Woman of the Century/Marah Ellis Ryan
RYAN, Mrs. Marah Ellis, author and actor, born in Butler county, Pa., 27th February, 1860. MARAH ELLIS RYAN. She comes of a pioneer family on both sides. Her blood is mingled Huguenot, English, German and Scotch-Irish, with a dash of Quaker gray. She is most thoroughly American. Her maiden name was Martin. Her literary talent developed early, and her first poems and stories appeared in the "Waverly Magazine," over the pen-name "Ellis Martin " She became the wife, in 1883. of the late Sam Erwin Ryan, the comedian, and went upon the stage. After five successful years before the footlights she took up the study of art. Her literary and artistic work combined proved too much for her strength, and she confined her work to literature. Much of her best work was written or conceived during her theatrical life. Since 1890 she has lived near Fayette Springs, Fayette county, Pa., in a forest area described in her "Pagan of the Alleghenies" (Chicago, 1891). There she finds health and recreation in the practical management of her farm. While she was on the stage, she had a strong liking for roles of the marked "character" order, such as old people of the witchy, grotesque sort, and that peculiarity may be noted with distinctness in her stories, in which the characters are strongly drawn on the lines indicated. She is now self-exiled from the stage and from art, and in her mountain home devotes her energies to literature. Her other novels are "Merze" (Chicago, first issued as a serial in the "Current"; "On Love's Domains" (1890); "Told in the Hills" (1891), and "Squaw Elouise" (1892).