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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Mrs. William Oglesby Griffith

Helen Sherman Griffith (Mrs. William Oglesby Griffith) is the youngest daughter of the late Major Hoyt Sherman, of Des Moines, Iowa, and a niece of General William T. Sherman.  Her father came to Iowa in 1848, and was a prominent lawyer, banker, and financier of Des Moines.  During the Civil War, by appointment of President Lincoln, he was pay-master, with the rank of Major.  Hoyt Sherman Place, the woman's club house, was their old home.  Mrs. Griffith had the habit of scribbling from her littlest girlhood, and occasionally was made blissful by having stories and sketches published in local papers and magazines.  At the age of fourteen, when living with her married sister in Cincinnati, Ohio, she won a prize of $50.00 for the best short story submitted by girls of that age, or younger, in the state of Ohio.

Miss Sherman was married in 1896 to William Oglesby Griffith, an Englishman on his father's side, but on his mother's side, grandson of General Oglesby, of New Orleans.  After a year abroad, Mr. and Mrs. Griffith returned to the United States and settled in Washington, moving later to Philadelphia, and it is since then that Mrs. Griffith has done most of her literary work, which consists principally of twenty-four plays for amateur performance, eight books for girls --- six of them in a series known as the "Letty Books" two novels and many short stories appearing at different times in various magazines.  Of these, one was a prize story, "Some Crimes and a Thief."  Mr. and Mrs. Griffith, with their four children, live at Chestnut Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, where Mrs. Griffith continues her literary work, being at present engaged upon the seventh of her "Letty Series."



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