In a Wild West dominated by waves of male immigrants fighting for wealth and political domination, women had an outsize role in struggling to make San Luis Obispo a place of culture and social cohesion. These were women to be reckoned with. Frances Margaret Milne, our first public librarian, eulogized as “a God-crowned Queen of Women,” published a novel in her teens. Nellie Hollister, before becoming a leader of society, used to ride her horse into the post office to collect her family’s mail.
We’ll see where Ramona Pacheco, “queenly in her walk and bearing,” stood up to Captain Frémont to save a man’s life; Frances Milne wrote her poetry against the injustices of capitalism; Susan B. Anthony spoke to a packed house in favor of women’s suffrage in 1896, just before San Luis Obispo county voted in favor of it; and Queenie Warden ran her businesses and launched her run for mayor in 1917.