Lady Wonder
Lady Wonder

Helen Temple Cooke, principal of Dana Hall from 1899-1932, was very interested in extrasensory perception.  This interest led her to become a client of Lady Wonder, the “talking horse,” who was owned by Mrs. C. Fonda of Richmond, VA.  According to Winnie Post, author of Dana’s history Purpose and Personality, Miss Cooke sent her secretary Mildred Temple to Virginia to test the horse.  Lady Wonder had a gigantic typewriter with gigantic keys in her stall.  With her nose she tapped out the answers to questions.  Miss Temple asked Lady Wonder the name of her grandfather whose name had an unusual spelling and Lady Wonder spelled it correctly.  This feat led Miss Cooke to immediately pack her bags and head to Virginia.  Miss Cooke had several consultations with Lady Wonder and seemed to be very satisfied with the answers and even recommended Lady Wonder to others. 

Two sisters, Betty and Emma Lewis class of 1949 and 1950 respectively, asked Miss Cooke where they should go to college. Miss Cooke much to their surprise suggested they consult Lady Wonder. Betty asked Lady Wonder and she tapped out O W U and Betty went to Ohio Wesleyan University.  When Emma asked Lady Wonder where she should go to college, Lady Wonder spelled out D U.  Emma went to Duke University.


Post, Winifred Lowry. Purpose and Personality: The Story of Dana Hall. Wellesley, MA: Dana Hall, 1978. Print.
Thomas, Andrew S., Jr. Wait ‘Til I Winch in the Bear: Appalachian Anecdotes. South Charlestown, WV: Jalamap Publications, Inc., 1985. Print.
Photo credit: Hank Walker, 1952, Time & Life Images/Getty Images