Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Distinguished Literary Women Mace to Owen


Frances Lawton Mace 1836 ~
Was born January 15, 1836. Her poems have appeared in the New York Journal of Commerce. At the age of eighteen she published her famous hymn "Only Waiting," in the Waterville Mail, which has been rated as a classic. In 1855 she became the wife of Benjamin L. Mace, a lawyer of Bangor, and they later removed to San Jose, California. In 1883 she published a collection of poems in a volume entitled "Legends, Lyrics, and Sonnets," and later one entitled "Under Pine and Palm."

Norma Gertrude McChesney 1876 ~
Was born March 28, 1876, in Marysville, Kansas. On her father's side she is descended from Highland Scotch ancestry, and through her mother is connected with the famous Choate family, of which Rufus and Joseph Choate are members. She is also a relative of George W. Cable; is a teacher of piano music and contributor to the London Tablet, St Peter's Net, The Lamp and Rose Leaves.

Josephine McCrackin 1846 ~
Mrs. McCrackin came to America from Prussia in 1846. Writes for a great many newspapers. Was the instigator of the movement in behalf of conserving the redwoods of California, and founded the Ladies' Forest and Song-Bird Protective Association. Was the first woman member and fourth vice-president of the California Game and Fish Protective Association. Active in the Humane Society, member of all protective societies of California, and the Woman's Press Association. A prominent Roman Catholic.

Alice McGowan 1858 ~
Miss McGowan is a sister of Grace McGowan Cooke, and was born at Perrysburg, Ohio, December 10, 1858. She was educated at the public schools of Chattanooga. In 1890, desirous of procuring literary material, she rode alone through the Black Mountain regions of North Carolina to her home in Chattanooga a distance of one thousand miles. Her stories are among the best of modern fiction, and include 'The Last Word," "Judith of the Cumberlands," and "The Wiving of Lance Cleaverage."

Ella McMahon
Sister of the late General M. T. McMahon, of New York, and sister-in-law of Rear Admiral F. M. Ramsay, United States Navy; translator of "Golden Sands," "Little Month of May" and devotional works, and is also a contributor to Catholic magazines.

Countess Sarah Maria Aloisa Spottiswood Mackin
Was born at Troy, Missouri, July 29, 1850, and was the daughter of James H. Britton, at one time mayor of St Louis. She comes of Revolutionary stock her great-grandfather having commanded the man-of-war Tempest in the American Revolution. Her husband James Mackin, was at one time state treasurer of New York. Mrs. Mackin was created a countess by Pope Leo XIII. She is the author of "A Society Woman on Two Continents," "From Rome to Lourdes," and has contributed to the Revue de la Papauté et les Peuples.

Sister Mary Magdalene (Sarah C. Cox)
Daughter of James Cox, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Mother Superior for several terms at the Convent of the Visitation, Wilmington, Delaware, and translator of devotional and religious works.

Marie Louise Malloy
Born in Baltimore. Daughter of John and Frances (Sollers) Malloy. Now dramatic editor and editorial writer and humorist of the Baltimore American over the signature "Josh Wink." Author with Creston Clark of "The Ragged Cavalier."

Mary E. Mannix 1846 ~
Born May 17, 1846, in New York City. Her father, Michael Walsh, was one of the early pioneers of the West, settling in Cincinnati, Ohio many years ago. He did much for the establishment of the Catholic Church in the West particularly in the city of Cincinnati. She married John B. Mannix, a successful Catholic lawyer of San Diego, California. Mrs. Mannix's first writings in verse and prose appeared in the Catholic World, and were followed by others in various Catholic magazines. She has written sketches, reviews, stories for children, and made some most commendable translations in prose and verse from the French, German and Spanish. She is a contributor to the leading Catholic journals of the day; has written a "Life of Sister Louise," Superior of the Sisters of Notre Dame, of Namur, in Cincinnati, and also lives of other sisters of the various orders. She is a well-known writer of children's stories.

Annie Russell Marble 1864 ~
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, August 10, 1864. Daughter of Isaiah Dunster and Nancy Maria Wentworth Russell. In 1890, married Charles Francis Marble, of Worcester, Massachusetts. Author of "Thoreau His Home, Friends and Books," "Books in Their Seasons," "Heralds of American Literature," and has edited other books.

