1930’s Author with her chow puppy and charming notations on the back of the photograph. Need help with ID’s

This amazing photograph has been tucked away in my albums for a number of years.  Today I rediscovered it and realized I had not scanned this beauty.  I turned the photo over and discovered a lengthy caption that opened up a pandora’s box of questions.  Of course as these things sometimes go, they have nothing to do with the adorable chow puppy in the photo.

The note tells of Mabel’s trip to DC, her shopping trip for a new dress and hat, and being treated to a D.C. tour.  The note was fairly easy to read but I got a bit lost on the section below.   “Rep Dirksen”,  if that is indeed what it says, was a representative from Pekin Illinois in the 1930’s which makes perfect sense.   If anyone else is reading this differently I would love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Also , I would love to hear if anyone has any ideas as to who this author “Mabel” is, from a “hick town” who was invited to Washington DC in the 1930’s.  I just adore these kind of treasure hunts

One more question for anyone who knows……any ID on the vehicle she is sitting in would be MUCH appreciated!!! So far I’m seeing photos online that indicate this is an invalid carriage but want to know more.


 Its hard to tell from these photos in the link,  but this could very well be Mabel O’Donnell the childrens author from Aurora Illinois  in my photo . I’m putting this here for future reference.


Laura Lee had Mabel up to do her shopping. This suit & hat were very becoming to Mabel-as well as her other two dresses. Laura Lee said she wanted her to look like a real author and not as if she came from a “hick town”. Sh sure received publicity while there. Rep Dirksen? from Pekin (Illinois)? furnished her a taxi and guide all the time she was there-the driver (&guide) was a lovely fellow & had been there long enuf to know all the past & present of DC.