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Central Minnesota Women In History: Irene Wilson

Benton County Historical Society

UNDATED — In honor of Women’s History Month each week in March we will feature a different woman from central Minnesota who has been a trailblazer for many in our area.

This week we put our scope on the first woman to be a bank president in St. Cloud and possibly the state.

Irene Wilson was a Sauk Rapids native born in 1900. Her first job was working as a stenographer at the Pan Motor Company. When they closed she got a job at the St. Cloud National Bank.  She was employed there for about 50 years.

During her time at the bank she was elected to the Board of Directors and promoted to vice president and later president. It’s a title she had for two years until 1940.

Wilson was chairman of the Red Cross drive in East St. Cloud and was a member of the East Side Business and Professional Women’s Boosters. She worked with organizations such as the Humane Society and Benton County Historical Society.

She was passionate about preserving history and collecting artifacts. Wilson died in 1998 and left behind many of her antiques and collections to the Benton County Historical Society.

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