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Helen Ring Robinson

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Name  Helen Robinson

Died  1923
Helen Ring Robinson

Helen ring robinson politician suffragist journalist

Helen Ring Robinson (1878–1923), was an American suffragist, writer, and political office holder. She was either the first or the second woman to serve as a state senator in the United States and the first in the Colorado State Senate. She was elected in 1913.


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She was born in 1878 in Eastport, Maine.

By the turn of the century she was living in Denver, Colorado, and working in the newspaper industry there. She spent ten years as a literary critic and editorial writer for the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Times.

After leading a crusade against Denver's poor water service, she was recruited to run for office. She was elected to the Colorado Senate for one four-year term in 1912, and took office in 1913. While in office, she was appointed chair of the Colorado State Senate Education Committee.

Among the progressive laws she passed were a minimum wage law for women and an abatement for property used for prostitution – both efforts to limit prostitution.

Women were not allowed to serve on juries at that time, although women had received the vote in Colorado in 1893. All of Robinson's bills on this issue failed. Consequently, women could not serve on juries in the state until 1944.

As a state senator, Robinson traveled the country making speeches on women's issues.

She died in 1923. Her body lay in state in the Capitol rotunda before her service. She was buried at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.


  • Preparing Women for Citizenship (1918)
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin for Children by Harriet Beecher Stowe; adapted by Helen Ring Robinson. From the Collections at the Library of Congress
  • References

    Helen Ring Robinson Wikipedia