Women of Influence in Illinois

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Ella Flagg Young, Helen Alvarado, and Kate Warne. These women made their mark in Illinois history but do you know who they are?

The Naperville Public Library recently hosted “Her Story: Women of Influence in Illinois” where Chicago historian Julia Bacharach spoke about the many inspirational women who made significant contributions throughout our area’s history.

“And that throughout the entire history of the state there have been so many noteworthy women whose contributions have really been overlooked,” said Bacharach. “I think today there’s a lot of interest in telling women’s stories. I think that it’s about women but it’s also about all different kinds of people. I think there’s much more of an openness that we want history to be much more inclusive.”

Included in Bacharach’s discussion of these important women was how most have yet to be recognized or commemorated in the way of a monument or a park.

“I think one thing I found shocking is of the parks. Right now there are 597 parks in Chicago, 350 of them are named after people, and only 67 of them are named after women,” said Ann Cliff, an attendee of the talk.

Recognition is just one of the goals Bacharach hopes to accomplish by researching influential Illinois women and sharing their stories.

“Her Story: Women of Influence in Illinois” is just one of several events the Naperville Public Library is hosting for Illinois’ bicentennial.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.