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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Sturtevant, Gene
[Susanna Alden Richards Van Valkenburg],   pp. [unnumbered]-69 PDF (1.3 MB)


Page 68


"My Dear Mrs. Harding:
    Please accept these flowers grown under the guid-
ance of deft fingers, needle and thread, especially for you.
They are sent in the same spirit as the real flowers and
letters of condolence you have received from all over the
land. Accompanying them is a fervent prayer for your
perfect recovery.
                             Sincerely,
                 (Mrs.) S. A. Van Valkenburg."
    The letter of acceptance in reply, conveyed Mrs.
Harding's appreciation for the generous thought and the
prayers for her recovery.
    May Peterson, the opera singer, a former Oshkosh
girl, known to Mrs. Van Valkenburg from her childhood,
is also the recipient of a bit of rare lace.
    During the World War, to assist in raising funds,
Mrs. Van Valkenburg exhibited her laces for a fee, which
netted quite a sum to the American Red Cross. At that
time, she was nearly eighty years old, but was just as
ready to give her strength and service as in the days of
1863 and 1864.
    An interesting piece in her collection is a lace por-
trait of George Washington, about the size of a cabinet
photograph. She says of this, "I wrought this picture
to satisfy myself that I could make a recognizable face
in lace stitches, and I find that my friends, even the little
ones, of whom I have many, quickly recognize the Father
of our country." A moving picture producing company
has filmed Mrs. Van Valkenburg, showing her at work
on the lace; and the pictures are life-like and interesting.
    Widowed since 1901, and left childless by the death
of an only daughter, which occurred in 1879, she has
spent her life in good works. Long before organized
"welfare work" was thought of, Mrs. Van Valkenburg's
heart and home were open to the unfortunate, and many
a woman who has lived a happy and useful life, is grate-
ful to Mrs. Van Valkenburg, whose home sheltered her
and whose influence guided her in her girlhood.
                          68


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