JC / Railbird

Miss Milfred’s Ambition

From the Saint Paul Daily Globe, August 10, 1892:

CHICAGO, ILL., Aug. 9. — Frances Milfred would like to be a jockey. She is from Missouri and knows how to handle a horse. Being fond of outdoor exercise and a lover of excitement, she is determined to do something besides play the typewriter or call “cash.” She is now visiting Chicago, and will not return to St. Joe unless she fails to secure a position with some owner of fast horses. It is her ambition to come down the stretch in a whipping finish and land her horse about two lengths ahead of Fox, Goodale, Overton, Penny and other slim-waisted young men who think they can ride.

Miss Milfred, after coming to Chicago a month ago, visited Washington Park and watched the flyers for several successive days. She lost $13.50 in cash ventures, but discovered a new sphere for women. The more she watched the races the more firmly she became convinced that she could learn to ride as well as any one else. Once she had been in the Kiralfy chorus and had made only $10 a week. When she heard that jockeys often made $100 for winning one race, that settled it.

Saturday evening the following “ad” appeared in one of the papers:

LADY aged twenty-five, from West, good rider, would like to learn to be a jockey. Address S. B. 84.

An encouraging letter addressed to S. B. 84 brought a reply that Miss Frances Milfred would be at home Monday at No. 17 Upton Street. There she was found, in the bottom flat, a brown-haired, slim young lady of pleasant features and a desire to explain her ambition.

“In the first place, my weight is all right,” said she. “With me it is a serious matter. I want to do something to make a living, and believe I would make a good jockey. Ever since I can remember I have been accustomed to handling horses. Four years ago I was counted the best rider in St. Joe, and once I won a race at a county fair. Do you see any reason why a young lady should not be a jockey? No. Neither do I. My folks would object, of course, but if I don’t succeed here I’m going East and try it.”

The original “jockette”?

1 Comment

this rocks

Posted by dana on January 29, 2010 @ 12:37 pm