Womens History Month

ICYMI: Looking back during Women’s History Month in El Paso, Texas

Did you miss any of the Women’s History Month posts?

Here’s a look at what you may have missed and other posts celebrating women’s accomplishments in El Paso.

Mabel Welch: Pioneer Woman Architect

In 1929, Mabel Clair Welch and her son Elvin vacationed in California, and during the trip, she studied Spanish-style architecture to gather ideas in her home designs in El Paso.

As the decade ended and the 1930s began, Mabel designed many Spanish Colonial Revival-style homes.

Click here to learn more about Welch’s accomplishments.

Judy Zarate: She was always there.

Judy Zarate, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, served in local and national roles in the Women’s Political Caucus, becoming a leader of the caucus in the 1980s.

This mother of three and member of Leadership Texas was twice local chair of EPWPC and served on the board for nine years.

Click here to learn more about Zarate’s accomplishments.

Anne Holder fought for women’s rights.

Anne Holder, a UTEP-trained sociologist, educator, and early activist in the El Paso Woman Political Caucus, was named Feminist of the Year in 1976 at their Women’s Equality Day (WED) fundraising banquet.

Her obituary in the El Paso Times in February of 2017 described her “as a woman of passion and burning rhetoric.”

Click here to learn more about Holder’s accomplishments.

Bonnie Lesley and the Founding of the El Paso Women’s Political Caucus.

A critically important EPWPC leader and renowned Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) administrator, Bonnie Lesley, was an especially influential EPWPC founding mother.

Lesley, who worked as an Eastwood High English teacher, was chosen Feminist of the Year in 1975.

Click here to learn more about Holder’s accomplishments.

The History of the El Paso League of Women Voters: 1940-1967

The El Paso League of Women Voters was organized in 1919, previously it was the El Paso Equal Franchise League which was organized in 1915, and was the first women’s suffrage organization in El Paso. The League faded away in the 1940s.

Click here to learn more about the El Paso League of Women Voters.

African American Suffragists in El Paso

The city had a small yet intensely cohesive African American community that was socially and politically active.

Black women from this community formed their own suffrage league, the El Paso Negro Woman’s Civic and Equal Franchise League (NWCEFL), which became the only African American suffrage organization in the United States to apply for membership in the Texas Equal Suffrage Association (TESA) or the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

Click here to learn more about the African American Suffragists in El Paso.

Woman’s Suffrage timeline

Here’s how Texas women received right to vote and what role El Paso had.

Click here to learn the history and see the timeline

Want to learn more about Women’s History in El Paso?

Community volunteers in El Paso gathered existing educational resources and new short videos to assist in integrating March as Women’s History Month into educational experiences in Texas.

Click here to learn more.

The El Paso County Historical Society would like to give a big thank you to Eva Antone Ross and Susan Barnum.

Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.