UPDATE: Did Mattie P. Fargo Give That Talk on June 20, 1901?

Updated!  See highlighted text below!

According to the Lake Mills’ High School program, Mattie P. Fargo (Addie’s step-daughter) was scheduled to give a talk at the commencement, June 20, 1901. Her step-mother – Addie – had died the day before (June 19th).

Mattie’s scheduled talk was “The New Pilgrim’s Progress.”

When I was in Lake Mills recently, I read 15 months worth of the Lake Mills’ Leader. After I got home and really studied a few of these newspaper clippings, I realized I had the answer to this question about Mattie at my fingertips – sort of. In my zeal to copy articles about Addie, I copied the June 27, 1901 front page (where the ladies at the DAR that expressed their sadness at Addie’s sudden departure), but I didn’t notice the little nuggets just to the side.

On the right side of the newspaper’s front page was a detailed synopsis of the students’ talks at the commencement one week prior, complete with a summary of the young people’s public speaking abilities.

UPDATE!  Thanks to a friend in Lake Mills, we don’t know if Mattie was in attendance at her graduation, but according to the newspaper article that appeared the next week (June 27, 1901), her essay appeared in the Lake Mills Leader with a small note that said, “Essay of Mattie P. Fargo, not read at commencement exercises.”


Was Mattie there, on June the 20th?


Did she deliver her prepared talk on "The New Pilgrim's Progress"?

Matties graduation picture

Mattie's graduation picture from 1901.

To learn more about Addie, click here.

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  1. Rachel

    Perhaps Mattie did not give that talk at graduation because she was too upset at the sudden death of her stepmother. I imagine that Mattie knew what her father did if Elsie knew.

    It WAS the Fargo family who brought this up and published it to begin with. Why would the Fargo family make up such a story about one of their own? Just think, if it weren’t for one of Enoch’s own family members recalling the true cause of Addie’s death and his own grand daughter, Mary Wilson, putting it to pen and paper and actually publishing it for the world to read, there would not have been a reason to start digging into this, and subsequently finding all of this evidence that supports the case that Enoch allegedly murdered his own wife and cover it up.

    As I understand it, Elsie Fargo was Enoch’s daughter and Mary Wilson was Elsie’s daughter so Mary Wilson IS Enoch’s grand daughter.

  2. Debbie

    Mary Wilson must have been mad or upset about it so much, that she felt she needed to include it in her book. In her own way, she tried to tell Addie’s story.