Resolute Woman on the ranch

Lily Casey Smith, author Jeannette Walls’ grandmother and the heroine in Walls’ true-life novel Half Broke Horses, rode 500 miles to get to her first teaching job.  On a horse. Alone. At age 15.

When World War I ended and she lost that teaching job, she returned to her parents’ ranch. But not for long.

“So the way I saw it, I had two choices: stay on the ranch or strike out on my own,” Lily Casey Smith explained. “Staying on the ranch meant either finding a man to marry or becoming the spinster aunt….No man had proposed to me yet, and if I sat around waiting for one, I could well end up as that potato-peeling spinster in the corner of the kitchen. Striking out on my own meant going someplace where a young unmarried woman could find work.”

Lily decided to go “to the biggest, most boomingest city I could find. A month later, I was on the train to Chicago.”

Lily worked first as a maid. But not for long.

Before she died, she had worked as ““a cowgirl, horse trainer, mustang breaker, jockey, airplane pilot and Chicago flapper as well as mother and teacher who helped her husband run” a huge ranch.

Lily Casey Smith was a Resolute Woman.

Click here to find out more about Lily’s granddaughter Jeannette Walls.

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2 Responses to “Resolute Woman on the ranch”

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