Elia Peattie, an Uncommon Woman


Omaha World-Herald | Short Stories of the West | Ghost Stories | Short Novels | Children's Stories | Miscellaneous

Elia Wilkinson Peattie (1862-1935) Timeline

  • 1857 Robert Burns Peattie born in Waushara County, Wisconsin, to John and Elizabeth Culross Peattie
  • 1862 Elia born on January 15 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Frederick and Amanda Wilkinson
  • 1871 Wilkinsons move to Chicago
  • 1875 Elia must drop out of school to assist father in job-printing office; her uncle, Edward Cahill, shares his books of Shakespeare with her
  • 1877 Elia must quit job to assist mother with new baby, Bertha
  • 1880 Father moves family to woods near Windsor Park
  • 1882 Elia suffers nervous prostration from family responsibilities; moves to Chicago
  • 1883 Elia marries Robert Burns Peattie on May 5; Eugene Field was Best Man
  • 1884 Son Edward Cahill Peattie born in Chicago; both Peatties writing for the Daily News
  • 1885 Elia joins Chicago Tribune as first "girl reporter"; both now on staff of Tribune; Daughter Barbara is born
  • 1887 Elia publishes first magazine fiction in St. Nicholas
  • 1888 Elia move to Omaha, including Robert's mother and her sister Bertha
  • 1889 Elia publishes The Story of America; tours the West and Alaska to write travelogue for Northwestern Railroad
  • 1890 Robert goes to Colorado Springs to recuperate; Elia publishes A Journey Through Wonderland, The Judge; begins supporting William Jennings Bryan
  • 1891 Son Roderick Peattie born; publishes With Scrip and Staff
  • 1892 Elia publishes The American Peasant with T.H. Tibbles; she meets Hamlin Garland at Populist Convention in Omaha
  • 1893 Elia helps found the Omaha Woman's Club; attends the World's Fair in Chicago where she reads three papers
  • 1894 Elia attends General Federation of Women's Clubs in Philadelphia and shares stage with Susan B. Anthony
  • 1892 Elia Publishes The Pictorial Story of America
  • 1896 Peatties move back to Chicago; Peattie publishes A Mountain Woman; Our Chosen Land; Pictorial Story of America
  • 1897 Publishes The History of United States, Indiana and Gibson County; Pippins and Cheese
  • 1898-99 Son Donald Culross born. Elia joins Chicago Women's Club, Little Room, Fortnightly Club; Elia lectures extensively; publishes America in War and Peace; The Love of Caliban, and Ickery Ann; publishes ghost story collection, The Shape of Fear; writes 100 stories in 100 days for the Chicago Tribune; Family moves to old Wilkinson "House-Home" on Bond Avenue where they live for 20 year
  • 1901-1917 Elia becomes literary critic for Chicago Tribune; initiates column titled "Poems You Ought to Know"
  • 1902 Elia edits collection Poems You Ought to Know
  • 1903 Elia edits To Comfort You: Poems of Comfort Selected by Elia. Elia and a southwestern novel, The Edge of Things; their "House-Home" burns
  • 1907 Elia attends Eagle Nest Camp retreat to reinvigorate her writing
  • 1908 Elia helps to found the Cordon Club for women authors when they are ousted from the all-male Cliff Dwellers Club
  • 1911 Elia publishes illustrated children's fantasy book, Edda and the Oak
  • 1915 Publishes The Precipice; Barbara dies; Elia can no longer write
  • 1917 Peatties move to New York City to be closer to motherless grandchildren; both work part time for the New York Tribune
  • 1921 Robert retires from Chicago Tribune after 20 years Peatties retire to "Dunwandrin" in Tryon, North Carolina
  • 1922 Elia officially retires from The Chicago Tribune
  • 1930 Robert dies in Tryon at age 73; Elia publishes poetry collection, Songs from a Southern Garden
  • 1932 Elia publishes a last play, The Great Delusion: A Drama in One Act
  • 1935 Elia dies on July 12 while visiting her grandchildren in Wellingford, Vermont, at age 73; buried next to her husband in the Tryon City Cemetery

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