(l. to r.) Tib, Betsy, and Tacy—
in reality, Midge, Maud, and Bick
(cont'd) The Hart family left the Center Street (Hill Street) neighborhood just before Maud began high school (1906), moving several blocks closer to downtown to a larger home near the school and county courthouse. Two years earlier Mr. Hart had been elected county treasurer. Maud lived in Mankato through high school, graduating in 1910. When she left that fall for her freshman year at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, her family would soon follow. Mankato would always be Maud’s hometown, but never again would she call it home.

Maud’s college career was interrupted her freshman year by appendicitis. Unhappy at school, she was more than willing to take a break from her studies and continue her recuperation in California at her maternal grandmother’s home. Maud loved California and found the climate and change of scenery congenial to writing. An uncle who was a rancher loaned her a typewriter, and she soon wrote the story, “Number Eight,�? that would be her first sale to a major publication (the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine).

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