Arizona Federation of Business and Professional Women: Women Who Made a Difference Volume III 1921-2003


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Women Who Made a Difference has been published by the Arizona Business and Professional Women’s Foundation to record and preserve the history of Arizona’s working women.

This commemorative series of books was published to honor women of Arizona BPW and their contributions to culture and public service in their communities and the state of Arizona. Some women were legislators, teachers, doctors, county school superintendents, lawyers, city council members, chamber of commerce secretaries, and justices of the peace. Other women founded historical societies, owned newspapers, managed post offices, ranched, farmed, and operated lumber mills. In 1950 one woman even ran for state governor!

Together, these women business leaders helped create political and social changes that shaped modern Arizona.

Volume I covers the years 1921 – 1968 and is out of stock. Volume II includes many capsules of history while recording the lives of outstanding women who were members of BPW and also important in Arizona between 1921 and 1988. This volume includes 95 biographies of the founders of many Arizona communities. The vision of these amazing women helped make this a great state. Volume II is available for sale. Highlights of some of biographies in Volume II:

  • Polly Rosenbaum – She’s been described in many ways: “a miniature rock of Gibraltar,” “a living repository of Arizona history,” and, “the First Lady of Arizona.” In 1949, Polly Rosenbaum began her long and illustrious career in the Arizona Legislature.
  • Grace Marian Sparkes – Nicknamed “Babe,” Grace was an active worker in Prescott, pioneering such project as the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe reservation, the Arizona Pioneer’s Home, the bridge and direct route to California, now known as I-10, the Veterans Hospital at Old Fort Whipple, and the Smoki Museum.

Volume III is twice the size of the other volumes and is printed on archival paper. It includes 300 biographies of more current Arizona women of historical importance. Volume III is available for sale. Highlights of some biographies:

  • Theodora Sprecker Marsh – was the first Arizona woman legislator from Santa Cruz County and longtime member of the Arizona Board of Regent. When she ran for state legislature in 1917, her candidacy as a woman raised controversy, but she was admired as an able businesswoman and good citizen.
  • Jessie Gray Bevan – Teacher, boardinghouse owner and legislator. Jessie overcame deep personal tragedy. She entered politics in Bisbee and improved working conditions for Arizona’s miners.

Published in 1998 and 2003, Vols. 2 and 3 of Women Who Made A Difference received positive reviews from newspapers throughout the state:

“It is perhaps one of the most interesting historical volumes ever published in Arizona” – Paul Sweizter, Arizona Daily Sun

“Fascinating reading” – J.C. Martin, Tucson Daily Citizen

Women Who Made A Difference, Volume 2 was also selected by J.C. Martin for the top 1998 Southern Arizona Authors book list.

The money raised by selling these editions of Women Who Made a Difference goes toward scholarships for women who want to make a difference.

Volume 3 is printed on archival paper. It includes over 300 stories of the
founders of many Arizona communities and BPW members whose vision made this a great state.

Read about Irene Vickrey whose passion and life work was at Besh-Ba-Gowah.

Nathalie Norris whose class action suit made history for women with a landmark Supreme Court decision, and  Mary Costigan, the first woman licensed to operate a radio station in the world

Learn how BPW spearheaded working women’s issues from the 1920’s through the present day – women’s jury service, minimum wage, and the Equal Rights Amendment.

Additional information

Weight 4 oz
Dimensions 12 × 15 × 5 in