Ben Ames Williams

Ben Ames Williams was born in Macon, Mississippi to Daniel Webster Williams and Sarah Marshall Ames on March 7, 1889. Just after his birth, he and his parents moved to Jackson, Ohio. Because his father was owner and editor of the Jackson Standard Journal in Ohio, Ben Williams grew up around writing, printing, and editing. In high school he worked for the Journal, doing grunt work in the beginning and eventually writing and editing. He attended Dartmouth College and upon graduation in 1910 was offered a job teaching English at a boy’s school in Connecticut. He telegraphed his father seeking career advice, but his handwriting was terrible and his father mistook “teaching” for “traveling” and, not wanting his son to become a traveling businessman, advised him not to take the job. Richard Cary says it later saved Williams from “a purgatory of grading endless, immature English ‘themes’” and propelled him “toward a career as one of the most popular storytellers of his time”. Right after graduation he took a job reporting for the Boston American.Williams worked hard reporting for the local newspaper, but only did this for income; his heart lay with magazine fiction. Each night he worked on his fiction writing with the aspiration that one day, his stories would be able to support himself, his wife, Florence Talpey, and their children, Roger, Ben, and Penelope. He faced many rejection letters in the beginning of his career, which only drove him to study harder and practice more.Williams was first published on August 23, 1915 in The Popular Magazine with his short story “Deep Stuff.” After that his popularity slowly grew. He published 135 short stories, 35 serials, and 7 articles for the Saturday Evening Post during a period of 24 years. After the Post took him, other magazines began eagerly seeking Williams to submit his fiction to their magazines.Williams is perhaps most famous for creating the fictional town of Fraternity, located in rural Maine. 125 of his short stories were set in Fraternity, and they were most popular in the Post. Maine is also the setting for many of his novels.Williams died of a heart attack in 1953.Source: Wikipedia



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