Mrs. Van Ludwig was born as Mary Alice Lister in Danville, Illinois, October 29, 1875. She attended country school in Illinois. In 1883, her father homesteaded near Onida, South Dakota. His daughter remained in Illinois caring for her grandmother, but made several visits to Sully County. She was married in 1898 and after farming in Illinois for eight years, she and her husband purchased a piece of bare prairie near Onida and upon which they built their home. Through the years, the farm grew to 1,800 acres.
The Ludwigs had four children.
Mr. Ludwig died February 14, 1942, after a long illness.
After her husband’s death she moved into the small house in Onida.
Mrs. Ludwig has been an active member of the Extension home demonstration work since it was started in the county in 1923. She served as chairman of her club, chairman of the county Extension organization, chairman of the northeast district of federated clubs, and has held numerous other offices in Extension work. In 1948 she was one of the South Dakota delegates to the Associated Countrywomen of the World association meeting held in Amsterdam, Holland.
Mrs. Ludwig was active in Extension work in the early years because she felt it was a great help to her in making her home.
Mrs. Ludwig has assisted with 4-H work for many years. She was a Sunday school teacher for seven years. The Ludwigs have been members of the Onida Presbyterian Church in Onida since coming from Illinois.
She has been active in work connected with the annual county fair. She works every year with the exhibits, booths, decorations and an annual pageant portraying Sully county history.
Mrs. Ludwig has won many prizes with her canning and crocheting both at the county and state fairs. One year she entered the national crocheting contest and received an award of merit.
Mrs. Ludwig has compiled a scrapbook and report of her trip to Europe. She has spoken at a number of meetings reporting on the activities of the international countrywomen’s organization.