by Annie Fellows Johnston
Annie Fellows Johnston, born in 1863, grew up in McCutchanville, Indiana as Annie Julia Fellows. Her father, a Methodist minister, died when she was two. Her mother was a strong advocate of Annie’s education, and encouraged her to pursue her writing. Fellows attended the University of Iowa, returned home to teach for a few years, and then traveled domestically and across Europe. When she came back, she married her widowed cousin, William L. Johnston. He was also very supportive of her writing, and she used her career to support the three young children he left behind after he died in 1892. She traveled in the southwestern US, after his death, before settling down in Kentucky.
Much of Johnston’s travels are reflected in her writings. She was a popular author of children’s books, perhaps most notably, The Little Colonel series. In 1935, a Shirley Temple film, The Little Colonel, was derived from Johnston’s work.