Florence "Flores" LaDue
1883 – 1951
Florence LaDue is portrayed by Kelsey
Born Grace Maud Bensel in Montevideo, Minnesota, her mother died while she was an infant and her father, C.D. Bensel, was a criminal lawyer and later a judge. She spent most of her young life on a Sioux reservation where her grandfather was the government agent.
Bensel left home, by some accounts running away to join a wild west show, and began performing under the name Florence LaDue. By 1905 she was appearing with Cummins’s Wild West Show and Indian Congress. While there, she met Guy Weadick, who was also an accomplished rider and roper, and they married in 1906.
Florence LaDue and Guy Weadick led a peripatetic life for the next five years. They worked with John P. Kirk’s Elite Vaudeville co. in 1908 and were appearing with Will Rogers’ Wild West show in 1910. They had a stint on Broadway in ‘Wyoming Days’ and did the Keith-Albee, Orpheum, and Pantages vaudeville circuits, as well as appearances in Glasgow, London, and Paris. LaDue often performed solo, but also with her husband, as Weadick and LaDue, and in larger groups.
By 1912, they settled in Calgary, Alberta, where LaDue helped her husband found the Calgary Stampede.
LaDue retired as undefeated World Champion Lady Fancy Roper]after performing and competing for 31 years. Towards the end of her life, in the hopes of improving her failing health, they sold their home, outside Calgary and moved to Phoenix, AZ. LaDue died of heart failure in 1951.