Ella Sterling Mighels

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Ella Sterling Mighels
The Story of the Files.jpg
Ella Sterling [Mighels] Cummins (1853-1934). The Story of the Files: A Review of Californian Writers and Literature...Issued under the Auspices of the World’s Fair Commission of California, Columbian Exposition, 1893. [San Francisco: Co-Operative Printing Co.], 1893.
Born Ella Sterling Clark
(1853-05-05)May 5, 1853
Mormon Island, California
Died December 10, 1934(1934-12-10) (aged 81)
San Francisco
Resting place Mountain View Cemetery
Pen name Aurora Esmeralda
Occupation California pioneer, author and literary historian
Language English
Nationality American
Notable works Wawona : an Indian story of the Northwest (1921), Book of the Ark-adian school (1928), Life and letters of a forty-niner's daughter by Aurora Esmeralda (Ella Sterling Mighels) ... (1929)
Notable awards "First Literary Historian of California"
Spouse Adley Cummins, Philip Verrill Mighels
Children Genevieve
Relatives Henry Rust Mighels, Nellie Verrill Mighels Davis

Ella Sterling Mighels (May 5, 1853 – December 10, 1934[1]) (née: Ella Sterling Clark; during first marriage: Ella Sterling Cummins; pen name: Aurora Esmeralda)[2] was a California pioneer, author and literary historian.[3] She was born in Mormon Island, California, but grew up in the town of Aurora, Esmeralda County, Nevada, leading her to adopt the pen name, "Aurora Esmeralda". She founded the California Literature Society (1913), and was named the "First Literary Historian of California" (1919). She died in San Francisco, and is buried in Oakland, California at the Mountain View Cemetery.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Her first husband was the philologist, author, lecturer and lawyer, Adley Cummins (d. 1889); they had one child, a daughter, Genevieve (1875–1905). Her second husband was the lawyer, newspaper artist, novelist and playwright Philip Verrill Mighels (d. 1911); they divorced 1910. Her in-laws were the US journalist and politician, Henry Rust Mighels, and the US civic leader and journalist, Nellie Verrill Mighels Davis.

Partial works[edit]

  • Portrait of a California girl (n.d.)
  • Books one ought to read (n.d.)
  • The little mountain princess, a Sierra snowplant (1880)
  • Explanation of Japanese village and its inhabitants (1886)
  • The story of the files; a review of California writers and literature (1893)
  • Bruvver Jim's baby (1904)
  • San Francisco redi-vivus! An open letter to all San Franciscans and all Californians (1907)
  • The full glory of Diantha (1909)
  • Society and Babe Robinson; or, The streets of old San Francisco; a play. Containing also frontispiece ... introduction, biographical sketch and portrait of author, and a "Word to the reader (1914)
  • Fairy tale of the white man : told from the gates of sunset (1915)
  • Literary California, poetry, prose and portraits (1918)
  • Wawona : an Indian story of the Northwest (1921)
  • Book of the Ark-adian school (1928)
  • Life and letters of a forty-niner's daughter by Aurora Esmeralda (Ella Sterling Mighels) ... (1929)


  1. ^ "Guide to the Ella Sterling Mighels Collection". OAC, Online Archive of California. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Egli, Ida Rae (1997). No rooms of their own: women writers of early California, 1849-1869. Heyday. pp. 261–. ISBN 978-1-890771-01-0. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/xtf/view?docId=mighels-ella-sterling-1853-1934-cr.xml". IATH, University of Virginia. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.  External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Ella Sterling Mighels". findagrave.com. Retrieved 27 February 2012.