Callie Bonney Marble
Was born in Peoria, Illinois. Daughter of Honorable C. C Bonney, a late noted lawyer of Chicago. She has inherited from a legal ancestry great mental strength. She has published two prose works, "Wit and Wisdom of Bulwer," and "Wit and Wisdom of Webster/' and has made many translations of Victor Hugo's shorter works. She has written poems, sketches, stories for periodicals, and quite a number of songs which were set to music She dramatized the "Rienzi" of Bulwer. She married Earl Marble, the well-known editor, art and dramatic critic, and author.

Elizabeth Gilbert Martin 1837 ~
Was born December 21, 1837, at Albany, New York, of Revolutionary ancestry. She married Homer D. Martin, a landscape painter; is the author of "Whom God Hath Joined," and translator of St. Amand's "Women of the French Salons" and other books.

Amelia Gere Mason
Mrs. Mason was born in Northampton, Massachusetts. The daughter of Frederick and Ruth Sheldon (Warner) Gere. Spent seven years in Europe gathering material for books in foreign libraries. The titles of some of her books are "The Women of the French Salons," "Women in the Golden Ages.'' Has also contributed to magazines.

Velma Caldwell Melville 1858 ~
Writer of prose and poetry. Was born July 1, 1858, in Greenwood, Wisconsin. Her mother's maiden name was Artlissa Jordan. Her father lost his life before Petersburg during the Civil War. She is the wife of James E. Melville, a well-known educator and prohibitionist. She was at one time editor of the Home Circle and Youths' Department of the Practical Farmer of Philadelphia, and the Hearth and Home Department of the Wisconsin Farmer, of Madison, Wisconsin. She has been one of the most voluminous writers in current publications that the Central West has produced.

Helen Biglow Merriman 1844 ~
Born in Boston, July 14, 1844. Daughter of Erastus B. and Eliza Frances (Means) Biglow. Author and artist.

Dora Richards Miller
Was born in the Island of St. Thomas, Danish West Indies. Her father, Richard Richards, was descended from a noted English family. Through her mother, she was descended from the family of Hezekiah Huntington, of Connecticut. On the death of her father, and on account of many losses through insurrection of the natives and hurricanes, to which this island was subject, her mother removed to New Orleans. In 1862 she became the wife of Anderson Miller, a lawyer from Mississippi, and went to Arkansas to reside. Troubles resulting from the war caused the breaking up of her family, and some of their experiences during the siege of Vicksburg are recounted in her articles published in the Century Magazine, entitled "Diary of a Young Woman During the Siege of Vicksburg' and "Diary of a Young Woman in the South." After her husband's death she taught in the public schools, and ultimately was appointed to the chair of science in the Girls' High School of New Orleans. During all this time she was a contributor to the local press. In 1886 her war diary was published in the Century, and attracted great attention. In 1889, she wrote, in conjunction with George W. Cable, "The Haunted House on Royal Street" She has written also for Lippincott's, Louisiana Journal of Education and Practical Housekeeper.

Emily Huntington Miller 1833 ~
Was born October 22, 1833. Graduate of Oberlin College. In 1860 became the wife of John E. Miller. Mr. Miller was principal of the academy in Granville for a number of years, and afterwards professor of Greek and Latin in the North-western College, then located in Plainfield. In connection with Alfred L. Sewell, she published The Little Corporal, which, after the great fire in Chicago, was merged into St. Nicholas, Mr. and Mrs. Miller moved to St. Paul, where Mr. Miller died in 1882. Mrs. Miller published a number of sketches and stories, and has been a constant contributor of short stories, sketches, serials, poems, and miscellaneous articles to newspapers and magazines, and earned a reputation by her work on The Little Corporal She has been connected with the Chautauqua Assembly since its commencement, and was at one time president of the Chautauqua Club. She was elected in 1898 president of the Woman's College of the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Her published literary works include fifteen volumes. She has been equally successful as a writer, educator, temperance worker, and journalist

Olive Thorne Miller 1831 ~
Is the most distinguished woman writer and lecturer on ornithology in this country. She was born in Auburn, New York, June 25, 1831. Daughter of Seth Hunt Mann and Mary Holbrook Mann. Married in 1854 to Mr. Watts Todd Miller. The lists of her books are numerous and valuable, especially to children in the study of bird life, and include, "Little Folks in Feathers and Fur." "Little Brothers of the Air," "True Bird Stories." and ''The Bird, Our Brother."

