The Denver Woman’s Press Club (DWPC) was founded in 1898 by nineteen charter members, including organizer and first president Minnie J. Reynolds.
Reynolds was an influential suffrage leader, serving as “Press Secretary” in the victorious 1893 Colorado campaign, and later as a national suffrage organizer. She was one of the first woman political writers for the Rocky Mountain News, and an early woman stump speaker and activist in the Populist Party.
The Club’s membership, throughout its history, has included numerous women leaders. Among them:
- Mary Elizabeth Bates, one of the first women doctors in Denver
- Mary Florence Lathrop, one of Denver’s first women lawyers
- Helen Ring Robinson, Colorado’s first woman state senator
- Helen Marie Black, first woman business manager of a major symphony orchestra (she was instrumental in the founding of the Denver Symphony)
- Mary Coyle Chase, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the play Harvey
In 1924, the DWPC purchased the studio home of George Elbert Burr, an artist famous for his etchings of Colorado. The clubhouse was declared eligible as a historic landmark in 1968 and placed on the state register of historic places in 1995.
As part of its 1998 Centennial Celebration, the Denver Woman’s Press Club restored the building and garden with funds obtained from the Colorado Historical Fund and private donations. The small clubhouse continues to be a community center, open to the public for author receptions and other special events.
Many literary luminaries have been guests of DWPC including Denverite William Barrett, Barbara Cartland, Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Kingsolver, James Michener, Robert MacNeil, Anna Quindlen, Tracy Chevalier, and Annie Proulx.
Today the DWPC membership includes over 200 writing professionals in various fields – publishing, journalism, electronic communications, advertising, marketing, public relations, trade and business publications, history, education, freelance market, fundraising, and government.
For more information on the history of the Denver Woman’s Press Club, consult The Women Who Made the Headlines: Denver Woman’s Press Club, The First Hundred Years, co-authored and edited by DWPC members Clé Cervi and Nancy M. Peterson, published in 1998. This complete and engaging history is available at the Tattered Cover Book Store and the Denver Public Library.
The Denver Woman’s Press Club’s goals are as relevant today as they were when they were first composed by founder Minnie Reynolds in 1898.
The Denver Woman’s Press Club continues to honor its heritage, functioning as a stimulating gathering place for people in literary, journalistic and media endeavors; promoting the cultivation of friendship and providing moral support to members; encouraging through educational and philanthropic means the pursuit of writing; and, in the words of club founders, offering a haven to drive dull care away!