On Thursday evening, a crowd gathered at the Fairbury Public Library to hear former Fairbury resident Charlotte Endorf speak about the life of Annie Oakley and how she overcame adversity to become the most famous markswoman in history.
Endorf explained that she always enjoys coming back to Fairbury, and was grateful to have the opportunity to share her research about Oakley at the library. She started giving presentations after she honed her speaking skills with Toastmasters International, an organization meant to help people become better speakers. So, Endorf began giving presentations with Humanities Nebraska.
“I just felt that I needed to be doing something worthwhile with the talks that I had prepared,” said Endorf. “This month, I have 21 talks all across Nebraska. Not all of my talks are with Humanities Nebraska. I do some on the side with Endorf Enterprises. I’m starting to give back like Annie Oakley did.”
Endorf recently published her tenth book about Oakley. She became interested in Oakley’s life after giving eulogies for the Orphan Train riders. Learning about the famous markswoman is one of Endorf’s passions because of how uplifting her story is.
“I found giving eulogies for the Orphan Train riders to be somewhat depressing,” Endorf said. “It’s very humble and honoring that that they feel so close to me that they asked me to do that, but it’s also really hard. So, I wanted something upbeat. I asked my crowds what topic they like to hear about, and they always chose Annie Oakley. My son is also a marksman when it comes to archery. He was sixth in the nation and he’s also on the UNL archery team.”
Researching Oakley’s life has taken Endorf on a journey across several states. During her presentation, she stated that she has traveled over 10,000 miles to visit various museums and locations that were important to Oakley. She encourages people to check out her website to find out more about Oakley’s life. She will return to Fairbury on Veteran’s Day to give a presentation over the life of Nebraska author Tillie Olsen.
Director of the Fairbury Public Library Debbie Aden explained that events like this are an important part of what the library does, and she encourages people to attend future events. She is glad that Endorf was able to present at the library.
“Part of the library’s mission is to expose people to community events, history and local authors,” said Aden. “This was just a great opportunity to bring all of this together. Charlotte’s been here before, and she’s highly recommended. She’s very popular and her books are very popular, so it just seemed like a good fit.”