Local author of ‘From Cowgirl to Congress,’ Mila Johansen, to speak Thursday

Mila Johansen, author of “From Cowgirl to Congress,” the memoirs of Jessie Haver Butler, will be speaking Thursday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Nevada County Jewish Community Center Sisterhood meeting.

“From Cowgirl to Congress” follows the life of Jessie Haver Butler, Johansen’s grandmother. Butler was born in 1886 in Pueblo, Colorado. This was an era of household duties, pregnancy and sometimes deadly childbirth for women. There were limited intellectual opportunities for females outside the home.

In 1906 Jessie left Pueblo to attend Smith College in Massachusetts. This opened up a new world for her. And as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Jessie eventually became active in the Suffragist movement. She was privileged to meet Susan B. Anthony and worked with Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman. Her friends included Emmeline Pankhurst, George Bernard Shaw and Lady Astor. She continued her political activism throughout her life, including the second phase of the feminist movement. This included sharing the speaker’s podium with Eleanor Roosevelt, Gloria Steinem and Marlo Thomas.

Jessie’s granddaughter, Mila Johansen (local Nevada County resident) has edited and published Jessie’s memoir, “From Cowgirl to Congress”. Johansen brings a very personal spotlight to Jessie’s life as a remarkable and influential woman.

“You and I and every woman can thank Jessie and the other women who broke ground for us with their perseverance and bravery. The events of Jessie’s life and the history of the struggle for women’s right are like that wall of stars in her guest room,” writes Johansen.

Johansen will be speaking on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Nevada County Jewish Community Center Sisterhood meeting. The Center is located at 506 Walsh Street, Grass Valley. There is a business meeting at 1 p.m. All are welcome. The meeting will be outside in the newly landscaped backyard. There will be shaded areas. Social distancing will be practiced. Chairs will be provided if necessary. It is suggested that people bring their own chairs. For more information, contact Lee Nold-Lewis at [email protected]

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