WHTC to present "Shady Ladies of the West" March 15

For immediate release March 7, 2008


Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) – The Western Historic Trails Center will host a discussion next week about the role of women in the Old West and how their lives differed from those who lived in the east.

WHTC Museum Guide Saundra Leininger will present “Shady Ladies of the West” at 2 p.m., March 15, 2008, at the Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs. The program is free and open to the public. Call 712-366-4900 for more information.

Leininger’s discussion will focus on America’s westward expansion, offering a perspective of how life in the west differed from the east and how women in particular fit into this new environment.

“Frontier women appear to be remembered in two distinct groups – the good, hardworking plains woman and the infamous, treacherous outlaw or prostitute,” Leininger said. “These distinctions sometimes blurred in the lives of the women who lived through this tumultuous time.”

Leininger presentation will cover a range of these “Shady Ladies” – outlaw women, renegade women, soiled doves and pistol-packing madams.


 The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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