MN Writes Reads

Visionaries of the Past

Faye Kommedahl
Faye Kommedahl (courtesy photo)

In this year of celebrating the ratification of the 19th Amendment, we honor those who have built platforms for women to stand on. Faye Kommedahl, a long-time supporter of Minnesota Women’s Press, was one of those powerful, everyday women. She died August 13, 2019.

As her obituary described, “She found her true calling when Minnesota Women’s Press was launched, working in any role that was needed to support this fledgling paper and its mission.”

One of the roles Kommedahl served was to research women of Minnesota’s history. For example, she wrote about Anna Dickie Olesen (1885-1971), who in 1922 was the first woman to run for the U.S. Senate as the candidate of a major political party. Based in Cloquet, she gave as many as 12 campaign speeches a day.

After Olesen finished third, a friend wrote her: “There will be another Anna Dickie (Olesen), a throwback to you.  Only  this  one will have a better chance. You did the pioneer work and now the place for women has been better established. You started too early in the game.”

We appreciate Olsen, Kommedahl, and all of the pioneering women of Minnesota.

Listen to an interview with Kommedahl — and others in an oral history project Kathryn Brewer did with 49 women associated with the first 15 years of Minnesota Women’s Press.