Part of the American
History & Genealogy Project
Distinguished Literary Women Mace to Owen
Frances Lawton Mace
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
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.
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."
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
Countess Sarah Maria Aloisa
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
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
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
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
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
Velma Caldwell Melville
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
Helen Biglow Merriman
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
Emily Huntington Miller
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
Olive Thorne Miller
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
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,
Helen Waterson Moody
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Grace Atkinson Oliver
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
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
Sallie Margaret O'Malley
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
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
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.
Source: The Part Taken by Women in
American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle
Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.