Ella Knowles was born in New Hampshire in 1860. She journeyed to Montana by the 1880s and pursued her passion to become a lawyer, however, women were not allowed to practice law in Montana. Ella lobbied against the state legislature and a bill was passed in 1889; in January of 1890, Ella was the first woman to pass the bar and admitted to practice law in Montana. In 1892, Assistant Attorney General, Henri Haskell, nominated Ella to run for the state Attorney General. While she narrowly lost the election, she was the first woman in the nation to run for this position. She later married Henri Haskell but ultimately divorced him in 1902. She then moved to Butte where her success continued as she invested in mining properties and conducted several important mining deals. In one of these deals, she was paid $10,000, which was said to be the largest fee ever paid to a female attorney. Ella died in 1911.
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