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Wilder topic of lecture series: Author to be discussed Oct. 9


Contributed photo

Janet Worthington dons period clothing as she talks about author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

COTTONWOOD — The 15th Annual Fall Lecture Series presented by the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude will continue Thursday, Oct. 9, with a presentation on beloved author Laura Ingalls Wilder. These free events provide insights into the history of the region and are held on Thursdays during the month of October with the support of the Idaho Humanities Council.

This Thursday’s lectures will be held at both 4 and 7 p.m., where Janet Worthington will present, “Laura Ingalls Wilder: Moving West.” In her series of books, Wilder portrayed pioneer life as an adventure, filled with warmth and love. Dressed in period costume, Worthington will present an historical reenactment of Wilder, recounting the westward movement, the hardships the family faced, and the joys of making a life in the wilderness. Worthington has been presenting women and girls from history and literature for more than 30 years. She received her B.A. from the University of Chicago, her M.S. from the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. from Florida State University. She taught English at West Virginia Institute of Technology, Nicholls State University in Louisiana, is a former dean, and teaches for the Center for Professional Development at Boise State University.

• Oct. 16: 7 p.m., Philip A. Homan will present, “Queen of Diamonds: Kittie Wilkins, Horse Queen of Idaho, and the Wilkins Horse Company.” Wilkins was the boss of the Wilkins Horse Company, owning 10,000 range-bred horses, all branded with her famous Diamond brand. She was the only woman at the turn of the 20th century whose sole occupation was a horse dealer. She rode the range sidesaddle with Victorian charm and had the education and tastes of a late 19th century wealthy, urban woman of the East, but preferred life as single woman on a ranch in Idaho. Phil Homan is an associate professor at Idaho State University’s Eli M. Oboler Library in Pocatello. He is a frequent presenter at library conferences, and a contributor to Idaho Magazine. Phil received an IHC Research Fellowship and is writing the first biography of Kittie Wilkins.

• Oct. 30: 7 p.m., Tom Blanchard will present, “Mining in Idaho: Today and Yesterday.” By the 1870s, Idaho Territory had seen several major gold rushes yet its growth was not sufficient to justify statehood. This changed by 1880 when discoveries of gold in the Yankee Fork area and lead-silver in the Wood River Valley and the Coeur d’Alene’s attracted thousands of miners. Blanchard has conducted projects and research in Idaho for the past fifteen years at the College of Southern Idaho. In addition, he served three terms as County Commissioner in Blaine County, adding a contemporary public policy perspective to Historical issues which shade our lives.

All the lectures are free and are made possible by the Idaho Humanities Council, Vic and Shirley Gehring, and White Rock Consulting. Lectures begin at 7 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. A Q&A session with the presenters follows the lectures. Light refreshments are provided. The events are held in the Johanna Room at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude located at 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood. For information call 962-2050 or email


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