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Abstract

Our fellow Adams Countian, Elsie Singmaster Lewars (1879-1958), was a well -known author of regional fiction during the first half of the twentieth century. She wrote about the people and places she knew first hand. She spent most of her first twenty years in an ethnic Pennsylvania German community, Macungie, Pennsylvania. Having descended on her father’s side from Pennsylvania Germans who settled in the eastern part of the state beginning in the eighteenth century, she understood “her people” because she lived among them. When she began to write for publication in 1905, her first characters and plots drew upon her heritage. The early twentieth century interest in local color literature contributed to the initial popularity of her stories then published in American literary journals. Known professionally as Elsie Singmaster, she established a reputation as a skilled and sympathetic portrayer of Pennsylvania German life in a developing and diverse American culture.

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