Minnie J. Reynolds
Minnie J. Reynolds
Date of Birth
Born 1865 Died 1936
Minnie J. Reynolds was an ardent suffragist. As one of a handful of professional women journalists in Denver in the 1890s, she used her writing platform as a columnist for the Rocky Mountain News to advance women’s voting and political rights. She served as Press Chair for the state’s successful women’s suffrage campaign of 1893 and worked tirelessly on a national scale for women’s right to vote as a writer, organizer, and spokeswoman from 1893 to 1920. Reynolds’ legacy of women’s rights activism lives on with her founding, in 1898, of the still vibrant Denver Woman’s Press Club – one of the oldest continuously operating organizations of women authors and journalists in the nation.
In 1893 Minnie played a leading role as Press Secretary of the Colorado Non-Partisan Equal Suffrage Association, convincing virtually every local newspaper editor (almost all men) in Colorado to support women’s right to vote in the state referendum on November 7, 1893. In an era in which newspapers were the primary communications tool, Reynolds’ efforts to garner press support were key to the remarkable victory for Colorado’s women at the polls – becoming the second state behind Wyoming to win full voting rights for women. Reynolds immediately broke new ground as a woman activist in the previously all-male world of partisan politics as a leading stump speaker and propagandist for the influential Colorado People’s Party (Populist) in 1894.
By 1898, Reynolds had gained national notoriety, helping to attract a major national convention of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs to Denver. For this occasion, she founded the Denver Woman’s Press Club (DWPC) to publicize convention events and educate hundreds of visitors about social reforms women had achieved with their newly won voting rights. During the early decades of the 20th century, Reynolds traveled the nation as a suffrage organizer as part of the staff of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, working alongside national leaders, including Jeannette Rankin and Carrie Chapman Catt, until the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was officially ratified in 1920. She returned to Denver often, and in 1924 helped DWPC purchase its own clubhouse, now a local, state, and national historic landmark at 1325 Logan Street in Denver. The DWPC remains an active force promoting and connecting scores of women authors of all genres, constituting Minnie Reynolds’ foremost enduring legacy in Denver and Colorado.
Throughout her lifetime, Reynolds utilized her gifts, skills, and passion as a convincing writer and organizer to further the cause of women’s political rights at a time when breakthroughs for professional women were few and far between.