Albion Interactive History / People / Helen Hull

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People

Helen Hull, 1888
    Died July 8, 1971

Helen Hull was an American novelist whose writings were well known by those in the literary world. Helen was the daughter ofWarren C. and Louise (McGill) Hull. Her father Warren was superintendent of the Albion Public Schools from 1887 to 1898. Helen was born in the family home at 308 S. Ingham Street. Helen wrote 21 novels and over 60 short stories during her lifetime, some of which were published in the Saturday Evening Post, and otherperiodicals. Many of Helen’s stories had a Michigan setting, particularly with Albion in mind, where she spent her youth.

Helen Hull as a child in Albion, with her mother Louise. June, 1890.

Source: Frank Passic. A Pictorial History of Albion, Michigan; From the Archives of the Albion Historical Society. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media Corporation. 1991.

Helen Hull, born in Albion, planned from early in her life to be a writer. She lived here until she was ten years old, while her father was superintendent of schools from 1887 to 1898. After graduating from high school, Helen attended Michigan State University when it was still the state agricultural college. She received her degree from the University of Chicago. The author Ray Stannard Baker gave her the references that led to her first teaching appointment at Wellesley College. She also taught at Barnard and was a professor of English at Columbia University from 1916 to 1956.

Most of Helen’s stories had a Michigan setting. Some had Constantine, Michigan, as their background, as she visited her grandfather there every summer as a child. Even during her years at Columbia , she returned frequently to visit her father and brother in Michigan.

She published in the Saturday Evening Post and other periodicals. She was also the author of several novels, including Hawk’s Flight and Heat Lightning, which was a Book of the Month Club nomination in 1932. A third novel,Quest, was set in Albion. Helen received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1930 and in 1939, returned to Albion to be honored by Albion College. She died on July 8, 1971.

Source: Albion Public Library, Local History Room

From: Albion AAUW. Some Notable Women of the Albion Area. Albion, Michigan: American Association of University Women. 1998.

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