What do a legendary writer, world-renowned artist, and record-breaking racecar driver have in common? They’re all from Wisconsin, and they’ve all made history. This month we celebrate successful Wisconsin women and their astonishing accomplishments – bonnets, hats and helmets off!
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Ever hear of the children’s novel series Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder? Well, Laura was a Wisconsin native born in Pepin County. It’s said that the series was based on her childhood – including growing up as a young girl in Wisconsin. The success of her books helped pave the way for other female authors. Visit the replica log cabin of her family home in Pepin County to learn more about the great writer’s life.
When thinking of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, a dairy famer’s daughter from Sun Prairie probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. At the age of ten, she started to pursue her dream of becoming an artist and dedicated her life to her passion. Georgia, the Mother of American Modernism, is best known for large-format floral motifs and desert landscapes with hints of surrealism. In her honor, a portion of the Wisconsin State Highway 19 between Sun Prairie and Marshall has been designated as the Georgia O'Keeffe Memorial Highway. And if you’re interested in seeing some of her pieces, the Milwaukee Art Museum holds one of the largest collections of her work.
Beloit is the birthplace of the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing – Danica Patrick. At the age of ten, she began go-karting at the Sugar River Raceway in Brodhead, Wisconsin. From there she eventually moved to England to advance her racing skills. And ever since, she has been making and breaking records in various styles of racing. Go Danica, go!
A number of extraordinary women have called Wisconsin home. Tell us about your favorite famous or influential Wisconsin woman in the comment area below.