From 1904 to 1917, Josephine R. Foster distinguished herself as the best newspaperwoman in New Mexico. Initially praised for poems published in her husband’s newspaper, Mrs. Foster soon became the driving force behind their business. Her papers, the Raton Range, Clayton Citizen, and Rio Grande Republican, advocated progressive ideals and worked hard to improve their communities. However, Mrs. Foster’s boldness made powerful enemies within the new state. Her detractors, including State Senator H. B. Holt, attacked her character in rival newspapers, and her business through a series of lawsuits.
Annie Muirhead is a graduate student in the Public History Program at New Mexico State University, currently working on her Master’s Thesis and interning at the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum. She discovered Josephine Foster while preparing for a series of Time Travels to 1912, for which she portrayed Mrs. Foster as a vocal suffragist.
This lecture has been paired with the February Cultural Connections Book Club selection: Pie Town Woman by Joan Myers. The Book Club will discuss women’s lives in late nineteenth and early twentieth century New Mexico on February 19 at 2pm.
The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at las-cruces.org/museums.