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MCNEELY, Marian Hurd
MCNEELY, Marian Hurd. (Dubuque, IA, July 26, 1877--Dubuque, IA, Dec. 18, 1930). A nationally recognized author of children's books, McNeely began her literary career writing a column for the TELEGRAPH HERALD between 1903 and 1906. (1) In 1930 her first recognition for writing came by being the author of an "Honor Book," a runner-up recognition, for the prestigious Newbery Award. (2) Her book, The Jumping Off Place told the story of a family of orphans who inherited a Dakota homestead from their uncle and their frontier battles. Inspiration for her novel undoubtedly came from the two years she was involved in homesteading near the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. (3)
The 1930 issue of Iowa Authors listed McNeely as one of Iowa's two most notable writers of children's stories. Her second book, When She Came Home From College, was written in collaboration with Mrs. Philip B. Robbins and appeared in serial form in Ladies Home Journal before being published in book form.
After her death, her husband mailed Christmas cards containing a poem written by her until his death in 1960. (4)
1. Pendergraft, Diane, "The Jumping Off Place," Online: https://www.plumfieldandpaideia.com/2018/05/
2. Newbery Medal and Award Books, Association for Library Service to Children. Online: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyhonors/newberymedal#30s
3. Alexander, Ruth Ann, "South Dakota Women Writers and the Blooming of the Pioneer Heroine, 1922-1939," Online: https://www.sdhspress.com/journal/south-dakota-history-14-4/south-dakota-women-writers-and-the-blooming-of-the-pioneer-heroine-1922-1939/vol-14-no-4-south-dakota-women-writers-and-the-blooming-of-the-pioneer-heroine-1922-1939.pdf
4. Hellert, Susan Miller. Hidden History of Dubuque. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2016, ,p. 82