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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 9 February 1861Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
Date of Death 24 March 1935Memphis, Tennessee, USA  (heart disease)
Birth NameGrace Duffie

Mini Bio (1)

Grace Duffie Boylan was on 9 February, 1861, at Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of eleven children born to Phelix K. and Juliette Duffie. Her father, who had emigrated from Ireland, owned the Dollar House Hotel in Kalamazoo. During the American Civil War he served for eighteen months as a Captain in the 19th Michigan Infantry, Company K. Boylan attended the "Harvard Annex," (now part of Radcliffe College) and the Northeastern Conservatory of Music in Boston. After graduation she worked as a journalist in Chicago. Duffie had worked as a art critic for the Chicago Daily Inter-Ocean and wrote a column called "One-Minute Romances from Real Life" for The Chicago Journal.

Boylan published her "Kids of Many Colors" series of children's books in 1901. Theses stories were about children of diverse races and cultures and came with titles like: "Our Little Cuban Kiddies", "Our Little Eskimo Kiddies", "Our Little Hawaiian Kiddies" "Our little Indian Kiddies", "Our Little Canadian Kiddies" and "Our Little Philippine Kiddies". Boylan also authored several works of juvenile fiction, "Yama Yama Land" and "Young Folks' Uncle Tom's Cabin" (not to be confused with the Harriet Beecher Stowe book), to name a couple.

She was well known as a writer of dialect poetry and patriotic verse with works like, "If Tam O'Shanter 'd Had a Wheel, and Other Poems and Sketches", "When Mary Looks at Me.", "Who Goes There?", "The Star of Christmas Morn" and "At Christmas Time", "When the Band Played and other readings and recitations", "Hosanna and Huzzah" and "In the Transvaal".

Books by Boylan include: "The Little White Cross", "Kiss of Glory", "The Supplanter", "The Pipes of Clovis; a Fairy Romance of the Twelfth Century", "The Old House", "Steps to Nowhere", "John of Joy", "Love Finds a Way", "Conquerors" and "When Geronimo Rode" (with Forrestine C. Hooker).

In 1918 Grace Duffie Boylan wrote, "Thy Son Liveth: Messages from a soldier to his mother", and had it initially published anonymously. The book told the story of an American soldier who after he was killed on a battlefield in France was able to send his grieving mother comforting messages through Morse code and automatic writing, assuring her that whilst his body had been destroyed, his soul was alive and vigorous. Boylan would later insist that her story was true and that she was the dead soldier's mother. Years later, 'Peter O'Fallon' would base his film A Rumor of Angels (2000) on Boylan's touching story.

Boylan was married several times. In the early 1890s she published works under the name Grace Duffie Roe, a surname that her daughter Clover also used. She had at least one child with husband Robert J. Boylan (1862-1934), a well known newspaper reporter and horse racing expert. Her third husband, St. George Kempson, whom she married on 20 December, 1905, was the editor of the New York Insurance Journal. Kempson died on 12 August, 1907, after an emergency appendectomy. She married next Louis Napoleon Geldert in March of 1909. Geldert was the owner of the respected publication, The Insurance Herald of Louisville, Kentucky. He would go to be an executive officer in the Interstate Cotton Seed Crushers Association and found the industry magazine, Cotton Oil Press. In 1906 he published "The Eagle Fire Company of New York: A History of Its First Century (1806-1906)" and in 1916 compiled and edited for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, "Facts about Georgia: a state rich in resources and opulent in opportunities".

Grace Duffie Boylan died of heart disease on 24 March, 1935, at Memphis, Tennessee. She was survived by her husband, a daughter, Clover Roscoe and son, Malcolm Stuart Boylan. She had been a member of the Arts Club of Washington (DC), Authors League of America, Poetry Society of America and past president of the National League of Pen Women.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: John F. Barlow

Trivia (1)

Mother of writer Malcolm Stuart Boylan.

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