Friends of Addie?

Addie must have had many friends in Lake Mills. Did any of them leave behind a written record, perhaps describing what happened to Addie?

Thirty days before Addie died, she successfully organized a Lake Mills chapter of the “Daughters of The American Revolution.”  This newspaper article (see full text below) originally appeared in the Lake Mills Leader on May 23, 1901, and it includes a list of the women who helped form the Lake Mills DAR.

It seems likely that these women must have been Addie’s friends. Did these women leave behind any written record of what happened to Addie? Any personal journals, hand-written accounts or letters? In the early 1900s, women were prolific letter writers. Somewhere, someone must have been wondering, what happened to Addie?

Addie was always on the move. Chances are, she’d been seen out and about Monday afternoon or even Tuesday morning (June 17th and June 18th). There must have been talk about what happened to this vibrant, vivacious 29-year-old woman who went from healthy to dead in 16 hours.

Below, I’ve listed their names in alphabetical order. These were probably some of Lake Mills’ most famous citizens. If you’ve any idea where I might find letters or correspondence from these women, please let me know? Surely, in the Summer of 1901, people must have wondered what happened to Addie Hoyt Fargo.

Bruns, Isabel Copeland

Dodge, Alice Sabin

Douglas, Carrie Brown

Fargo, Minerva Joslin

Gary, Lora Miss

Harvey, Mary Jane

Harvey, Mary Lydia (unmarried)

Heaton, Mabel Hunt

Hebard, Agnes Augusta (unmarried)

Kemeys-Tynte, Gertrude W.

Russell, Mary Emma Miss

Siles, Eva L. (unmarried)

Spencer, Ellen Gary

Tasker, Carrie Harvey

Williams, Charlotte, C.

This article appeared on May 23, 1901. The title was, “D. A. R. Organized.”

By the strenuous effort of Mrs. E. J. Fargo, a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has been organized here, the object of which is to perpetuate the memory of the spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence by the acquisition and protection of historical sports and the erection of monuments; by the encouragement of historical researching in relation to the Revolution, and the publication of its results; by preservation of documents and relics, and of the records of individual services of Revolutionary soldiers and patriots and by the promotion of the celebration of all patriotic anniversaries.

To carry out the other injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, “To Promote as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge,” thus  developing an enlightened public opinion, and affording to young and old such advantages as should develop in them the largest capacity for performing the duties of American citizens. To cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty. The chapter organized with sixteen charter members and was christened, “Tyranena Chapter, D. A. R.,” on Saturday last May 18, 1901.

The chapter organized with sixteen charter members and was christened “Tyranena Chapter, D. A. R.” on Saturday last, May 18, 1901. The charter members are: Mrs. Addie Hoyt Fargo, Mrs, Carrie Brown Douglass, Mrs. Charlotte C. Williams, Miss Lora Gary, Mrs Ellen Gary Spencer, Miss Mary Jane Harvey, Miss Mary Emma Russell, Miss Agnes Augusta Hebard, Mrs. Minerva Joslin Fargo, Mrs. Gertrude W. Kemeys-Tynte, Mrs. Alice Sabin Dodge, Mrs. Carrie Harvey Tasker, miss Mary Lydia Harvey, Mrs. Mable Hunt Heater, Mrs. Isabel Copeland Burns, Miss Eva Stiles.

To be eligible for membership, a woman must be 18 years of age and a descendant of a man or woman who was a loyal American patriot.

Was the mansion quarantined? Apparently not.

The Fargo Mansion, located near downtown Lake Mills, must have been a constant reminder of the mysterious death of young Addie Hoyt Fargo. Perhaps somewhere, one of the ladies of the DAR must have penned a note with some information on what happened to Addie.


In addition to playing poker and managing the household, Addie also formed the Lake Mills Chapter of the DAR.


Addie on the steps of the Fargo Mansion with the family, Enoch, Elsie (top right) and Mattie (lower right). Elsie and Mattie were Enoch's children by his first wife, Mary Rutherford Fargo.

If you’ve any information to share, or any insights on this story, please leave a comment below.

To learn more about Addie Hoyt Fargo, click here.

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  1. Sarah Vee

    Found this link online while looking to see if Charlotte Williams was related to me. Don’t know if you will find this of interest but here it is It is a listing of the DAR kind of interesting.

    Rose’s reply: That was interesting, and I noticed one of the names was Isabel Burns, not Isabel Bruns (as the newspaper article had reported). If only I could find some letters or journals of these women.

  2. Mandie Brewer

    To anyone angry with Rose for trying to learn what happened to her Great Aunt Addie I have to ask this, why are you concerned?

    Are you worried about tax dollars being spent? Well fear not, Rose has pre-paid all the expenses and is now patiently awaiting a refund from the city (for all costs related to exhuming Addie).

    Are you worried about tarnishing Enoch Fargo’s “good name”? If Enoch was not worried enough about this to not kill his wife then I would think that it is not a problem you should worry about. Not to mention the fact that the Director called “cut” on this earthly drama more than 100 years ago, and any players in the scene have been gone for a long time.

    Perhaps you are concerned for the City of Lake Mills and its reputation, you know with important figures in the community covering up a murder and all. Good or bad it is a part of the history of the town, and you can not change history. Learn from it, love it, hate it, ignore it, laugh at it, these things you can do. But change it? Sorry Charlie, this you can’t do.

    If it is nothing I have mentioned then exactly what is it? Do you have noting better to do than troll the internet looking for things to irritate you?

    I am truly thankful that we live in a country that allows someone like Rose to explore her own families history to try to find out what put Addie in an early (and lets not forget shallow) grave. And yes, I realize it is the same freedom that allows you to send hurtful, hateful mail, so no need to send anything off reminding anyone of that.

    Rose is a good person doing a good thing, trying to right a wrong that has been ignored far too long. And I say keep up the good work!

    Happy Thanksgiving Rose.