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 Louise Mears (Fargo) Mears  (1866 - 1925)

About: Louise Mears (Fargo) Mears


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Lived/Active: Wisconsin/Minnesota/Illinois      Known for: charcoal portraits, children's book illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
One of three talented daughters of John Hall and Elizabeth (Farnsworth) Mears, Louise Mears was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1866.  She spent her youth and gained her early education there, finding her niche as a young girl – drawing.  She became known locally for her charcoal sketches of the local inhabitants. 

One sister, Helen Farnsworth Mears, (1871-1917) became a renowned sculptress, and the other sister Mary, (1870-1943) became a New York author. 

Louise Mears had a short career as an illustrator, especially noted for her collaboration with Ella Wheeler Wilcox on a number of children’s books, among the most notable being The Beautiful Land of Nod, which was published in 1892.  She also worked briefly with a Minneapolis newspaper, and for a number of years, beginning in 1888, was an illustrator/cartoonist for the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern.

Following her marriage to Frank B. Fargo in 1893, Louise Mears abandoned any thought of a career, and devoted herself to her home and family.  The couple settled in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.  After her husband’s death around 1922, she moved to Aurora, Illinois to live with her daughter until her death in 1925.

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Historian from Lansing, Michigan

Biographical information excerpted from her obituary, plus information provided by the Oshkosh Public Museum Archives.

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