Lifetime: 1859 - 1929 Passed: ≈ 94 years ago




United States

Helene Adeline Guerber

Hélène Adeline Guerber  also known as H.A. Guerber, was an American author of many books, most of which were lively retellings of myths, legends, folklore, plays, epic poetry, operas and history. She was also a teacher.

Although several books by Guerber are still in print, details about her life are scant. There are entries for her in three or four biographical sources from the early 1900s, but apart from listing the books she wrote, these sources provide almost no facts about her life. These book sources are supplemented by two short death notices, six Census records and her memorial on findagrave.com. Even the scant information is sometimes conflicting. Although Hélène Guerber published over two dozen books in her lifetime, as a person she is almost forgotten.

According to her death announcement which appeared in the Publishers Weekly in 1929, Guerber was born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan in 1859. Census records list her father as Arnold S. Guerber, born in 1830 in Italy to Swiss parents, and her mother as Emma Guerber, also born in 1830 and of Swiss nationality. Arnold arrived in America in 1845, and Emma in 1853. In 1900 they had been married for 47 years, so they must have gotten married the year Emma arrived in America - 1853.

Arnold Guerber held various jobs In 1870, he was an Importer of straw goods; in 1880 he was a farmer; and in 1892 and in 1900 he was a real estate broker. The Guerber family appeared well-off. In 1870, when Arnold was 40, he owned real estate valued at $14,000 and personal property valued at $3,000. According to the Censuses of 1870, 1900 and 1910, the family also kept a domestic servant.

The 1900 Census states that the Guerbers had five children - three sons and two daughters - Hélène was the third child in the family. The other children were: Frederick  Louis  Paul  and Adele. Hélène was the only one born in Michigan - the other children were all born in New York, and except for Hélène's birth in the Midwest, all records show the family residing on the East Coast. From 1870 to 1910, the family lived in Rockland County, New York In 1870, in the town of Ramapo, NY; in 1880, when Arnold was working as a farmer, in the unincorporated village of Monsey, NY; and in 1892, 1900 and 1910 in Orangetown, NY Some sources during this time list Guerber as living in Nyack, NY, but Nyack is actually a village within Orangetown.

Hélène Guerber died on May 26, 1929. Her simple death notice, published in the Montclair.

Her parents Arnold and Emma and her brother Louis are also buried in Greenwood Cemetery, NY.

Books by Helene Adeline Guerber

The Story of the Greeks  Cover image

The Story of the Greeks

Fairy Tale
Short Story History Children Children's Literature Ancient Myths Legends Greece

This book is a collection of stories and histories about the Ancient Greeks, including many of their famous myths!