Women's suffrage activist honored at Capitol

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By SUMMER BALLENTINE

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., AP) — More than 100 cheering women from across the state welcomed women’s suffrage activist Virginia Minor to the Hall of Famous Missourians on Wednesday.
House Speaker Tim Jones inducted Minor during a morning ceremony at the Missouri Capitol, unveiling a bronze bust of the activist before a crowd of women, including six lawmakers, seated in the House chamber.
At least eight other women out of more than 40 famous residents have been inducted to the hall since 1982. Minor’s bust sits a few steps away from sculpted depictions of entertainer Ginger Rogers, actress Betty Grable and Lewis and Clark guide Sacajawea.
The House speaker traditionally selects inductees, but half of this year’s four picks were chosen by public nomination and voting. The new process followed controversy when the last speaker inducted commentator Rush Limbaugh, a choice criticized by Democrats and women’s rights activists.
Jones picked Minor after the suffragist failed to earn enough votes from the public.
“While there were only men voting and men serving in this Capitol, there were a lot of men that were put in the Hall of Famous Missourians,” Jones said. “There was a little catch-up to do, and I’m glad I could take a small step forward toward recognizing so many of the famous women Missourians.”
Minor was born out of state but later moved to Missouri. She petitioned the Missouri Legislature in 1867 for the right to vote and became president of the Woman Suffrage Association of Missouri after that request was denied. She tried to vote and later unsuccessfully argued for women’s right to vote in the U.S. Supreme Court. She died in 1894.