Widow 1881

Here are just a few characters from the novel, with more to come!

Jane Weber. Born 1852. Second daughter to Ruby and Rupert Hobbs of Rockport, Massachusetts. Marries Henry Weber of Boston, shipping merchant with Ward & Weber Co. in 1875. Widowed by the end of 1880. Jane’s quirks include an improper penchant for researching, a repressed curiosity, and a knack for baking.

Kate Davies. Born 1855. Owner of the general store in Flats Junction, Dakota Territory. Unmarried, but renowned for her extraordinary beauty. Kate is mercurial and temperamental, with a preference for running all the major town events on her own.

Widow Hawks. Born in 1837. Or as her people, the Blackfoot Sioux would say, she was born during Šúųkawakhą hįpáĥpa wi, or “Moon When Ponies Shed.” The widow of the town’s previous banker, Widow Hawks is Jane’s enigmatic and unexpected hostess in Flats Junction, with a past linking her to the town’s most prominent citizens.

Patrick Kinney. Born in 1847 in Ireland, Doctor Kinney lived in Boston with his great-aunt until 1868, when they moved west in search of work and a place to build his practice. The Doctor is well-liked by half of Flats Junction, and regarded with suspicion and dislike by the rest. He is known for tipping back the whiskey a bit too much every July Fourth.

Sadie Fawcett. Born 1848. The wife of the current town banker, Tom Fawcett, an Englishman, Sadie is proud of her status, her children, and her ability to know everyone’s business. She’s a bit of a hypochondriac, especially where her children are concerned, but the Doctor’s glad for her money and support.

Anette Zalenski. Born 1845. Daughter of Berit and Stig Andersen, Anette married Jacob Zalenski and moved to his sprawling family farm northwest of Flats Junction proper. With eight children, Anette still finds time for revelry and welcoming newcomers to town. She’s known for her off-color and scandalous joking, much to the chagrin of her husband. However, Jacob’s homemade plum brandy usually makes its rounds, and then everyone becomes a bit less tidy.

Mitch Brinkley. Born 1849. Youngest son of the huge Brinkley family, Mitch looks up to Doctor Kinney as a mentor and friend and dotes desperately on his young wife, Alice. Mitch is generally nervous of any type of birthing activities, calling the Doc to assist on everything from his wife to cows. His older brothers all think he’s too soft.

Horeb Harvey. Born 1811. Probably. One of the Flats Junction old-timers, Horeb now spends his “retirement” from the lumberyard in the front window of the General Store, heckling customers, staring at women’s bosoms, and ensuring his checkers partner, Gil, doesn’t cheat.

Toot Warren. Born in 1822. A New Orleans girl, she came west with her husband Bob. Now a widow, she lives with her son, William (known by everyone else as Trusty Willy) and his domineering wife, Elaine. The trio operates The Golden Nail, a saloon and eatery, where Toot is known for her excellent cooking and for spiking all her beer with cayenne the day the Crow came to town in 1874.

Peng & Yan Yang. Likely born the years of the Rat and Ox, respectively. Originally working on the Milwaukee Road railroad when it came through Flats Junction, the Yang brothers stayed and opened a small noodle shop, now located at Soup’s Corner. They married sisters, Niu and Ju, and somehow are able to manage without knowing more than ten words of English between them all.

Fortuna. Born 1850. Or so. The Madame of the “only official” brothel, The Powdered Rose, in Flats Junction, she presides over her girls with particular fondness, having brought them with her from Deadwood. Fortuna is constantly at odds with Dell Johnston, her neighbor and the owner of The Powdered Pig saloon. Usually there is a cast iron skillet involved in their arguments.

Emma Molhurst. Born 1830. Doctor Kinney’s neighbor to the north. A widow herself, Mrs. Molhurst spends an inordinate amount of time watching Jane Weber make a fool of herself as she tries to make a go of living in the west. Er…that is, she’s generally tending her elderberry bushes. Definitely not eavesdropping.

Thaddeus Salomon. Born 1843 and eldest son of Walter and Monika Salomon, he is the town’s blacksmith. Though one of the most well-informed and influential citizens of Flats Junction, Thaddeus is generally scary to talk to, and has a severe distrust of doctors.

Alan Lampton. Born 1850. Owner of the pig farm situated right in the middle of Flats Junction. Short of the tannery, it’s the smelliest place in town. Alan’s farm also draws coyotes into town when they’re hungry for scraps (or small pigs). And Alan may (or may not?) have serious interest in seducing the schoolteacher, Harriet Lindsey.