Hamlin Hannibal Garland
– March 4
) was an American novelist
, and short story writer
. He is best known for his fiction
involving hard-working Midwestern
Born in West Salem, Wisconsin
, he lived on various Midwestern farms throughout his young life, but he settled in Boston, Massachusetts
, in 1884 to pursue a career in writing. His first success came in 1891 with Main-Traveled Roads
, a collection of short stories inspired by his days on the farm. He serialized a biography
of Ulysses S. Grant
in McClure's Magazine
before publishing it as a book in 1898. The same year, Garland traveled to the Yukon
to witness the Klondike Gold Rush
, which inspired The Trail of the Gold Seekers
A prolific writer, Garland continued to publish novels, short fiction, and essays. In 1917, he published his autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border. The book's success prompted a sequel, A Daughter of the Middle Border, for which Garland won the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. After two more volumes, Garland began a second series of memoirs based on his diary.
Garland died at age seventy-nine, after moving to Hollywood, California, where he devoted his remaining years to investigating psychic phenomena, an enthusiasm he first undertook in 1891. He was buried in Neshonoc Cemetery in West Salem, Wisconsin. In his final book, The Mystery of the Buried Crosses (1939), he tried to defend such phenomenon and prove the legitimacy of psychic mediums.
Hamlin Garland lived on a farm between Osage, and St. Ansgar, Iowa for quite some time. Many of his writings are based on this era of his life.
The Hamlin Garland House in West Salem is a historical site.
Middle Border Series
Newlin, Keith. Hamlin Garland: A Life
. University of Nebraska