For decades she was known as the cow chip lady.
Little else was known about the 19th-century woman wearing the prairie bonnet, her hands wrapped around the handles of a wheelbarrow filled with cow chips.
But she symbolized women on the plains, and her photo appeared in countless Western-history books and publications.
She became most famous when her picture was printed on the cover of Joanna L. Stratton’s book "Pioneer Women," published in 1982.
It wasn’t until a year later that researchers discovered the cow chip lady was Ada McColl, a prairie midwife who lived in western Kansas during the early 1890s.
She might have been lost to history had it not been for the loneliness she felt on the prairie.
McColl missed relatives in Iowa whom she would write regularly. She also bought a camera so she and her family members could send photos to the relatives in Iowa.
One picture in particular stood out.
McColl was born in Crawford County, Iowa, on Oct. 23, 1870. Her family moved to Kansas in 1876 and lived in a dugout near Medicine Lodge. In 1884, they moved to Florida and returned to homestead in western Kansas two years later.
McColl purchased the camera in 1892 and was shown how to operate it by Garden City photographer J.L. Wolf, according to Trudy Ackerman, author of "The Cow Chip Lady."
In 1893, the famous photo was shot near Lakin when Ada and her mother, Polly McColl, were collecting buffalo chips to use for cooking and heating.
The dried cow chips burned rapidly and often were the only source of fuel on the desolate prairie. Women gathered them in their aprons and used them to build cooking fires.
Question: Who convinced historians that Ada McColl was the cow chip lady?
Don’t forget: The contest ends Saturday.
Answer to Saturday’s question: The name of the CBS television show during the 1950s was The Phil Silvers Show, which was informally called Sergeant Bilko, or just Bilko. The man character was Sergeant Ernest T. Bilko.
Check back in this spot Monday for the answer to today’s question.