Mabeth Hurd Paige was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1869 or 1870. She remained in Massachusetts through high school, after which she went on to attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the Massachusetts Art School in Boston, and the Julian Art Academie in Paris, France. After returning to the United States in 1891, she settled in Minneapolis where she began work with the art department in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
In Minneapolis she became acquainted with James Paige, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, and the two were married in 1895. James encouraged her to pursue a degree in law which Mabeth did, graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1900 and being admitted to the bar shortly thereafter. After law school she was active in a number of social and civic groups. She served as president of the Women's Christian Association from 1910 to 1922, founded the Minnesota chapter of the League of Women's Voters, and was also active with the Urban League, Minnesota Women's Cooperative Alliance, and various state and municipal boards and committees. She was also a delegrate to the First International Congress of Women in Rome in 1923 as well as two successive congresses in Paris and Geneva.
In 1922 she ran for the Minnesota State House of Representatives seat for the 30th District (comprising parts of Downtown and North Minneapolis). She was elected and, along with three other women elected that year, became one of the state's first elected female legislators. She caucused with the Republican Party but was described as a "freelance" who was not beholden to a political party. She pursued a number of different legislative initiatives in the areas of public welfare, labor, education, and environmental protection. She served ten consecutive terms, retiring from her seat in 1945.
Later in life she continued to remain active in politics, serving on committees and commissions including the Minneapolis Charter Commission, the State Constitutional Commission, and the Governor's Interracial Commission.
She suffered a stroke in early 1961 and later died in Minneapolis on August 19, 1961. She was survived by her daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Paige Thompson.
The collection consists of two boxes. One box contains personal correspondence and papers, newspaper clippings, and various manuscript pages. The second box contains notes and typewritten transcripts related to her biography "Lady in Law" along with additional newspaper clippings.
Lady In Law, a Biography of Mabeth Hurd Paige by Darragh Aldrich. Multiple copies available in Special Collections
Mabeth Hurd Paige, 1869-1961: Her Contributions as Humanitarian and Legislator by Caroline M. Erwin Thesis written by Mabeth Hurd Paige's granddaughter available in Special Collections
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