Lyra and Silas Garber

Article number: PIERSON LONNIE
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A First Couple in Frontier History and in Willa Cather's A Lost Lady by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier

In the late 19th century, Lyra and Silas Garber were well known in Nebraska. Silas Garber was the founder of Red Cloud, Nebraska, and the state's fourth governor. When Lyra came to Nebraska in 1875 as Silas' much younger bride, she was known for her beauty, fashionable dress, and social grace.

The Garbers are not only significant in the history of Nebraska, but also gained national fame due to their association with American writer Willa Cather, whose controversial novel, A Lost Lady, was patterned after the Garbers' lives. The Garbers' personal story is told against the backdrop of American history from the Civil War through the California Gold Rush, frontier settlement, the building of the railroads, and a wildly fluctuating economy. Sure to interest readers of both history and literature, this biography sheds new light on the question of fiction versus fact in the painful and fascinating saga of a high-profile couple in early Nebraska.

Western Edge Press: 2002

Paperback: Illustrations by Louise Bereuter

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