Women’s History Month: Two Great Women from Great Falls

Alma Smith Jacobs at the new Great Falls Public Library, c.1960s, and honored with a mural on the same library.

In Honor of Women’s History Month, Ken Robison will present “A Dynamic Duo: Two Great Women in Our Great City” at 6 pm Thursday March 25th at Cassiopeia Books. Ken has selected two amazing women who cut a wide swath on the Great Falls scene—Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassmann: A Montana Renaissance Woman and Alma Smith Jacobs: An Exceptional Librarian and Community Leader.

Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassmann: A Montana Renaissance Woman Throughout Montana’s history remarkable women successfully balanced traditional gender roles with striking achievements—none more so than Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassmann. Martha, the daughter of Montana’s first territorial governor, lived as a teen-ager in Bannack during the Civil War when Montana territory was formed. She became a teacher, musician, wife, mother and home-schooling teacher for her seven children, a leader in the woman’s suffrage movement, the first woman editor of a Montana daily newspaper, local and state leader in the Montana Socialist Party, and a prolific historical writer for Montana newspapers. Hers was a long life of striking achievements.

Alma Smith Jacobs: An Exceptional Librarian & Community Leader Alma Smith Jacobs was an exceptional woman. Raised at a time when Great Falls racially discriminated against African Americans, she rose to the top of her profession in Great Falls as well as gaining state, regional and national recognition. Graduated from Great Falls High School, Alma completed a B.A. at Talladega College, and a Library Science degree from Columbia University. Returning to Great Falls, Alma broke racial barriers when she was named Head Librarian at the Great Falls Public Library in 1954. Her outstanding leadership brought the community a new library while she worked tirelessly for local and state civil rights. Alma became Montana State Librarian in 1973, President of the Montana and Northwest Library associations, and was named to the Executive Board of the American Library Association—the first African American in all these achievements.

Join us at Cassiopeia Books at 6 pm, Thursday March 25th, to celebrate these two amazing Great Falls women.

Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassmann

Categories: Events, Womens History

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