Woman of the Century/Martha Finley
FINLEY, Miss Martha, author, born in Chillicothe, Ohio, 26th April, 1828. She has lived many years in Maryland. Her father. Dr. James B Finley, was the oldest son of General Samuel Finley, a Revolutionary officer, major in the Virginia line of cavalry, afterward general of militia in Ohio, and of Mary Brown, daughter of one of Pennsylvania's early legislators. Her maternal grandmother was the daughter of Thomas Butler, who was a great-grandson of that Duke of Ormond who was influential in making the treaty of Utrecht. The Finleys and Browns are of Scotch-Irish descent and have martyr blood in their veins. The name of their clan was Farquarharson, the Gaelic of Finley. and for many years Miss Finley used that name as her pen-name. The Butlers were MARTHA FINLEY. military men. Five of Miss Finley's great-uncles of that name were in the war of the Revolution, two of them on Washington's staff. One of her great-uncles, Dr. Finley, was one of the early presidents of Princeton College. Her grandfathers, both on her father's and mother's side, were wealthy. Her grandfather Finley received large tracts of land from the Government in acknowledgment of his services to his country during the Revolution. He laid out and owned the town of Newville, Pa. Some of his land was in Ohio, and he finally removed to that State. In the winter of 1853 Miss Finley began her literary career by writing a newspaper story and a little book published by the Baptist Board of Publication. Between 1856 and 1870 she wrote more than twenty Sunday-school books and several series of juveniles, one series containing twelve books. These were followed by "Casella" (Philadelphia, 1869). "Peddler of LaGrave," "Old Fashioned Boy" (Philadelphia, 1871). and "Our Fred" (New York. 1874). It is through her "Elsie" and "Mildred" series that she has become popular as a writer for the young. Of the "Elsie" series there have been seventeen published, and she is at work upon another. The "Mildred" series is also very popular, six of that series having been published Miss Finley's pen has not been employed in writing exclusively for the young. She has written three novels "Wanted—A Pedigree" (Philadelphia, 1879), "Signing the Contract" (New York, 1879), and "Thorn in the Nest" (New York. 1886). Miss Finley resides in Elkton, Cecil county, Md., in a cottage which she has built in a pleasant section of that town.