Minnie J. Reynolds Scalabrino: Activist


(credit: Denver Public Library)

(credit: Denver Public Library)

When: 1865 – 1936

Where: Born in New York, moved to Denver

Why Important: Minnie was a successful women’s rights activist who founded the Denver Woman’s Club and the Denver Women’s Press Club.

Womans_Club_Denver

Woman’s Club Building in Denver circa 1910
(Credit: Denver Public Library)

Biography

Born in Norwood, New York, in 1865, Minnie J. Reynolds later became a famous women’s rights activist. In 1890, she moved to Denver to write for the Rocky Mountain News.1 This was an unusual job for a woman at this time. She traveled across Denver on her bicycle talking to people and looking for news stories.

Minnie was also a gifted activist. She worked with the media and politicians in 1893 during the women’s suffrage (right to vote) campaign. She helped to convince more than 75% of Colorado newspapers to support suffrage.

Years of success convinced Minnie to run for state legislature for the Populist Party in 1894.2 She was not elected; but did well in the polls nonetheless. Minnie did not just speak on behalf of women; she also supported labor unions and racial equality for African-Americans.

Reynolds continued to lead and organize throughout her life. She founded the Denver Woman’s Club in 1894 and the Denver Women’s Press Club in 1898.3 The Denver Women’s Press Club still exists today and recognizes women writers, journalists, and publicists. In 1901, Minnie moved to New York to help with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She worked with this group until 1909. Finally, her hard work paid off – women across the country won the right to vote with the passing of the 19th Amendment!

In 1905, Reynolds married Salvatore Scalabrino. The couple lived happily together while Minnie continued writing articles and even a few books. She died from a stroke on May 29, 1936. Her achievements and hard work as a women’s rights activist and journalist are still remembered today.

Content Date: Jan. 1, 1865 to Jan. 1, 1936

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