Throwback Thursday: James Wareham Streeter and Mary Anderson Streeter

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

The families of Bess Streeter Aldrich’s parents, James and Mary Streeter, were the inspiration for the characters in several of her fictional works. Aldrich wrote: “When she was in her eighties, (mother) once related some pioneer experiences about the snow sifting through the chinks of the cabin and making grotesque figures on the bed quilts. In a moment of sympathy I remarked that we daughters were sorry her life had been hard in her pioneering days, that it seemed unfair that we now should live in an easier era with all its modern conveniences. She looked at me with an odd little expression and said: ‘Oh, save your pity. We had the best time in the world.'” Aldrich’s desire to capture the spirit of such a woman with historical accuracy was the inspiration for the novel “A Lantern in Her Hand.”

This portrait photograph is published and owned by the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation. The images in this collection have been selected to give the viewer a deeper understanding of the influences and inspirations that Bess Streeter Aldrich drew upon when writing the 1928 novel “A Lantern in Her Hand.”

Check out the full collection on the Nebraska Memories archive.

The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information.

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