Lillian La France was born Lillian Ossage; she changed her last name when she became involved in motorcycling. She ran away from Kansas in 1916 to be part of a traveling carnival. La France was billed as the world’s top female stunt rider, one of the few female stunt riders in the 1920s and 1930s.
La France rode the Wall of Death carnival sideshow and motordrome at the age of 30 in 1924. Besides having a skull and crossbones logo, she was skilled at riding motorcycles and driving four-wheel vehicles, and she was the first to drive a scaled-down midget car up a wall. She was one of the most popular female walls of death riders during the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, walls of death were often called silo-motordromes.
– Lillian LaFrance
It was the thrill of risking my life that made me take to drome riding. I was the girl who flirts with death. From childhood, I was inspired by wanderlust. I was always alone, dreaming of adventures– how to ride a pony out West, to follow my calling to fame. This was my secret. I shared it with no one.