Edith Dowe Miniter 1869 ~
Born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, May 19, 1869. Daughter of William Hilton and Jennie E. Tupper Dowe. In 1887 married John T. F. Miniter, now deceased. In 1890 was city editor of the Manchester Press, the only woman editor of a daily in New England. In 1895-6 she was editor of the Boston Home Journal, and was the first woman president of the National Amateur Press Association. In 1888 she wrote an article for the Boston Globe, entitled "How to Dress on $40 a Year," which created widespread notice and discussion.

Harriet Stone Monroe 1860 ~
Author of the ode for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She is also a contributor of articles for newspapers and writer on art and literary criticism for the magazines. Miss Monroe was born in Chicago, September 23, 1860. Her father was Honorable H. S. Monroe, a lawyer of distinction in Chicago. She was a graduate of the Academy of the Visitation in Georgetown, D. C.

Helen Waterson Moody 1860 ~
Was born in Cleveland, Ohio, May 17, 1860; did newspaper work on the Cleveland Leader and Sun, and was assistant professor of rhetoric and English in the University of Wooster until 1889, when she accepted a position on the staff of the New York Evening Sun, Mrs. Moody is best known for her articles which appeared in the Sun under the heading "Woman About Town," a title created for her, and under which she wrote in a semi-editorial manner a column every day. Her husband, Winfield S. Moody, Jr., is also a journalist.

Ella Maude Moore 1849 ~
Born at Warren, Maine, July 22, 1849. Daughter of Samuel Emerson and Maria Copeland Smith. In 1872 married Joseph E. Moore, of Thomaston, Maine. Her great claim for conspicuous mention among the famous literary women of the United States is the poem known as "The Rock of Ages' which, it is said, was written hastily on the inside of an old envelope, but which is today one of the famous hymns used in almost all of the Protestant churches and is without doubt the most popular. She has written stories for girls for newspapers and magazines; also songs.

Idora M. Plowman Moore 1843 ~
Born in 1843, near Talladega, Alabama. She was known by the pen name of "Betsy Hamilton." She was the daughter of the late General Wm. B. McClellan and Mrs. Martha Robey McClellan. General McClellan was a graduate of West Point, and before the Civil War commanded the militia troops of the counties of Talladega, Clay and Randolph, in Alabama. When quite young Miss McCellan became the wife of a brilliant young lawyer, Albert. W. Plowman, of Talladega, who died a few years after their marriage. Later, Mrs. Plowman married Captain M. V. Moore, of Atlanta, Georgia, who was on the editorial staff of the Atlanta Constitution, and they made their home in Auburn, Alabama. "Betsy Hamilton" was the author of innumerable dialect sketches of the old-time plantation life, life in the backwoods among the class denominated as "crackers." She wrote for the Constitution and the Sunny South. At the personal request of Mr. Conant, the editor of Harper's Weekly, several of her sketches were illustrated and appeared in that magazine. The late Henry W. Grady was a warm personal friend of Mrs. Moore, and aided in bringing her talent before the world and making the "Betsy Hamilton" sketches familiar in England as well as this country.

Sarah Moore
Newspaper artist; journalist. Special writer and illustrator on the staff of the Detroit News. Is the daughter of Charles B. Moore and was born in Detroit.

Eliza Happy Morton 1852 ~
Born July 15, 1852, in Westbrook, a former suburb of Portland, Maine. Daughter of Wilson and Eliza Hannah Phenix Morton. Teacher of geography in the normal department of the Battle Creek College, Michigan, at one time. Has written several books on geography such as "Chalk Lessons for Geography Classes," "Potter's Elementary Geography," "Potter's Advanced Geography," also teachers' editions of both works, "Morton's Elementary Geography," "Morton's Advanced Geography' "Thought; Its Origin and Power," many songs and hymns one of well-known songs entitled "The Songs My Mother Sang."

Louise Chandler Moulton 1835 ~
Mrs. Moulton was born in Pomfret, Connecticut, April 5, 1835. She early began to contribute to periodicals under the name of "Ellen Louise," and was but nineteen years of age when she published her first book, entitled "This, That, and the Other." In 1855 she married William U. Moulton, a publisher of Boston. After her marriage she wrote short stories for magazines, and is the author of a novel, "Juno Clifford." From 1870 to 1876 she was the literary correspondent of the New York Tribune, and also contributed a weekly letter to the Sunday Herald, of Boston; wrote letters during her travels abroad from London and Paris for American newspapers. In 1877 she edited two volumes of verse, "Garden Secrets" and "A Last Harvest." She is especially fortunate in her stories for children. Mrs. Moulton died in 1906.

