Better Days 2020: Popularizing Women from the Past Establishes Gateway to a Better Future
Women’s voting rights were a first step in opening opportunities for women in a variety of spheres, including business. With this in mind, Better Days 2020 continues to work to change negative perceptions and make a difference among Utahns and the rest of the nation by sharing stories of the female greats from our past who drove change in business, politics, and volunteerism. By popularizing Utah’s women history through education, the arts, and legislation, Better Days 2020 is proactively harnessing the power of history with the goal of shifting hearts, minds, and the needle for women in Utah.
As just one example, take Katherine Fenton Nutter, known as “Utah’s Cattle Queen.” She daringly traveled from Indiana to Colorado Springs to work for the telegraph and then to Duchesne County, Utah to tend her 160-acre homestead that she won in a lottery. None of these life adventures were meant for the faint-hearted, especially in the early 1900s.
Required to live on her homestead in the Uintah Basin for an allotted number of days each year, Katherine, against the advice of many friends, traveled from Colorado Springs by stagecoach to visit her new homestead. When the rookie stagecoach driver missed the regular overnight stop, mistaking the ranch house of Preston Nutter in Nine Mile Canyon, she was forced to stay overnight and a romance with Preston soon blossomed.
Over the next several decades, Katherine learned large-scale cattle ranching keeping the account books and writing the checks. Ranching was hard work and there were never vacations as livelihood was dependent on weather and cattle prices. A member of the American Cattleman’s Association, Katherine was an early adviser to the Utah Big Game Control Commission. She was also very active in the Catholic Women’s League. Katherine died in 1965, but not before she witnessed Utah’s ratification of the 19th Amendment in October 1919 and the subsequent passage in 1920 on a national scale.
While some believe women like Katherine may have been the “exception to the rule” in the early 19th century, we at Better Days 2020 know there are many more of these powerful women from the past than you’d ever imagine. By sharing Katherine’s story and similar stories of fortitude, strength, and courage, our hope is that future generations of Utah women will achieve more than the norm of the day, just like Katherine.
To learn how you can support Better Days 2020 and its mission of popularizing women’s history to achieve advancement for girls and women in Utah, please visit “First to Vote” CrowdRise Campaign.