Margaret Hill McCarter

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Margaret Hill McCarter
Margaret Hill McCarter, from a 1915 publication.
BornMay 2, 1860
Carthage, Indiana
DiedAugust 31, 1938
Topeka, Kansas
OccupationTeacher, writer

Margaret Hill McCarter (May 2, 1860 – August 31, 1938) was an American teacher and novelist.[1]


Born Margaret Hill near Carthage, Indiana to Quaker parents Thomas Thornbury Hill and Nancy (Davis), she was educated at public schools in Indiana then at the Quaker school Earlham College.[2] Margaret attended the State Normal School at Terre Haute, Indiana, studying Latin, English and history; earning an A.B. in 1884. She became the principal of the high school in Rensselaer, Indiana, then head of the English department at the Goshen, Indiana high school.[3] In 1888[2] she was hired to head the English department at Topeka High School in Topeka, Kansas,[4] remaining at that post for the next six years.[3]

She married William Arthur Carter, a doctor, on June 5, 1890, and the couple had three children. In 1894 she founded Western Sorosis, a women's club. Margaret became a writer in 1901;[1] contributing articles for newspapers and magazines.[2] Her first novel, The cottonwood's story was published in 1903.[3] She became the best known and highest paid novelist in Kansas for her time.[4] Her novels were historical fiction tales about Kansas, and featured an "anti-Indian" theme.[5] She was a staunch Republican and was invited to speak at the 1920 Republican National Convention in Chicago,[6] becoming the first woman ever to do so.[1]

Margaret died in Topeka, Kansas and is buried there. During her career she was awarded with honorary doctorates from Washburn University and the College of Emporia; both in Kansas. Margaret Hill McCarter Elementary School in Topeka is named after her.[1]


  • A bunch of things, tied up with strings (1901)
  • The cottonwood's story[3] (1903)
  • The overflowing waters (1903)
  • Cuddy's baby[3] (1907)
  • In old Quivira[3] (1908)
  • Cuddy and other stories[3] (1908)
  • The price of the prairie: a story of Kansas[3] (1910)
  • The peace of Solomon Valley[3] (1911)
  • A wall of men[3] (1912)
  • A Master's Degree[3] (1913)
  • Winning of the wilderness[3] (1914)
  • The cornerstone[3] (1915)
  • Vanguards of the plains, a romance of the Santa Fe trail[3] (1917)
  • The reclaimers[1] (1918)
  • Homeland: a present-day love story (1922)
  • Widening waters (1924)
  • The candle in the window (1925)


  1. ^ a b c d e "Margaret Hill McCarter", Kansapedia, Kansas Historical Society, June 2003, retrieved 2013-03-08.
  2. ^ a b c Blackmar, Frank Wilson, ed. (1912), Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc. ... with a Supplementary Volume Devoted to Selected Personal History and Reminiscence, 2, Chicago: Standard Publishing Company, p. 200.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Connelley, William Elsey (1918), A standard history of Kansas and Kansans, 5, Chicago: Lewis, pp. 2706–2707.
  4. ^ a b Baym, Nina (2012), Women Writers of the American West, 1833-1927, University of Illinois Press, p. 291, ISBN 0252078845.
  5. ^ Witschi, Nicolas S., ed. (2011), A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West, John Wiley & Sons, p. 117, ISBN 1444396587.
  6. ^ Ross-Nazzal, Jennifer M. (2011), Winning the West for Women: The Life of Suffragist Emma Smith DeVoe, University of Washington Press, p. 171, ISBN 0295990864.

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