Conference Focuses on Influential Women from Houston’s History

From Charlotte Allen, to Mary Levy, and from Phyllis Frye to Annise Parker, Houston History Alliance tells the stories of influential and unsung women from the city’s past.

Charlotte Baldwin Allen
Charlotte Baldwin Allen is known as “the mother of Houston” because money from her inheritance was used by her husband, Augustus Allen, to purchase land that became Houston.


The Allen Brothers get most of the credit for founding Houston. But if it wasn't for the wife of Augustus Allen – Charlotte Baldwin Allen – none of it would've happened.

Augustus used money from her inheritance to finance the founding of the city, giving her the unofficial title of "mother of Houston."

Stories of unsung women in Houston's history, like that of Charlotte Allen, will be part of the focus of a history conference Saturday.

The Houston History Alliance presents its 7th biennial history conference, titled Houston Women: Agitating, Educating, Advocating, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Midtown Arts and Theater Complex Houston (MATCH), located at 3400 S. Main Street.

The conference will feature panel discussions with women who have been influential in Houston's past, including former Mayor Annise Parker, Phyllis Frye, who was the nation's first openly transgender judge, and other activists and historians.

The event's keynote speaker is Dr. Laura Murillo, president and CEO of Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

In the audio above, Lindsay Scovil, executive director of Houston History Alliance, talks with Craig Cohen about the conference and about other influential and unsung women in Houston's past.

HHA didn’t want to limit the celebration of Houston women to just once day. So the organization is planning two months of additional related programming and a website devoted to telling stories of Houston women, called

The organization is offering a $15 discount for Saturday’s conference to Houston Matters listeners by simply entering the promo code “HOUSTON MATTERS” when registering online.

MORE: Spotify Playlist of Houston Women Musicians

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