She wrote adventure stories just like Mark Twain, but hers featured strong-willed girls. Lucy Foster Madison was one of the most prolific writers of the early 20th century, churning out 15 books and at least 200 short stories in three decades. Madison was born in Kirksville and graduated high school in Louisiana, Missouri, which is celebrating its bicentennial this year.
Though orphaned by age 14, Madison became a school teacher. She got her start as an author by entering a New York newspaper's writing contest. Though she placed second, publishers liked her style. The plots of Madison's books usually take place in the past, but highlight young women who rely upon their own instincts and abilities. One of her books -- Bee and Butterfly: A Tale of Two Cousins -- opens in Louisiana. Madison also wrote non-fiction for young people about historical figures such as Joan or Arc, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
There were also stories for adults, including one about a housewife of 24 years who goes on strike for “higher wages and shorter work hours” when her husband demands dinner one day. You can find Madison's books at libraries and online.