Woman of the Century/Esther Saville Allen
ESTHER SAVILLE ALLEN. ALLEN, Mrs. Esther Saville, author, born in Honeoye, Ontario county, N. Y., 11th December, 1837. Her parents were Joseph and Esther Redfern Saville, natives of England. Her father was a man of refined literary taste and well cultivated, as is shown by his contributions to British journals of his time. Mrs. Allen at an early age gave proof of a strong and ready mind and a passion for letters. Both were fostered by her appreciative father, whose criticism and counsel gave her mind a proper impetus and direction. Before she was ten years old she made her first public effort in a poem, which was published. At the age of twelve years she wrote for Morris and Willis a poem which they published in the "Home Journal." Her father judiciously, so far as possible, repressed all precocious display, but the passion was her master, and while a pupil in the common schools of western New York, and in the academy in Rushford, N. Y., she wrote and published many poems under the pen-name of "Winnie Woodbine." She became a teacher in the public schools of western New York and continued to write for eastern papers, assuming her proper name, Etta Saville. Moving to Illinois in 1857, she taught in the public schools until 1859, when she was married to Samuel R. Allen, a lawyer in Erie, Ill. Since her marriage all her literary productions have appeared under the name of Mrs. S. R Allen. Since 1872 she has resided in Little Rock, Ark. She is probably the author of more productions, both in prose and verse, than any other woman of her State. Much of her work has been widely copied and recopied. Devoted to charity, organized and practical, her writings in that cause have promoted the institution and development of much useful work, or revived and reinvigorated it. Though retiring by nature and disposition, she is fearless and vigorous in action when occasion calls and the right demands it. Her life-work, by her own choice, has been the faithful and efficient discharge of every duty in her home and social relations. She is a true out-growth and exemplification of the greatness of American women, to whose devotion to duty and rich display of intellect and truth in domestic relations is owing a great proportion of the might of the Nation in the past and present, and its hope for the time to come.