crisp, Mary Dent (05 November 1923–24 March 2007), Republican Party leader and women's rights advocate, Republican Party leader and women’s rights advocate, was born Mary Dent in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the seventh child of Harry Dent and Elizabeth Patch Dent. After graduating from Allentown High School, she attended Oberlin College, receiving a degree in botany in 1946. She would later trace her interest in politics to Oberlin’s emphasis on an individual’s responsibility to engage with pressing social issues. She married William Crisp, a doctor, in 1948; the couple had three children and resided in Phoenix, Arizona. There, she took graduate courses in political science at Arizona State University....

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Peterson, Elly (05 June 1914–09 June 2008), Republican Party leader and women's rights activist, was born Ella Maude McMillan in New Berlin, Illinois, the youngest child of John Charles McMillan, a physician, and Maude Ella Carpenter, a teacher. She attended William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri, then left in 1933 and completed secretarial studies at Suburban Business College in Oak Park, Illinois. She married W. Merritt “Pete” Peterson on 11 October 1935. They divorced in 1943. Elly Peterson served with the American Red Cross in England, France, and Germany during World War II, and then remarried her ex-husband on 5 February 1948. The couple had no children....

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Smith, Mary Louise (06 October 1914–22 August 1997), political party leader, feminist, and federal appointee, was born Mary Louise Epperson in Eddyville, Iowa, the younger daughter of Frank Epperson, a banker, and Louisa Anna Jager. As an elementary school student, Mary Louise began giving dramatic readings for her mother’s social groups and in school performances. A self-described “ham,” she developed the public speaking skills that served her throughout the rest of her life. Both her paternal grandfather and her father were Republican politicians and both attended the party’s national conventions....

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Woodhull, Victoria Claflin (23 September 1838–09 June 1927), reformer and first female presidential candidate, was born in Homer, Ohio, the daughter of Reuben Buckman Claflin, a mill owner, and Roxanna Hummel. Woodhull’s education was limited to three years of erratic instruction in Homer’s Methodist church school. Her childhood was marked by financial and domestic instability, culminating in the destruction by fire of the family’s mill. Townspeople, suspecting the impecunious and alcoholic Buck Claflin of arson for insurance fraud, drove the family from Homer and into several years of drifting from town to town....