Woman of the Century/Minnie Ward Patterson
PATTERSON, Mrs. Minnie Ward, poet and author, was born in Niles, Mich. Her youth was passed in that town. Her maiden name was Ward. Her father was a teacher and a man of some literary and forensic ability, and her mother was a woman of decidedly poetic taste. Minnie Ward's naturally poetic temperament found exactly the food it craved in her surroundings, and many of her early school compositions displayed much of both the spirit and art of poetry. MINNIE WARD PATTERSON. Before she reached womanhood, both her parents died, and she was left to the care of strangers and almost wholly to the guidance of her own immature judgment. She appreciated the value of education and by teaching school, taking a few pupils in music and painting and filling every spare moment with writing, she managed to save enough to take a course of study, graduating with honor from Hillsdale College at the age of twenty years, and afterwards received from her alma mater the degree of A.M. Soon after leaving school, she opened a studio in Chicago, and while there was a frequent contributor to the "Sunday Times," usually over the signature of "Zinober Green." While on a sketching tour along the Upper Mississippi, during the summer of 1867, she became the wife of John C. Patterson, a former class-mate in Hillsdale, and a graduate of the law school in Albany, N. Y., who has since become a prominent member of the Michigan bar and has been twice elected to the Senate of that State. They reside in Marshall, Mich. Mrs. Patterson has never been a profuse writer of poetry, but what she has written bears the impress of a clear, well-disciplined mind, earnestness of purpose and intensity of feeling, and her poems have appeared in the Boston "Transcript," "Youth's Companion," "Wide Awake," "Peterson's Magazine," the "Free Press" and the "Tribune" of Detroit, the "Times" and the "Journal" of Chicago, and various other periodicals. Her only published volume of poems is entitled "Pebbles from Old Pathways." Not long after the appearance of that book she became greatly interested in the Norse languages and literature, and her next work of importance was the translation of three volumes of "The Surgeon's Stories" from the Swedish, entitled respectively "Times of Frederick I," "Times of Linnæus," and "Times of Alchemy." Besides those volumes from the Swedish, she has translated many folklore tales from the Norwegian, which first appeared in the Detroit "Free Press" and "Demorest's Magazine,'" as well as some novelettes by living Scandinavian writers. She has now an unpublished novel and an original epic poem. During 1889 she had a series of articles running in the Detroit "Sunday Free Press," entitled "Myths and Traditions of the North," which give an outline of Norse mythology intermingled with quaint original remarks and sparkling wit. Besides the above mentioned and similar work, she is the author of words and music of a half-dozen songs of much sweetness and depth of feeling.