Photo -- See Caption Below

Lilian Steichen
By Edward Steichen

Lilian Anna Maria Elizabeth Steichen, born May 1, 1883 in Hancock, Michigan to immigrant parents from Luxembourg. She graduated with honors in 1903 from the University of Chicago. Lilian earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree and a Phi Beta Kappa membership. After graduating, she taught high school Latin, elocution and drama. She met and married Carl Sandburg in 1908; raised three daughters, and in 1935 at the age of 53 began raising goats which, for 30 years, remained a large part of her life. Lilian used line-breeding methods with her goats, which, over time, improved the characteristics in goats that were necessary for goats to produce larger quantities of milk. (Niven, p 140)

Lilian Steichen, later known as "Paula," was an extraordinary woman. Carl Sandburg was smittenwith her from the very beginning. In a letter, shortly before they married, he described her, "I might use all the superlatives of language and every caress that short Saxon words will carry to you. You are the most beautiful, graceful woman in the world, the most splendidly equipped of heart, intellect and feeling in all the world. Yet through and over all this is better and more beautiful and inspiring--some spirit of You, quiet, homely, brooding, steady, unfaltering--always, always mantling me day and night...I am committed to this thing, lost and abandoned with You--the Ideal--the Woman who has lived and knows--the Woman who understands--You." (Park Handbook, p 57)
Paper. L 291, W 203 cm
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, CARL 776