Mary Antonio Gallagher Mercedes
Who is known under the pen name of "Rev. Richard W. Alexander;" is a Sister of Mercy in the diocese of Pittsburgh. Her parents were among the early settlers of eastern Pennsylvania, and were descendants of the Hookey and Drexel families. She became a Sister of Mercy at the age of eighteen; was treasurer of the extensive community of Pittsburgh, and later became a teacher in St Xavier's, Beatty, Pennsylvania, where she is at present. She is the author of several books and plays for girls, used in many of the convent schools throughout the world; is a contributor to the Ave Maria, The Missionary, Catholic Standard and Times.

Mary Aloysia Molloy
Author of a concordance to the Anglo-Saxon version of "Bede's Ecclesiastical History" and articles on the "Celtic Revival and Pedagogical Subjects" "Word Pairs, A Comparative Study of French and English' and "Rhetorical Structure."

Emma Huntington Nason 1845 ~
Was born August 6, 1845, in Hallowell, Maine. Poems for children of larger growth have appeared over her signature in the leading periodicals. She has also written a series of valuable art papers as well as translations from the French and German.

Jean Elizabeth Ursula Nealis
Is the daughter of John Wilkinson, a distinguished engineer, and was born in Frederickton, New Brunswick. One of her ancestors was the founder of the city of Portland, Maine; author of "Drift," a volume of poems, and contributor of poems and stories to Catholic publications.

Eliza J. Nicholson 1849 ~
Born in 1849 in Hancock County, Mississippi, and died February 15, 18961. Contributor to the New York Home Journal and other papers of high standing under the pen name of "Pearl Rivers." When asked by the editor of the New Orleans Picayune to become literary editor of that paper, a newspaper woman was unheard of in the South. She was not only the pioneer woman journalist of the South, but became the foremost woman editor. In 1878 she became the wife of George Nicholson, then manager, and afterwards part proprietor, but Mrs. Nicholson, up to the day of her death, shaped the policy of the paper.

Regina Armstrong Niehaus 1869 ~
Was born in Virginia, March 4, 1869. Daughter of Thomas J. and Jane Ann Welch. Married Charles Henry Niehaus, in 1900. Has contributed poems, stories and critiques to leading New York magazine since 1896, also to The Studio, London.

Sara Louisa Vickers Oberholtzer 1841 ~
Born May 20, 1841, in Uwchlan, Pennsylvania. Her father, Paxon, and her mother, Anne T. Vickers were cultured Quakers. Among her best-known odes was "The Bayard Taylor Burial Ode," sung as Pennsylvania's tribute to her dead poet at his funeral services in Longwood, March 15, 1889. She is very much interested in the study of natural history, and has been considered a naturalist of some prominence; has one of the finest collections of Australian bird skins and eggs in the United States, and has given much attention to the work of introducing school savings banks into the public schools, also aided in instituting the University Extension movement; is prominent in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Maud Andrews Ohl 1862 ~
Was one of the best known newspaper writers of the United States, being for many years correspondent for the Atlanta Constitution, which her husband represented in Washington, and other newspapers of the country. She was born December 29, 1862, in Taliaferro County, Georgia. Her maiden name was Maud Andrews. She spent her early childhood in the home of her grandfather. Judge Andrews, in Washington, Georgia. Her husband, J. K. Ohl, is now in China on special work for some of the leading New York dailies.

Grace Atkinson Oliver 1844 ~
Born in Boston, September 24, 1844. In 1869 she became the wife of John Harvard Ellis, the son of Reverend John E. Ellis, of Boston, who died a year after they were married. She was for some years a regular contributor to the Boston Transcript. In 1874 Mrs. Ellis spent a season in London and while there met some of the members of the family of Maria Edgeworth, who suggested her writing the life of Miss Edgeworth. This she did, and the book was published in the famous old comer book store in Boston, in 1882. In 1879 she became the wife of Doctor Joseph P. Oliver, of Boston. Subsequently she wrote a memoir of the Reverend Dean Stanley, which was brought out both in Boston and London. Mrs. Oliver is a member of the New England Woman's Press Association and the New England Woman's Club; vice-president of the Thought and Work Club, in Salem, and a member of the Essex Institute, in Salena. Mrs. Oliver died in 1899.

