Gene Stratton-Porter was an American writer, photographer, and film maker. Her stories depicted the natural world and inspired later scientists, such as Rachel Carson.
- Gene Stratton-Porter was born in 1863. She was the last of twelve children. Her family lived in Indiana on the Hopewell Farm.
- As a child, Gene (known then as Geneva) did not attend school. Instead, she played on the family farm, studying the natural world.
- At the age of 11, she went to school. She loved reading, playing instruments, and studying art. Her mother died a year later and Gene spent the rest of her teenage years living with various relatives. She dropped out of high school to care for her sister who was dying of cancer.
- In 1886, Gene married Charles Dorwin Porter. He was thirteen years older than her and he was a successful pharmacist and businessman. He owned hotels, oil drills, and three pharmacies. The couple had one child.
- Gene enjoyed caring for her family and home, but she wanted to do more. She began writing books and became a successful author. She built several cabins and homes in Indiana and California. Several of her homes included extensive gardens and natural areas.
- Gene wrote twenty-six books and became one of the most successful authors of her time. Her most popular books included Girl of the Limberlost, The Harvester, Freckles.
- Stratton-Porter’s books included novels, picture books, and naturalist books. Gene wasn’t a trained scientist. In fact, she didn’t graduate from high school. She taught herself to write, study nature, and take photos.
- She was passionate about conserving the environment and spent hours and hours lobbying the state of Indiana to protect the swamps of the Limberlost.
Questions and Answers
Question: Did Gene Stratton-Porter continue her writing career later in life?
Answer: Gene Stratton-Porter moved to California where she built a large home to share with her daughter, her grandchildren, and a nephew. Her husband spent his time between California and Indiana. Gene continued to work until her death in 1924, after a car accident. She is remembered for her intelligence, her independence, and her love of nature.
Visit Gene Stratton-Porter’s beloved home and learn more about her.