Author features lives of three Boonslick historic figures

Fayette parishioner taught at St. Mary in Glasgow


Jane Lee Weiland, formerly a teacher at St. Mary School in Glasgow, who became Catholic two years ago at St. Joseph Parish in Fayette, has written a historical book about three heroic women.

The Three Gallant Girls of the Frontier features Millie Cooper, the savior of Fort Cooper; Prairie Flower, the daughter of Kit Carson; and Cornelia Kuemmel, the artist of Glasgow.

Local artist Milly Haggard illustrated the book, alongside June Wilder’s photographs of Cornelia Kuemmel’s paintings.

The three young women of the book are important players in the history of the Boonslick region.

Millie Cooper is known for her daring horseback ride to save Fort Cooper.

Prairie Flower lived with the Leander Amick family and traveled the Santa Fe Trail twice with her father, Kit Carson.

Cornelia Kuemmel won acclaim with her masterpiece “Reminiscence of 1861.”

She later won a scholarship to study in Paris, yet she remained in Glasgow. Her final painting is “Christ’s Knocking at the door.”

Professor Emeritus and art historian, the late Tom Yancey, believed it was a loss to the art community that Kuemmel’s creative abilities were not further developed.

Dr. Joe Geist, curator of the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art on Central Methodist University’s campus in Fayette, states that her paintings at auction after her death sold for just 35 cents.

Now, they are worth thousands of dollars.

The book is written for general readership and is an excellent biographical introduction to three courageous young Missouri women.

“This book is a delightful and informative look at three of Missouri’s lesser-known historical figures,” stated Cynthia Dudenhoffer, director of information resources at Central Methodist University. “Weiland is the perfect author to bring their stories together.”

Mrs. Weiland taught at St. Mary School in Glasgow from 1986 to 1991.

The Fayette R-III School Board honored her in 2021 as the district’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

The book is available at