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Ohio Literary Timeline

1788-1875
1876-1900
1901-1920
1921-1930
1931-1940
1941-1950

1951-1960
1961-1970
1971-1980
1981-1990
1991-2000
2001-Present

Timeline Home

1901

William Dean Howells's two-volume work, Heroines of Fiction (Notable American Authors) is published.

Paul Laurence Dunbar's book Candle-Lightin' Time is published.

Charles Waddell Chesnutt's novel The Marrow of Traditon is published.

1902

Ohio adopted its state flag. Each element represents a different aspect of Ohio's history. The large blue triangle symbolically illustrates Ohio's hills and valleys while the stripes represent waterways and roads. There are thirteen stars grouped around the circle, which stand for the original thirteen states of the Union. The other four stars at the peak of the triangle mean that Ohio was the seventeenth state admitted to the Union. And the "O"? That stands for "Ohio"!

A novel by William Dean Howells is published: The Kentons. Also that year, Literature and Life is published.

The Sport of the Gods, a novel by Paul Laurence Dunbar, is published.

Zane Grey's article, "A Day on the Delaware," is published in Recreation Magazine.

Langston Hughes is born on February 1 in Joplin, Missouri.

1903

Ohioans Orville and Wilbur Wright, owners of a bicycle shop in Dayton, stage their first flight at Kitty Hawk

When Malindy Sings, a novel by Paul Laurence Dunbar, is published.

William Dean Howells's novel Letters Home is published.

Ambrose Bierce's book Shapes of Clay is published

Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote lyrics for the musical In Dahomey.

Zane Grey writes, illustrates, and publishes his first novel, Betty Zane.

1904

An illustrated volume of Paul Laurence Dunbar's poems, Li'l Gal, is published.

O. Henry's first collection of short stories, Cabbages and Kings, is published.

William Dean Howells's novel The Son of Royal Langbrith is published.

1905

Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow, a collection of seventy-five poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar, is published. Later that year, another Dunbar collection titled Howdy, Honey, Howdy, is published.

Charles Waddell Chesnutt's final novel, The Colonel's Dream, is published.

O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi" is published.

William Dean Howells publishes a novel titled London Films, Travel and Description, and a story "Editha."

Mildred Wirt Benson, best known as Carolyn Keene, the author of Nancy Drew books, is born Mildred Augustine on July 10 in Ladora, Iowa.

1906

Ambrose Bierce departs from the genre of horror to compose The Cynics Word Book, which was republished in 1911 under the title The Devil's Dictionary.

After years of declining health brought on by tuberculosis and exacerbated by alcoholism, poet and novelist Paul Laurence Dunbar dies on February 9 in Dayton, Ohio.

This year, Sherwood Anderson moves to Elyria, Ohio, where he lives for seven years. While here, he owns a paint and roofing products factory and continues his writing.

Zane Grey publishes two novels, The Spirit of the Border and The Shortstop.

O. Henry's short story "The Four Million" is published.

1907

Two short stories by O. Henry are published: "The Heart of the West" and "The Trimmed Lamp." Also, he publishes a collection of his stories titled Heart of the West.

Author Jack Schaefer is born on November 19 in Cleveland, Ohio.

1908

Zane Grey's novel The Last of the Plainsmen is published.

Two collections by O. Henry are published: The Gentle Grafter and Voice of the City.

William Dean Howells is elected the first president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

William Howard Taft, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is elected President of the United States.

1909

Ambrose Bierce publishes two books: The Shadow on the Dial and Write it Right.

Zane Grey's novel The Last Trail is published.

O. Henry publishes two collections of his work: Options and Roads of Destiny.

William Dean Howells becomes a founding member of the new National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which today is known as the NAACP.

1910

William Dean Howells's novel Reminiscences and Criticism is published.

Zane Grey's novel The Heritage of the Desert is published.

William Sidney Porter, the man who wrote stories under the pen name O. Henry, dies on June 5 in New York City. That year, two of his collections are published: The Ransom of Red Chief and Strictly Business.

1911

Zane Grey's novel The Young Lion Hunter is published.

O. Henry's collection of short stories titled Sixes and Sevens is published posthumously.

Novelist and journalist Fletcher Knebel is born on October 10 in Dayton, Ohio.

1912

Zane Grey's most popular western, Riders of the Purple Sage, is published.

O. Henry's collection of stories titled Rolling Stones is published posthumously.

Andre Norton is born (Alice Mary Norton) on February 17 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Earl Derr Biggers produces his first play, If You're Only Human.

1913

Zane Grey's serial Desert Gold is published.

Earl Derr Biggers first novel, Seven Keys to Baldpate, was published.

Conrad Richter's first published story, "How Tuck Went Home," appears in Cavalier.

1914

On July 28, World War I begins as the Ottoman Empire declares war on Bosnia.

Author Ambrose Bierce, who was also known as a master of the macabre, disappears in war-torn Mexico and is presumed dead.

Zane Grey's serial The Light of Western Stars is published.

1915

Zane Grey publishes a serial, The Rainbow Trail, and a comic titled Lone Star Ranger.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters institutes its Howells Medal for Fiction award in honor of William Dean Howells.

Robert McCloskey is born September 15 in Hamilton, Ohio.

Dramatist Jerome Lawrence is born in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 14.

John Crowe Ransom publishes his first essay, "The Question of Justice," in the July issue of the Yale Review.

1916

William Dean Howells's novel The Leatherwood God is published.

Sherwood Anderson's first novel, Windy McPherson's Son, is published.

1917

On April 6, The United States enters World War I on the side of the Allies.

Sherwood Anderson's book Marching Men is published.

O. Henry's collection of short stories titled Waifs and Strays is published posthumously.

1918

Sherwood Anderson's book Mid-American Chants is published.

Dramatist Robert E. Lee is born on October 15 in Elyria, Ohio.

Zane Grey's novel The U.P. Trail is published and makes number one on the best-seller list.

The Society of Arts and Sciences announces the O. Henry Memorial Award for best American short story. The award becomes an annual event in honor of O. Henry.

1919

On June 28, the Treaty of Versailles is signed, ending World War I.

Sherwood Anderson's widely recognized book Winesburg Ohio is published. This book made him a revolutionary force both in the form and subject matter of the American short story.

John Crowe Ransom's first book of poetry, Poems about God, which was completed during his military service, is published.

1920

Sherwood Anderson's book Poor White is published.

Zane Grey publishes the novel The Man of the Forest, which hits number one on the best-seller list.

On May 11, author and critic William Dean Howells dies in his sleep. The cause of death is cited as pneumonia.

Warren G. Harding, from Corsica, Ohio, is elected President of the United States.

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