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.”
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