by Beverly Mosman, Assistant Photo Archivist
Being a pioneer woman in early day Oklahoma meant having to do whatever needed to be done, even in the fields. This photographic image from the Fred S. Barde Collection is of Mrs. C.M. Ruff of Wellston. It includes a letter dated March 16th, 1914, from Mr. Frank Anderson, Director of Development, ST. LOUIS AND SAN FRANCISCO RAILROAD. The letter is addressed to Mr. F.S. Barde, a Kansas City Star newspaper correspondent living in Guthrie.
St. Louis, March 16, 1914
Subject – Photographs for use in connection with Agricultural Articles, F.S. Barde.
In reply to your personal favor of the 13th inst., the photograph of the negro woman was made by a photographer at Wellston for us…
As to how she became interested, will say that we picked out her husband, who was on the land, believing that it could be made an object lesson as it later proved to be. Her husband got in difficulty and the farm was left with the woman to cultivate. She showed an interest in it, and we therefore kept up the work with her with the result as you see it…”