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10 to be inducted into Colorado Women's Hall of Fame

March 19, 2014 Updated: March 20, 2014 at 11:23 am
photo - Christine Arguello.
Christine Arguello. 

Julia Archibald Holmes was the first woman in recorded history, to climb Pikes Peak. Elizabeth Wright Ingraham designed 150 buildings in Colorado Springs, and Christine Arguello was the first Hispanic appointed to the Federal District Court.

The three women, all with ties to Colorado Springs, are among 10 inductees into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame this year. Holmes and Wright will be honored posthumously.

Counting this year's inductees, 142 women have received the honor since inception of the Hall of Fame in 1985. The women's stories will be told at a dinner Thursday in Denver.

Betty Heid, Hall of Fame board chairwoman, said the award was created for history's sake.

"We wanted to make sure that their stories would be preserved," she said.

Any Colorado resident can nominate a candidate, and an independent board then chooses the finalists. The Hall of Fame's mission is education, and they have a speakers bureau and travelling history exhibits.

Heid, said of this year's inductees. "They are all phenomenal women. I've met most of them and their stories are exciting. I get goose bumps hearing what they went through to get where they are and the struggles and achievements. It's so inspiring."

According to the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame, Christine Arguello was first Hispanic appointed to the U.S. District Court for Colorado, first Hispanic to be admitted to Harvard Law School, first Hispanic in Colorado to be promoted to partner at a major law firm, first Hispanic Chief Deputy Attorney General for Colorado; first Hispanic to become professor at university of Kansas School of Law; first Hispanic elected to the school board of Colorado Springs School District 11.

Arguello was in private law practice in Colorado Springs from 1985-1991. She was born in Thatcher, Colo. Her father was a railroad worker, and at one point the family had to live in a boxcar, according to the Hall of Fame biography.

She was first in her family to graduate college, receiving a bachelor's degree from University of Colorado at Boulder. She was a senior counsel for University of Colorado School of Law, has written a case book on evidence, and was named to the U.S. district court seat in 2008.

Holmes, who died in 1887, climbed Pikes Peak wearing a controversial pair of long pantaloons under a calf-length dress in the days when there was no sports gear for women. She insisted on sharing guard duty on the trip, and used the experience to speak for women's equality. She and her husband made a two-month trek from Kansas to Colorado during the 1858 Gold Rush. She later started women's suffrage associations in Washington, D.C, and helped organize women clerks. In 1871, as part of the suffrage campaign, she attempted to register to vote. Her detailed writings of gold camp life in Colorado, are valuable sources for historians, according to the Hall of Fame biography.

Wright Ingraham, who died in 2013 at 91, won numerous national design awards. She and her husband Gordon founded Ingraham and Ingraham Architects in Colorado Springs. Among the 150 homes and buildings she designed in Colorado Springs, is the Vistas Grande Community Church at 5460 N. Union Blvd., and the expansion of the Fountain Branch of the Pikes Peak Library District.

She was trailblazer for women in architecture. Even though she was granddaughter of acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, she was denied membership in his Taliesin Institute for Design Studies. So, instead, she served as draftswoman for the Navy during World War II, and then studied with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, famous 20th century architect, at what is now the Illinois Institute of Technology. She and other women for decades were excluded from membership in the American Institute of Architects. But eventually she served as president of the Colorado American Institute of Architects.

Other inductees:

-Lauren Young Casteel, Denver, foundation executive and civic leader. She was first black woman to head a foundation in Colorado; first female black TV personality; first female senior communications advisor to a Denver mayor. Her work has supported underrepresented groups, early childhood education, gang violence prevention and veterans.

-Penny Hamilton, Granby, pilot and educator, holds world and national aviations speed records; Aviation Hall of Fame inductee; executive director, Teaching Women to Fly Research Project; the FAA named a holding intersection at altitude in Colorado after her; director, Colorado Airport History Preservation Project

-Kristine Johnson, Washington, D.C., engineer and educator, holds 129 U.S. and international patents; CEO of Enduring Hydro that advises in clean energy and operates hydroelectric power facilities across North America; Started several Colorado companies, including ColorLink, used for 3D glasses; Served as U.S. Under Secretary of Energy, 2009-2010

-Diana Wall, Fort Collins, leading expert in soil invertebrate diversity; spent 25 seasons in Antarctica studying how global changes impact soils and organisms; The Wall Valley in Antarctica and a soil microarthropod species was named after her; She is professor and founding director School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University.

-Joanne Maguire, Denver, aerospace engineer and space executive; first woman to lead Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company; only female recipient of International von Karman Wings Award for visionary accomplishments in space technology.

The following are posthumous inductees:

-Elizabeth Morley Cowles, newspaper publisher and philanthropist, who died in 2009; owned Durango News, Herald Democrat and Durango Herald; through Ballantine Family Fund helped Fort Lewis College become four-year school; received Planned Parenthood of Durango's Margaret Sanger Award.

-Helen Ring Robinson, journalist and suffragist; first woman elected to Colorado State Senate (1912);worked on minimum wage for women and teachers, protection for abused children and better treatment of mentally ill. Investigated working conditions at Colorado Fuel and Iron and defended immigrant workers who survived Ludlow Massacre.

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