From earliest childhood my great desire was to be a...

From earliest childhood my great desire was to be a music teacher, and I finally graduated in music, but was told that I had overworked and would probably never be strong again. Soon after I went to California, where it was supposed I would recover my health and strength. I commenced teaching, but my physician ordered me to leave for the mountains as soon as possible. This I did, and returned home in six weeks, in some respects much worse. For eight years I was an invalid, and during this time underwent three surgical operations, was treated by seventeen physicians, among whom were some of the best physicians and surgeons in San Francisco and northern New York. So far as I know they all considered my case an incurable one.

While in New York in 1897 I was very seriously ill with a fever, and almost before I was able to travel my physician urged me to come to Dakota to be with my mother and near relatives. At that time I could not even read, and was told by the physicians that very serious results would follow if I attempted any kind of mental work for at least a year. I came to South Dakota with no hope of ever seeing my friends in the East again.

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October 20, 1906
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