Helen Welshimer, 1901-1954: Poet, Fictionist, and Non-Fiction Writer
by Isaac Wood
Helen Welshimer lived through the first half of the 20th century. She was raised by P. H. and Clara Welshimer in Canton, Ohio where she graduated from McKinley High School before attending Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. After graduating there, she left Ohio to do graduate work in journalism and playwriting at Columbia University. From there, she began her writing career which she continued in several capacities. She passed away on December 22, 1954 after fifteen years of a lingering illness.
Helen possessed a relationship with Milligan in several contexts. Her father had a longstanding relationship with the school and its faculty. Further, his personal library was donated to Milligan upon his death, and Milligan honored his life through naming its new library “P. H. Welshimer Memorial Library.” Helen’s sister, Mildred, worked at Milligan as Dean of Women. Last, but certainly not least, is that Helen was a member of the Milligan College Board of Directors for twenty years.
Helen Welshimer earned renown and success as a 20th century writer. She began her writing career as a feature writer, first for the Canton Daily News and later for the Akron Beacon Journal. She eventually began work for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc. (NEA) in Cleveland. After a time there, she was transferred to the New York office. She then resigned to set out on her freelancing career which led to regularly contributing to Good Housekeeping and Christian Herald Magazines along with occasional contributions to Red Book, Women, Child Life, National Parent & Teacher’s Magazine, and McCalls. Her versatility as a writer is proven by her being awarded, by the Ohio Newspaper Women’s Association in 1932, the first prize both for poetry and for the best science story. Her popularity was demonstrated when her poetry collection “Souvenirs” sold over 75,000 copies. In sum, her writing career included four published books of poetry, three volumes of fiction, short stories, and a variety of non-fiction works.
Some items are not included for copyright purposes. The descriptions for some of these items are as follows:
Helen Welshimer’s nonfiction career includes interviews with well-known and prominent people. This includes an article written by Helen about her interviewing Mrs. Einstein at her and Mr. Albert Einstein’s home. She briefly interviewed Mrs. Roosevelt, during which she found out that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favorite food was scrambled eggs. Helen also interviewed Amelia Earhart and was the last person to do so before the pilot’s final flight.
In P.H. Welshimer’s copy of his daughter’s collection of poetry Singing Drums is pasted a description of Helen’s poetry by her publishers: “Beside the love motif, she sings of home, of mothers and children; of rainbows and cookie jars; of little boys and gardens with fireflies; of candlelight and firelight at dusk; of marching men; of a certain Young Carpenter, and of the lepers who came to Him for healing, in poetry that reveals the beauty of a shining faith.”
Four published books of Helen Welshimer’s poetry: Souvenirs and other selected poems (1933), Candlelight and other poems (1935), Singing Drums (1937), and Shining Rain (1943).
(The Mill-Agenda, 1955-01 to)This is an article in the Mill-Agenda which honors the life of Helen Welshimer alongside Mrs. Perl (Perlea) Derthick, wife of former Milligan College president Dr. Henry Derthick, after their deaths. Helen referred to the ...