Lifetime: 1868 - 1952 Passed: β‰ˆ 72 years ago




United States

Clara Dillingham Pierson

Clara Dillingham Pierson was an early 20th century American children's author.

Clara Eleanor Dillingham was born in 1868 in Coldwater, Michigan, the only child of Jennie Lincoln Dillingham and Captain Lucius Abell Dillingham. After being mainly home-schooled, she went on to complete a training program for kindergarten teachers in Chicago, Illinois. She then taught in a similar program at Alma College for a few years, becoming superintendent of the college's Training Department.

Pierson became a successful author of children's books, with her most popular works being quasi-naturalistic stories about animals. Her "Among the People" series of animal story collections published between 1897 and 1902 placed her among the leading nature-story authors of her day. Due to its enduring popularity, this series is back in print. Like similar animal tales written a few years later by Thornton Burgess, her stories often carry a moral, hinted at in titles such as "The Thrifty Deer-Mouse". The "Among the People" books were illustrated by F.C. Gordon.

Another of her series features the adventures of the three Miller children and a house called Pencroft, which was also the name of the summer home in Omena, Michigan, that Pierson built with her income as a writer.

She married hardware store owner John Williams Smith Pierson in 1894, and they resided in Stanton, Michigan, in the early 1900s. They had a child who died shortly after birth, and they later adopted two sons, John Howard Pierson and Harold Dillingham. Their home on Lincoln Street in Stanton (built in 1904) is now a church.

Pierson and her husband moved to Grand Rapids in 1930, where she resided until her death in 1952. Her papers—including story drafts, correspondence, and an unpublished autobiography—are held by the University of Michigan.

Books by Clara Dillingham Pierson

Among the Meadow People  Cover image

Among the Meadow People

Animal Nature Juvenile fiction

Lovely book of nature written for children by teacher and naturalist Clara Dillingham Pierson. This book in the "Among the People" series explores the animal inhabitants of the meadow and garden. The charming prose shrinks us down and puts us in the...

Dooryard Stories  Cover image

Dooryard Stories

Humour Novel
Animal Young Nature Humorous Fiction Life Humanity Birds

A collections of stories about the animals around our houses, the birds, the cats, and even the bugs! Written in a humorous and very interesting style, the animals sound almost human, and you can learn along with them. You'll learn what happens to a...

Among the Pond People  Cover image

Among the Pond People

Fiction Fairy Tale
Animal Children Nature Children's Literature Explore Childhood

This book in the "Among the People" series explores the animal inhabitants of a pond. The beautiful writing brings the pond creatures into being in the reader's imagination and allows them a glimpse of the mysterious lives being carried out above and...

Among the Farmyard People Cover image

Among the Farmyard People

Fairy Tale
Farm Animal Children Nature Children's Literature Moral

A wonderful children's book filled with engaging stories about various farmyard animals. Each book ending with a moral which gently encourages children towards better behaviour and attitudes.

Tales of a Poultry Farm Cover image

Tales of a Poultry Farm

Another interesting book by Clara Dillingham Pierson, this time focusing on the poultry you might have in your farmyard! The chickens, ducks, and turkeys get some new experiences as a new owner comes to the farm, and does some things that seem very o...

Among the Night People Cover image

Among the Night People

No need to be afraid of the dark - here is a wonderful collection of stories about the creatures and personalities who live at night and sleep in the day. - Summary by Jude Somers

Living With Our Children:  A Book of Little Essays for Mothers Cover image

Living With Our Children: A Book of Little Essays for Mothers

This book is a collection of small essays to help parents better understand their children and offer help to parents in the task of raising them. To quote from the preface, β€œIt is hoped that the very simplicity and homeliness of method of this book...

Plow Stories Cover image

Plow Stories

This book tells of the important role of the plow, starting from its humble beginnings and how the plow has changed over time. This is achieved through a series of small stories set during different time periods in history. The introduction of the...