10 Texan Women Who Changed the Course of History

Texas has been home to some of the country’s most incredible women since its admission to the union. These have included politicians, medical practitioners, ranchers and scientists. We take a look at the top 10 Texan women who have influenced the course of history.

1.     Bessie Coleman

Bessie was born 1892 in Atlanta. Her career however spanned a relatively short period. She was the daughter of an African-American mother and a Cherokee father. She went ahead to become the first black female aviator and also the first Native American woman to achieve the feat. She learned to pilot in France since there was no one to teach women how to fly in America. At 34 years, Bessie Coleman crashed when a plane she was in malfunctioned.

2.     Angelina Eberly

Eberly was not a native Texan but she did fire cannon into the land office building to alert the city of an ongoing theft. The then Texas governor Sam Houston had a plan to secretly move some documents from Austin to Houston to influence the choice of Houston as the capital city of Texas. There is currently a statue depicting Eberly on Congress Avenue.

3.     Sarah Horton

Sarah Horton and her husband started an operational ferry service in Dallas across the Trinity River. As great businesspeople, the Hortons owned various construction and real estate businesses which were run by Sarah after her husband’s death in 1858. However, what makes her famous is that she was among Texas’ first millionaires and owned close to a quarter of the now present Dallas.

4.     Miriam Ferguson

Popularly known as Ma Ferguson, she became the first woman governor of Texas. She served for two terms (non-consecutive) in 1932 and 1924. She is also one among the only two women to ever serve as the governor of the state of Texas. The other woman was Anne Richards.

5.     Clara Driscoll

She was among the women who protected the historical sites of Texas. Together with De Zavala, they created the Texas historical sites and artifacts and prevented the Alamo from being destroyed. Without her and several other women, most of the state’s historical sites might have been destroyed.

6.     Caro Brown

Caro won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for her journalism work that helped expose and dismantle the circles of the infamous politician George Brown. Another reporter working on investigating the Brown family had been killed during her work. Despite wanting to take town George, she once protected him from being shot by a Texas Ranger. She was among the most fearless Texan women journalists.

7.     Susana Dickinson

She was among the twelve survivors of the battle of the Alamo. She is the main person behind the Texan viewpoint of the battle. She was also instrumental in the battle of San Jacinto that led to the capture of Santa Anna.

8.     Emma Tenayuca

Emma was among the first women to feature in the labor rights movement. She first gained popularity when she was arrested in the year 1933 for picketing certain cigar factory due to its highly unfair and discriminatory labor practices. She then went on to organize various unions and at some point peaceful demonstrations against the Texan police for the beatings they carried out on Mexicans.

9.     Barbara Jordan

Barbara became the first woman elected to the Texan senate in 1966 and was also the first Africa-American elected after the events of the civil war. She represented the state in the USA house of representatives and went on to become the first black woman to be buried in the Texas state cemetery.

10.  Lizzie Johnson

Lizzie became known as one of the first Texan Cattle Queens and became the first woman to ride the famous Chisholm Trail.

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