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Elizabeth Quinlan - The Queen of Minneapolis | Forgotten Minnesota
In an age before women had the right to vote, Elizabeth C. Quinlan was a natural entrepreneur who had a business acumen that rivaled most men of her era. Quinlan made a name for herself by buying and selling the finest ready-to-wear clothing and accessories in downtown Minneapolis. Her innovative retailing ideas were copied by merchants from coast to coast. An acute business sense and cutting-edge fashion instinct made her hugely successful, but it was her warm and witty personality that made her the queen of Minneapolis. Born in Madison, Wisconsin to Irish immigrant parents in 1863, Elizabeth C. Quinlan started working for Minneapolis’ leading dry goods store, Goodfellow and Eastman, at the age of sixteen. Over the next fifteen years, Quinlan would go from earning ten dollars per week to becoming the store’s top-earning sales person while making more than any of her male colleagues. While working at Goodfellow and Eastman, fate dealt Quinlan a life-changing opportunity in the form of close friend Fred D. Young, the store’s second most successful sales person. Together, they dreamed of opening an exclusive salon selling only the finest silks, satins, and furs. Young said that he wanted to open a store and...