Elizabeth Martha Olmsted 1825 ~
Born December 31, 1825, in Caledonia, New York. Her father, Oliver Allen belonged to the family of Ethan Allen. In 1853 she became the wife of John R. Olmsted, of LeRoy, New York. The Olmsteds were descended from the first settlers of Hartford, Connecticut and pioneers of the Genesee Valley, New York. Her poems were well known during the war, and appeared in the news-papers and magazines of that period.

Katherine A. O'Mahoney
Born in Kilkenny, Ireland. Daughter of Patrick and Rose O'Keeffe. She married Daniel J. O'Mahoney; teacher in the Lawrence High School, and lecturer on literary and historical subjects; founded, published and edited the Catholic Register, and was contributor to the Boston Pilot, the Sacred Heart Review, Donahoe's Magazine and magazine of Our Lady of Good Counsel; prominent in the women's branch of the Irish Land League; founder and president of the Aventine Literary Club and of the Orphans' Friends' Society, of Lawrence County; organizer of a division of the Ladies' Auxiliary, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and was its president for five years, and also president of the Essex County Auxiliary; organizer and first president of the St Mary's Alumnae Association, vice-president of the Lawrence Anti-Tuberculosis League; author of "Catholicity in Lawrence," "Faith of Our Fathers," a poem; "Moore's Birthday," a musical allegory; "Famous Irish Women," and a collection of Hibernian odes. Mrs. O'Mahoney was among the first Catholic women to speak in public in New England, and has delivered her lectures in many of the cities. Some of these are entitled "A Trip to Ireland," "Religion and Patriotism in English and Irish History," "Mary, Queen of Scots, and Joan of Arc," "An Evening with Milton," an illustrated lecture on "Paradise Lost;" "An Evening with Dante" and "The Passion Play of Oberammergau."

Sallie Margaret O'Malley 1862 ~
Was born in Centreville, Wayne County, Indiana, December 8, 1862, and is the wife of the distinguished and well-known poet and writer, Charles J. O'Malley. She is a descendant of the noted Claiborne called the "Scourge of Maryland" and also of the noted Hill family, of Virginia, her father being a cousin of A. P. Hill, called "Fighting Hill." Her mother was Sallie Rogers Ragland Wilson, a descendant of James Wilson, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Mrs. O'Malley has illustrated many of her husband's poems, and is a composer of music, and has written quite a number of songs. She is also author of several novels, among them "The Boys of the Prairie," "An Heir of Dreams."

Mary Boyle O'Reilly 1873 ~
Was born in Boston, Massachusetts, May 18, 1873; was prison commissioner for Massachusetts at one time and trustee of the Children's Institution Department of Boston; founder of the Guild of St. Elizabeth; contributor to the Catholic World, Harper's Magazine and New England Magazine; is editorial writer for the Boston Transcript; prominent in many of the philanthropic associations of Boston and the state of Massachusetts.

Mary Frost Ormsby 1852 ~
Was born in 1852 in Albany, New York. Her family connections included many distinguished persons. She opened a school known as the Seabury Institute, in New York City, a private school for young women. She has been active in reforms and movements on social and philanthropic lines. Mrs. Ormsby is a member of the Sorosis Club also of the American Society of Authors, Woman's National Press Association, an officer and member of the Pan Republican Congress and Human Freedom League, a member of the executive committee of the Universal Peace Union and in 1891 was a delegate from the United States to the Universal Peace Congress, in Rome, Italy. Writer of short stories and a contributor of articles to various publications.

Mary Alicia Owen 1858 ~
Was born January 29, 1858 in St Joseph, Missouri. Daughter of James A. Owen, a lawyer and writer on finance, and Agnes Jeannette. After several years of successful newspaper work she turned her attention to short stones and became a contributor to many of the leading periodicals; later turned her attention and devoted herself to the collection of the curious and romantic myths and legends of the Mississippi Valley. Her most notable success has been the discovery of the Voodoo stories and ritual. Her papers on this subject were read before the American Folk Lore Society at one of its annual meetings in Philadelphia, also before the Boston Folk Lore Society and the International Folk Lore Congress in London, England. She has prepared books on the Voodoo magic and the myths of the rubber devil.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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