Mary H. Catherwood

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Photograph of Mary Hartwell Catherwood.
Mary Hartwell Catherwood was born in Luray, Ohio on December 16, 1847 and passed away in her Chicago home on December 26, 1902.[1] At the age of 14, she began teaching at a school in Jersey Township. Later, Catherwood went on to attend the Granville Female College, and after graduating she continued teaching in Granville, Ohio before moving to Danville, Illinois. There she began to write stories for children and young adults and was published in a number of magazines. These early stories helped hone her writing skills. In 1888 she released Romance of Dollard, which has been noted as her first pronounced work of fiction. Her most popular novel, Lazarre, was published in 1901 and went on to become a play. [2]
Cover page of Bony and Ban, a novel written by Mary Hartwell Catherwood.
Many of her books reference the Luray Farming Area, Buckeye Lake, and Granville with great affection including A Woman in Armor, Rocky Fork, and Bony and Ban. On the other hand, her depiction of Hebron, Ohio in her book Craque-o-Doom, does not show this same fondness. These works help paint a picture of Midwestern life in the 19th century.[3]


For more information on Mary H. Catherwood, see the collection of her letters, diaries, manuscript drafts, and other items that make up the Mary Hartwell Catherwood Papers of the Newberry Library, available through this link.


  1. Moody, Minnie Hite, “Author Deserves a Book,” The Granville Sentinel, November, 29,1990.
  2. Granville Historical Times. Fall 1992, Volume VI No. 4. Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  3. Moody, Minnie Hite, “Author Deserves a Book,” The Granville Sentinel, November, 29,1990.