Carrie Clyde Holly, Pueblo’s First Woman State Legislator

First Woman Legislator in the United States to get a law passed.

Carrie Clyde Holly Commemorative Art

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial of Southern Colorado (WSCSC) is raising funds to honor
Carrie Clyde Holly (1866-1943) with commemorative art in Pueblo, Colorado. 

We are working on two art projects. First, we have commissioned a painting of Carrie Clyde Holly from Pueblo’s own Teresa Vito. Please visit her page to learn more about this remarkable artist and view her work. Teresa’s work is scheduled to be completed in the Summer of 2024 and will be displayed prominently in Pueblo, Colorado.

How to Contribute

We are grateful to the League of Women Voters of Pueblo which will serve as our fiscal agent for those who would like a tax deductible donation. This link will lead you to their donation page.

You may also send a (non-tax deductible) check written out to “WSCSC” to:

  • Treasurer, WSCSC
  • 4701 Briarcrest Dr. 
  • Pueblo, CO 81005

Why commemorate The Honorable Carrie Clyde Holly

  • In 1893, Colorado women won the right to vote. That’s right – 27 years before the entire United States achieved women’s suffrage. The impact was immediate. Carrie Clyde Holly and two other Colorado women were elected to state office the following year. 
  • Not only was Holly elected, but she was the first woman legislator to successfully sponsor and pass legislation – a law that raised the age of consent to 18. It became known across the nation as the Holly Law and was held up as a standard of protections for women and girls.
  • Carrie Clyde Holly also served as Pueblo County’s first woman attorney and worked diligently on political ethics in the city of Pueblo after her term in office.
  • The WSCSC believes it is vitally important that we preserve and honor the legacy of Carrie Clyde Holly as a representative of Pueblo County, so we are raising funds to create commemorative art. Our short term project is the above mentioned painting by Teresa Vito. Our longer term project is a statue of Carrie Clyde Holly to be installed outside the Pueblo County Courthouse. We have received approval from the Pueblo County Commissioners for this installation.
  • The WSCSC believes it is vitally important that we preserve and honor the legacy of Carrie Clyde Holly as a representative of Pueblo County. Please join us in our fundraising efforts and consider contributing to help us honor this groundbreaking woman. Thank you!

Carrie Clyde Holly Research

Are you trying to learn about Carrie Clyde Holly? If so, you have come to the right place. Carrie Clyde Holly became one of the first three women to ever serve as a state Legislator in the United States. After women achieved the right to vote in Colorado in 1893, Carrie Clyde Holly, Frances S. Klock, and Clara Cressingham were elected to the House of the Colorado General Assembly in 1894 for the legislative session of 1895.

Mother and Legislator

“An Amusing Story characteristic of the woman is told of her appearance at the first legislative session [January 2, 1895].  She arrived, accompanied by her husband and one child.  She was told at the member’s door that she might enter but that the other two members of her family must find seats elsewhere.  The little woman promptly demanded by what right several men were allowed to present their wives on the floor if she could not introduce her husband.  The doorkeeper succumbed helplessly, and Mrs. Holly scored her first point.” – page 3 of the Akron Daily Democrat, Akron, Ohio, February 27, 1895.


Some brief information about Carrie Clyde Holly. Feel free to print and use and share so long as you do not sell or make a profit from the material and you credit WSCSC with the work.

House Journal 1895

Link to the House Journal of General Assembly of the State of Colorado, tenth session, 1895, to read a report of the legislation and other official events that took place in the House during the legislative session. You can also find some of Holly’s activities in the “Crossing the Alps with Carrie Clyde Holly”

Dr. Gaughan’s Pecha Kucha, February 8, 2019. Special thanks to the Pueblo City and County Library District for hosting the event and for PPCLD’s Mike Pettigrew for videoing the event and sharing the video. Start at 7:02.

Video: Carrie Clyde Holly: An American First

For a longer story, see this video, a part of History Colorado’s “Colorado Women Lecture Series,” also available on C-Span.