Autry National Center

Women of the West Story Archive

For thousands of years, women have been working and living in the place we now know as the American West, helping to build communities out of the region's diverse geological, biological, and cultural landscapes.

Help us preserve these stories and build a Western women’s history archive by adding a story about a Western woman in your life to the collection.

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Honor the contributions of a Western woman in your life today by adding her story to the Archive.

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Explore Women's Stories

To get started, select a topic or one of the archives collection categories to explore stories and lives of Western women:

Sample Stories

  • Catherine Collins

    Catherine Collins came by herself (age 16) on a ship from Ireland in 1863. She met and married John Galvin in St. Paul, MN in 1881. John died and Catherine was able to acquire a homestead for herself and her 5 children; the fee for that was $5.00. She planted a huge crop of corn to feed her and her children and also hoped to sell some. One day, she and the children went into town and when she returned, she discovered all of the corn had been picked and taken.

    Continued...

  • Colorado Cooperative Company

    Think of this as the tale of two lives, merging, separating, and merging again: Julia Blair Worcester and Leah Vestal Weimer.

    The story really starts with Colorado’s colonies. The members were generally socialist in tone, but with strong capitalist leanings. One of the first was the Chicago German Colony. It didn’t last long—a year or so. The disappearance of Josie Merten Blair’s father, with the colony’s treasury, while he was on his way to Denver was definitely a factor

    Continued...

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