Chapter One: Sun Prairie
Late in the autumn of 1887, the Sun Prairie Countryman,
a rural Wisconsin newspaper, briefly noted that a baby girl had arrived two days before on Tuesday, November 15, in the farmhouse of Ida and Francis O'Keeffe. The birth, assisted by a country doctor in the O'Keeffe home, was the second for the young couple. The twenty-three-year-old Ida named her infant Georgia Totto for her patrician Hungarian grandfather, George Totto. Georgia, it appeared, would have Ida's dark hair, and her round face was pure Irish, like her father's. The variegated pigment of her eyes suggested the mingled bloodlines of brown-eyed...