Helen Markley Miller

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Helen Catherine Knapp Markley Miller[1] (December 4, 1896 – November 1984)[2][3] was an American writer of historical and biographical fiction for children taking place in the Western United States.[4]


Helen Markley Miller was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa.[5] In 1919 she graduated from the Iowa Teachers College in her city of birth.[6] Subsequently she worked as an English teacher until her marriage.[6] She married journalist Martin Baxter Miller (May 30, 1900 – May 14, 1944), who became managing editor at the Idaho Statesman. After her husband died of a heart attack, she picked up teaching again.[6][7]

In 1953 Doubleday published Miller's first book, Promenade All.[8][9] In 1954 she graduated with a master's degree from Western State College of Colorado.[5][6] Her masters' thesis, Let me be a free man, was about Chief Joseph.[10] Like many of her books, it was a fictionalized biography.[10]

After her graduate studies, Miller lived in McCall, Idaho[5][11] [12] and wrote 21 more books. All were published by major publishing houses. She was represented by literary agent Barthold Fles.[13][14] Miller had taught at the University of Idaho.[15]

Helen Markley Miller's only son,[16] Andrew Markley "Mack" Miller, participated as a cross-country skier in the Winter Olympics of 1956 and 1960.[17] Mack and his sport formed the inspiration to Mrs. Miller's sixth novel, Ski fast, ski long.

In 1966, Promenade all was published in German as Indianerblut (Indian blood).[18]


  • 1953 - Promenade all (Doubleday)[8][9]
  • 1957 - Dust in the gold sack (Doubleday)[19]
  • 1957 - Benjamin Bonneville, soldier explorer, 1796-1878 (Messner)[20]
  • 1959 - Miss Gail (Doubleday)[21]
  • 1959 - Thunder Rolling; the Story of Chief Joseph (Putnam)[15][22]
  • 1960 - Ski fast, ski long (Doubleday)
  • 1960 - Woman doctor of the West, Bethenia Owens-Adair (Messner)
  • 1961 - The long valley (Doubleday)
  • 1961 - Westering women (Doubleday)
  • 1962 - The lucky laces (Doubleday)
  • 1962 - Sagebrush ranch (Doubleday)
  • 1962 - Striving to be champion, Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Kingston House)
  • 1963 - Blades of Grass (Doubleday)
  • 1964 - Kirsti (Doubleday)
  • 1965 - Ski the mountain (Doubleday)
  • 1966 - Julie (Doubleday)
  • 1966 - Lens on the West; the story of William Henry Jackson (Doubleday)
  • 1967 - Janey and friends (Doubleday)
  • 1968 - Beloved Monster (Doubleday)
  • 1968 - George Rogers Clark, frontier fighter (Putnam)
  • 1970 - The San Francisco earthquake and fire (Putnam)
  • 1971 - Jedediah Smith on the far frontier (Putnam)

Honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ The Iowa Authors Collection
  2. ^ http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/ssdi/doc/ssdi/v1:112FA8BB671F0111
  3. ^ Comment: Other sources put Ms. Millers date of birth in 1899 or 1909, for example: Sarkissian, Adele. Writers for young adults: biographies master index. p. 218. Miller, Helen Markley 1899- 
  4. ^ School libraries: 29. 1964. A superb story-teller who makes the pioneer life of the American frontier leap into being, Helen Markley Miller has written many books about her chosen country.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b c Ward, Martha; Marquardt, Dorothy (1971). Authors of books for young people (2 ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-8108-0404-3. MILLER, Helen Markley - Born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, she graduated from Iowa State Teachers College and received her master's degree from Western State College of Colorado. She has been an English teacher both before her marriage and after the death of her husband who been an editor on a newspaper. Mrs. Miller once bought a trailer and lived in some of the ghost towns in Idaho. She later lived in McCall, Idaho ... 
  6. ^ a b c d Penson-Ward, Betty (1990). Idaho women in history: Big and little biographies and other gender stories. 1. Legendary. ISBN 978-0-9625040-2-0. The Long Valley, about Finnish settlers in Valley County, was one of the 22 novels and biographies by Helen Markley Miller of McCall, another of the state's more successful miners of regional treasure. A 1919 graduate of Iowa State Teachers College, she got her master's degree at 1954 at age 58 and after she retired from teaching she wrote full-time, both children's and adult books with mostly western themes tied to Idaho. 
  7. ^ Staff report (May 15, 1944). Martin B. Miller. New York Times
  8. ^ a b Chicago Schools Journal: 34. 1953. Promenade All. By Helen Markley Miller. Illustrated by Dorothy Bayley Morse. Doubleday, 1953. Pp. 278. $2.50. (SHS) Against a background of pioneer days in the Northwest and later in Canada, Dell Brouilliette experiences a full and eventful life in which she discovers the secret of her Indian blood and finds romance.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ a b Castor, Gladys Crofoot (1953-06-14). "Promenade All". New York Times Book Review. p. BR16. Life's Tune; PROMENADE ALL. By Helen Markley Miller. Illustrated by Dorothy Bayley Morse. 278 pp. New York: Doubleday & Co. $2.50. For Ages 12 to 16. At 10 Dell Brouilliette was a thoughtful girl, essensentially happy, occasionally troubled by the reasonable suspicion that she did not really belong to her family, although she felt well-loved. 
  10. ^ a b Bibliographical record for "Let me be a free man" at Worldcat
  11. ^ The Idaho Librarian: 116. 1969. The Trustees and Friends Division very graciously joined the School Division and brought their guest speaker, Mrs. Helen Markley Miller, a McCall author.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Miller, Helen Markley (1953). "Mountains and Deserts". Young Wings. Junior Literary Guild. Mountains and deserts still induce me to travel in the West, but my home is in the village of McCall, up in the Idaho mountains where the snows fall softly nearly every winter. Skiing is the big sport there. In fact, it is such a popular sport that the boys and girls wear boots and ski pants to school ... 
  13. ^ Moon Canyon. Scott Foresman reading. 1982. p. 407. Copyright 1961 by Helen Markley Miller. Adapted by permission of Doubleday & Company, Inc. and Barthold Fles, Literary Agent. 
  14. ^ Sights and Sounds. 1985. p. 575. Adaptation of 'Salmon River Polly' from Westering Women by Helen Markley Miller. Copyright 1961 by Helen Markley Miller. Reprinted by permission of Doubleday & Company, Inc. and the Barthold Fles Literary Agency. 
  15. ^ a b Junior Libraries. 5: 103. 1958. Thunder Rolling: The Story of Chief Joseph (Putnam, Apr. 6, $3.) - Helen Markley Miller lives in Idaho near the descendants of Chief Joseph. She has been a teacher at the University of Idaho.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ The king's pines of Idaho: a story of the Browns of McCall - Grace Edgington Jordan - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  17. ^ http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/mi/andrew-miller-1.html[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Indianerblut - Helen Markley Miller, Elinor Kirsch - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  19. ^ Junior Libraries. 4: 106. 1957. ISSN 0000-0035. Dust in the Gold Sack (Doubleday $2.95). Junior Literary Guild selection. Believable characters enrich a well-rounded narrative set in a gold-mining camp in the Northwest in the 1860s.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "Idaho Yesterdays". 1. 1957: 34. Mrs. Helen Markley Miller has brought us in her latest book Benjamin Bonneville, Soldier-Explorer, a vivid account of a courageous, daring explorer of the west, which should be of great interest not only to young people but to adults who enjoy reading of the early days. The author, who now resides in McCall, Idaho, became interested in Captain Bonneville while reading Washington Irving's account of his adventures. 
  21. ^ America. 101: 433. 1959-06-13. Miss Gail, by Helen Markley Miller (Doubleday. $2.75), gives a vivid picture of the problems of ordinary decent townsfolk in a gold-mining outpost. There is a sympathetic sidelight on the building of the Catholic church in Idaho City. Teen-age girls.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ Oregon Historical Quarterly. 62. 1961. THUNDER ROLLING: THE STORY OF CHIEF JOSEPH, by Helen Markley Miller, illustrated by Albert Orbaan. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1959. 190 pp. $3.00. A FICTIONAL ACCOUNT of Joseph's boyhood, training for leadership, his struggle to keep Wallowa from the white men, and the long series of battles which ended inevitably in defeat for the Nez Perce.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]