Margaret Eliza Ashmun was born in Rural, Waupaca County, Wisconsin, July 10, 1875. She was a graduate of Stevens Point State College. She took her Ph.B. at the University of Wisconsin in 1904, and her A.M. in 1908. She was the head of the English Department at Stout Institute, Menomonie, Wisconsin, 1904-06, and a member of the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin 1907-12. In 1912 she went to New York, and from that year on she gave the greater part of her time to writing. She kept up her home in Rural, spent some winters in Madison, and was several times abroad for considerable periods. In 1928 she adopted a little girl, whose death ten years later was a great shock and grief to her. Margaret Ashmun died March 15, 1940 at the age of 65 in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
(from “Margaret Ashmun: Wisconsin Author and Educator” by Julia Grace Wales, Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and letters, Vol. 34, pp. 221-229).
She wrote educational works; articles, stories, and poetry published in magazines; children’s books and books for teenage girls; and adult novels, including her best known of the time, The Lake.
Besides Wisconsin, she lived in Northampton, Massachusetts; Cos Cob, Connecticut; New York City; and had a few long visits in England or other parts of Europe.
June 18, 2016, Margaret Ashmun Day in Rural Wisconsin, in conjunction with Rural Historical Society’s “Sundaes on Saturday” event. Nearby Waupaca has a weekend Strawberry Fest and lists the Rural event on their website.