User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

The most successful Kansas woman writer financially and the most prolific is Margaret Hill McCarter of Topeka. From the advent of her little book in 1901, "A Bunch of Things, Tied Up With Strings" to the hearty reception of her latest novel every step of the way spells success.

Margaret Hill was born in Indiana and came to Kansas in 1888 to teach English in the Topeka High School. Two years later, she became the wife of Dr. William McCarter. Of this union there are two daughters, students at Baker University and the Topeka High School and a young son, his mother's literary critic.

A wife and a mother first, a Kansas woman second, and an author third is the way Mrs. McCarter rates herself. She is capable of and does do all her housework.

Her love for literature she owes to her mother, who believed in higher education and taught Margaret to prize the few books that came her way.

After leaving the school room, the teacher instinct still strong within her, she argued if she could teach out of books written by others, why not out of books of her own? Then followed poems, short stories, biography, textbooks, the editing of Crane Classics, "One Hundred Kansas Women" and miscellanies.

In 1902, "Cuddy and Other Folks" was written and in 1903, "The Cottonwood's Story."

This same year, "The Overflowing Waters," the story of the 1903 flood, and one of her best bits of heart writing paid for the school books of almost a thousand unfortunate children. "Cuddy's Baby" appeared in 1908, followed the next year with "In Old Quivera," a thread of Coronado history. "The Price of The Prairies," three weeks after publication in the fall of 1910, became Kansas' best seller. "The Peace of The Solomon Valley" came out in 1911 and proved a popular gift book. "The Wall of Men," Mrs. McCarter's 1912 offering should be one of the required books in Kansas schools. It is authentic history and the close of the story leaves every Kansan with a greater respect and love for the state and the heroic pioneers who stood as a living wall between Kansas and the slave question. 1913 gave us the "Master's Degree," considered by many her best work. This year we have "Winning The Wilderness."

Mrs. McCarter founded the Club Member and organized the Sorosis, serving as president seven years and two terms as president of the Topeka Federation of Women's Clubs. Baker University, at Baldwin, Kansas, gave her an honorary Master's Degree in 1909, its semi-centennial anniversary.


Mccarter's Works on This Site:

  1. Vanguards of the Plains:Part I: Clearing The Trail
  2. Vanguards of the Plains:Part II: Building The Trail
  3. Vanguards of the Plains:Part III: Defending The Trail
  4. The Price of the Prairie