NOTHING DAUNTED : THE UNEXPECTED EDUCATION OF TWO SOCIETY GIRLS IN THE WEST
by Dorothy Wickenden
In 1916, two close friends from childhood, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamund Underwood, left their home in Auburn, New York to teach in Elkhead, Colorado. Their actions scandalized family and friends because they were "society girls" and were expected to settle down and marry well, not gallivant off to the Wild West. They were bored with their cosseted life and were ready for adventure. Neither of them had ever taught before yet they were up to the challenge.
Dorothy and Rosamund lived with a homesteading family and rode on horseback to the school every day even in blizzards; deflected amorous cowboys who hoped to marry them; learned how to break up fights amongst contrary children.
Until the end of their lives, they never forgot that year and how it influenced them.
Author Dorothy Wickenden (granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff) found letters (written almost one hundred years ago) in an old desk and from these she wrote the story of the women's incredible journey.
I did not want this book to end. The writing is superb and Wickenden captures the picture of the American West succinctly. Life was hard but the two women embraced the environment that surrounded them and in turn the lives of the children and their families were enriched.
Very highly recommended.