Czarina Conlan (1871-1958)
Art by Creshtar (tumblr)
The daughter of a Chickasaw father and a Choctaw mother, Czarina was an important activist and archivist.
Czarina founded the first woman’s club in Oklahoma in 1896. In 1932, she was elected Directer of the Oklahoma State Federation of Women’s Clubs, which made her a member of the national board. As a state director, Czarina advocated for women’s suffrage.
In 1909, Czarina became the first woman elected to a school board in Oklahoma. The Attorney General tried to block her appointment, but Czarina defied his orders and completed her two year term. In 1914, she ran for the position of Commissioner of Charities and Corrections.
In 1913, Czarina created a time capsule for the Ladies Aid Society of the First English Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City. Six years later she began working as the curator of the Native American collection of the Oklahoma Historical Society Museum. She held that position until 1942.
In the 1920s, Czarina traveled to Washington with a committee of Oklahoma Native Americans to advocate for land rights.
Czarina died on May 5, 1958.