Image of Gene Stratton-Porter


Lifetime: 1863 - 1924 Passed: ≈ 99 years ago


Author, Naturalist, Film producer


United States

Gene Stratton-Porter

Gene Stratton-Porter born Geneva Grace Stratton, was a Wabash County, Indiana, native who became a self-trained American author, nature photographer, and naturalist. In 1917 Stratton-Porter used her position and influence as a popular, well-known author to urge legislative support for the conservation of Limberlost Swamp and other wetlands in the state of Indiana. She was also a silent film-era producer who founded her own production company, Gene Stratton Porter Productions, in 1924.

Stratton-Porter wrote several best-selling novels in addition to columns for national magazines, such as McCall's and Good Housekeeping, among others. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages, including Braille, and at their peak in the 1910s attracted an estimated 50 million readers. Eight of her novels, including A Girl of the Limberlost, were adapted into moving pictures. Stratton-Porter was also the subject of a one-woman play, A Song of the Wilderness. Two of her former homes in Indiana are state historic sites, the Limberlost State Historical Site in Geneva and the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site on Sylvan Lake, near Rome City, Indiana.

Geneva Grace Stratton, the twelfth and last child of Mary and Mark Stratton, was born at the family's Hopewell Farm on August 17, 1863. In 1874 twelve-year-old Geneva moved to Wabash, Indiana, with her parents and three unmarried siblings.

In 1884 thirty-four-year-old Charles Dorwin Porter saw Gene Stratton during her trip to Sylvan Lake, Indiana, where she was attending the Island Park Assembly, a Chautauqua gathering. Porter, a druggist, was thirteen years older than Stratton, who was not yet twenty-one. After ten months of regularly exchanging letters, the couple met at another gathering at Sylvan Lake, during the summer of 1885. They became engaged in October 1885 and were married on August 21, 1886. Gene Stratton-Porter kept her family surname and added her husband's after her marriage.


Stratton-Porter wrote twenty-six books that included twelve novels, eight nature studies, two books of poetry, and four collections of stories and children's books. Of the fifty-five books selling one million or more copies between 1895 and 1945, five of them were novels written by Stratton-Porter. Among Stratton-Porter's best-selling novels were Freckles (1904), A Girl of the Limberlost (1909), The Harvester (1911), Laddie (1913), and Michael O'Halloran (1915). Stratton-Porter incorporated every day occurrences and acquaintances into her works of fiction. Many of her works delve into difficult subject matter such as themes of abuse, prostitution, and abandonment. In the case of Her Father's Daughter (1921), the anti-Asian sentiment that her writing reflected was prevalent in the United States during that era. Her other writing also introduced the concept of land and wildlife conservation to her readers.



Stratton-Porter died on December 6, 1924, at the age of sixty-one, in Los Angeles, California, of injuries received in a traffic accident.

Books by Gene Stratton-Porter

A Girl of the Limberlost Cover image

A Girl of the Limberlost

Fiction Novel
Swamp Wildlife

A Girl of the Limberlost, a novel by American writer and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter, was published in August 1909. It is considered a classic of Indiana literature. It is the sequel to her earlier novel Freckles. The story takes place in Indian...

A Daughter of the Land Cover image

A Daughter of the Land

Romance Fiction
Family Young Independence Home Desire

Independent Kate Bates resents the fact that, as the youngest of a large family, she is expected to stay at home and help her parents while her brothers and sisters are free to pursue their desires. When she defies her family and leaves home, she fin...

The Song of the Cardinal  Cover image

The Song of the Cardinal

Fiction Novel
Marriage Love Animal Nature Farming Songs Birds

The Song of the Cardinal is about a big male Cardinal who lives in a tree near a farmer and his wife. The Cardinal immediately starts to sing to find himself a mate. Meanwhile the farmer and his wife enjoy watching this boisterous bird and seeing wha...

The Keeper of the Bees Cover image

The Keeper of the Bees

Young Mystery Imagery Suspense Journey Classics

The story follows a wounded soldier named James Lewis MacFarlane who finds solace in the peaceful world of beekeeping. He meets a young boy named Jamie, who becomes his apprentice and helps him tend to the bees. Throughout the book, readers will be t...

The Harvester Cover image

The Harvester

Romance Novel
Romantic Love Beauty Nature Happiness Forest Classics Relationships Preservations

This is a captivating novel that transports readers to a bygone era of simplicity and natural beauty. Originally published in 1911, this timeless work holds a special place in literature, showcasing the author's deep connection to the natural world a...

Michael O'Halloran Cover image

Michael O'Halloran

The story of a plucky, optimistic newsboy, Michael O’Halloran, who has been orphaned from a young age and asks nothing of the world but to “Be Square!” This is a warm and joyous story of how Michael makes life sunnier for those around him, bringing j...

Freckles Cover image


Freckles is a young man who has been raised since infancy in a Chicago orphanage. His one dream is to find a job, a place to belong and people who accept him despite his youth and the disability of having only one hand. He finds this place in the Li...

Moths of the Limberlost Cover image

Moths of the Limberlost

Gene Stratton-Porter (August 17, 1863 - December 6, 1924) was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, specializing in the birds and moths in one of the last of the vanishing wetlands of the lower Great Lakes Basin. The Limberlo...

Laddie Cover image


Based on the author's own life, this book tells the story of "little sister". The youngest of eleven, she is unwanted in the beginning. The brother who loved her most, and whom she loved most in the world, is Laddie. She is almost lonely, and it's ha...

At the Foot of the Rainbow Cover image

At the Foot of the Rainbow

This story is about three people, two men and a woman. Jimmy, selfish and deceitful, who has shamelessly lied to, cheated, and used his dear friend Dannie for years. His wife Mary, who loves another. And finally Dannie himself, the patient, kind, lov...