Biographical Sketch of Minnie C.T. Love

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Minnie C.T. Love, 1856-1942

By Danielle Araujo, student, Colorado State University

Dr. Minnie C.T. Love was born Minnehaha Cecilia Tucker in Wisconsin in 1856. Demonstrating great ability within the medical field, Dr. Love was one of the first white women to study medicine at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She continued her education, studying children's health and obstetrics in London thereafter. She then married Charles Love, who would remain her husband until his death in 1906. After acquiring her education, the couple moved to Colorado, where she quickly established herself as an active political leader, as well as an involved community member. She founded the State Industrial School for Girls in Morrison, Colorado, in 1887, designed to shelter and guide insubordinate or transient young women. Later, in 1893, she founded the Florence Crittenton home for underprivileged mothers, an operation that continues to run to this day. In addition, she also helped to found the Denver Women's Club, and was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. A talented physician and surgeon, Dr. Love was appointed to the Colorado Board of Health, which was no small feat for a woman in her era. Utilizing her medical prowess, Dr. Love went on to found the Children's Hospital of Denver in 1897. From humble beginnings as a tent hospital that summer, the institution grew into one of the most advanced children's hospitals in the nation. As an esteemed member of the Denver Community, Dr. Love, a Republican, was even elected to the Colorado State Legislature, where she was appointed to Corresponding Secretary.

Despite her altruistic contributions to the health of her community, Dr. Love was an ardent Ku Klux Klan member. Touted as an "Excellent Commander," Dr. Love marched with 10,000 fellow Klanswomen, and convinced them to remove their hoods and cloaks and replace them with patriotic Betsy Ross costumes, in an effort to solidify femininity and patriotism into the image of white supremacy. Dr. Love never attempted to keep her connections with the Ku Klux Klan and her positions in government and medicine separate; rather, she wielded the influence of public office to pass white supremacist legislation. In 1913, she unsuccessfully tried to form a national eugenics headquarters in Denver. In 1925, she introduced a bill to sterilize those considered "unfit" for reproduction, such as epileptics, the mentally handicapped, and those who expressed "deviant" tendencies, defined loosely by eugenicists in an attempt to weed out "undesirable" populations. The bill was vetoed by Governor Billy Adams, on the grounds that it risked unconstitutional actions.

Dr. Love remained an advocate for white women. She was an ardent suffragist, who vehemently fought for equality between men and women. She was described as a "pioneer" suffragist in the 1920 Colorado state report in the History of Woman Suffrage, volume 6. At age thirty-six (in 1892), she became an active member of the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association, and even allowed their meetings to take place in her home. During the successful 1893 suffrage referendum campaign Love served as corresponding secretary of the CESA to knit together suffragists from across the state. Additionally, in 1925, the same year that she introduced her Eugenics Bill, she also introduced a measure to the legislature that would have made birth control more widely accessible to women.

In 1926, at the age of seventy-one, after much of the KKK was removed from Colorado government, she was unable to make it onto the Republican ballot, and was not re-elected. Her husband, Charles Love, passed away in 1906, while Minnie herself died in 1942 at age 87.

Sources:

Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922), multiple citations. [LINK]

Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4 (1902). [LINK]

Minnie C T Love in the 1940 Census. Ancestry.com. https://www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/Colorado/Minnie-C-T-Love_1cx04p. Accessed April 15, 2017.

Sherlock, Thomas J. "The Origin and Early Years of Children's Hospital Colorado". Colorado Healthcare History. http://coloradohealthcarehistory.com/hospitals-childrens-hospital-colorado.html. 2013. Accessed April 15th, 2017.

Lutz, Kaebler. "Eugenics: Compulsory Sterilization in 50 American States-Colorado". University of Vermont. https://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/CO/CO.html. 2012. Accessed April 15, 2017.

Kopel, Jerry. "Ku Klux Klan".http://www.jerrykopel.com/2006/Ku-Klux-Klan.htm. August 9, 2006. Accessed April 15, 2017.

Sherlock, Tom. Colorado's Healthcare Heritage: A Chronology of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse Publishing, 2013. p. 60, 345.

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