Multi-media Communication & Presentation

February 13, 2015

Ouray’s Women Pioneers

WillmaPotterWillma Potter

She was Citizen State Bank’s first female teller, and the county’s first and only Hereford breeder and rancher. Willma, who passed away in 2007, was an exemplary  descendent of Alaska’s intrepid explorer, Jonathan Kennicott.

AngieHennAngie Henn

From the day she set foot in Ouray more than 20 years ago, Angie has been a progressive visionary and a catalyst for community action. As President of the Women’s Club, she declared, “History is going to live!” then worked indefatigably to preserve it through the museum, as a volunteer, and through telling fantastic historical tales

NancyNixonNancy Nixon

She came, she saw, she stayed—it’s the story of many who fall in love with Ouray. Nancy, a teacher at the Ouray School, heads up the KURA, 98.9, the only all-student-run community radio in the United States.

GloriaRobertsGloria Roberts

Peacekeeper, explorer, writer, she is the quintessential Renaissance woman. Gloria, who has piloted a fishing vessel and an 18-wheeler, went back for her degree at UC Berkeley when she was 58 and did a stint in the Peace Corps in her sixties!

KathleenCookKathleen Norris Cook

An internationally acclaimed photographer, Kathleen vividly preserves the enduring“Spirit of the San Juans” in a sublime photographic journey presented in a beautiful book and a documentary film, both of the same name. She also includes vignettes of  the people who have long called the San Juans home.

DeeWilliamsDee Williams

She arrived in 1975 and hasn’t slowed down since. Former owner of Ouray Variety Store (with husband, Glen), Dee helped start the ski program for kids in Telluride, has several times served on the Ouray Chamber board, and is involved in Culinary Arts, Nordic Council, Music in Ouray and WISE (formerly

PeggyCoxPeggy Cox

Daughter of a Cripple Creek gold miner, she married and came here in 1949 with a miner husband, then subsequently worked for the County Clerk and County Treasurer and “just about everywhere in Ouray.” She helped start the museum, because “So much precious history is going away!”

BarbMorssBarbara Morss

From florist to contractor, realtor to bar owner, Barb has done it all since she arrived in Ouray 36 years ago. She has volunteered, served in two chambers (Ridgway and Ouray), and numerous boards (town, historical, library)… and been a successful businesswoman the entire time. (While raising a family, as have most of these women.)

VerenaJacobsonVerena Jacobson

Born and raised in Ouray, she taught school in a one-room schoolhouse on Log Hill and later in old Piedmont. After farming for 40 years in Minnesota with her husband,  Verena returned and remained active in the Historical Society, Presbyterian Church and Women’s Club until her death in 2007.

BarbaraSpencerBarbara Spencer

Born in Rico and raised in Ouray, she is undoubtedly the doyenne of Ouray. Her family owned the local newspaper, and for many years she continued to write a weekly column. She skied home from Camp Bird, where she taught school. She’s been involved in every aspect of the community and always has a twinkle in her eye and a great story to share.

BonattiWomenThe Bonatti Women: Addie, Chris and Talia

The family has been involved in mining and local business for four generations, since Grandpa Joe arrived in Colorado in 1894. For many years, Addie and her husband, Rudy (both now deceased), had the Ore Car Gift shop (formerly a pool hall run by Addie’s mother-in-law, Christina). For many years, Chris, born and raised in Ouray, ran the Outlaw Restaurant, long a main-stay of Ouray dining. Talia is heir-apparent. The Bonatti women have been, and continue to be, active in the community.