"Around the World with Ella Wheeler Wilcox."
In FORWARD! A History of DANE: the Capital County.
written by longtime local residents, historian Allen Ruff and journalist Tracy Will.
Assisting Ruff and Will in turning the manuscript into a finished book are J. Rod Clark, editor; R. Virgil Ellis, designer; and
Jean Matos, graphics... not to mention a team of the Society's own volunteer
reviewers and proofreaders, including Anne Short and Ann Waidelich.
The book will be published by Woodhenge Productions, Inc.

One of Dane County's talented people was Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919), who grew up on a farm in the Town of
Westport. Ella was Wisconsin's most popular (and certainly most prolific) poet.

After Ella became a published author at the age of 14, there was no keeping her down on the farm. In 1896, "Poems
of Passion" made her famous after Charles Dana of the New York Sun criticized the book as "immoral." The public
promptly rushed to buy it... and Ella wrote Dana a thank you letter.

She had a glamorous and exciting life. She travelled around the world, had an audience with the Pope, and was presented at
Buckingham Palace. Her circle of friends included Luther Burbank and Jack London. William Randolph Hearst sent her to Europe to cover the funeral of Queen Victoria.
Her syndicated advice column for the Hearst newspapers became her pulpit for preaching morality and good manners to a
national audience.

Her forty books never won the acclaim of literary critics. Today her poems are all but forgotten, except for her most famous
                     Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
                     Weep, and you weep alone.

Dane County Historic Sites Locator

1.Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Easy Street at County I. Wisconsin's most famous poet. DCHS marker.