Edith Elizabeth (Kneipple) Roberts

Edith Elizabeth (Kneipple) Roberts (1902 - 1966)

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Edith Elizabeth (Elizabeth) Roberts formerly Kneipple aka Van Deusen
Born in Marion, Grant County, Indiana, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married (to ) [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Mother of
Died in Los Angeles, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 May 2015
This page has been accessed 392 times.

Contents

Biography

According to John Gaither Roberts' great-niece, Heather Hollingshead, she "was an author and had great hair" and her maiden name was pronounced kuh NIE pull.

Edith Elizabeth Roberts, who generally went by "Elizabeth", was an author who had at least one of her books adapted into a screenplay for a movie starring Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan.[1] She also wrote about Puerto Rico, a place she traveled to many times and where she married her first husband.

She was born in Marion, Grant County, Indiana, to Cove and May Kneipple, and had a younger brother and sister. Her mother Marie (May) died in 1916 and her father married Irene Judkins in 1917. Elizabeth was a teenager at the time.

She attended high school in Huntington, Indiana (Class of 1919). The 1919 Yearbook for Huntington High School is scanned and can be found here. Elizabeth's senior picture is accompanied by
"ELIZABETH KNEIPPLE
Chorus '17. '18
Modulus Staff
I always say just what I mean."

Her family moved to Frankfort, Indiana at the end of 1923 following her father's job transfer.[2] Some of her immigration records later on listed her permanent residence in the U.S. as Frankfort, Indiana.

As a teenager, she published several poems in the high school yearbooks and at least one poem about the war (WWI) was published in the local newspaper.

According to the 1920 Huntington High School yearbook, Elizabeth Kneipple (Class of 1919) attended the University of Chicago. She may have received her Ph.D. from that same institution; her early books list her as "Edith K. Van Deusen Ph.D." and at least one biography claims she had a Ph.D. from there.

The following biography appears in Puerto Rico in Pictures and Poetry: An Anthology of Beauty on America's Paradise of the Atlantic:[3]

Elizabeth Kneipple Roberts This eminent American poet and prose writer was born in Marion, Indiana, and holds her Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago. For more than ten years she was special supervisor of English of the Department of Education in Puerto Rico, during which time she wrote several books for children, and also collaborated with the late Bailey K. Ashford in writing his autobiography. Soldier in Science (Morrow, 1934). In 1937 her novel, Candle in the Sun, came from the press, and in 1938, after a years residence in central Europe, her novel Reap the Whirhvind appeared, prophesying the present war. In 1940 her latest novel. Tamarack, a story of the Northwoods country in the United States, was issued by Bobbs-Merrill. The books by which she is best known in Puerto Rico are Picturesque Puerto Rico, Stories of Puerto Rico, and Candle in the Sun, the latter having a Puerto Rican setting.

Elizabeth Roberts died in Los Angeles in 1966.[4]

Census Records

In the 1910 United States Census,[5] Elizabeth Kniepple "Knipple", age 8, lived in Marion, Grant County, Indiana, with her father Cove, her mother May, her brother John (age 3) and her sister Grace (infant).

In the 1920 United States Census, Elizabeth's father Cove L. and and stepmother (married in 1917) Irene J. Kneipple "Knipple" were living in Bluffton, Wells County, Indiana, with their son John, age 13, and their daughter Grace, age 10. Also listed are Martha Garrison, a 42 year old lodger, and a whole separate family - Charles E. and Bessie Taylor and their adult sons Harold D. and Truman E. Taylor. Elizabeth would have been at Univ. of Chicago during this time but so far, if there is a census record of her for 1920, it remains elusive. Likewise, finding her on the 1930 and 1940 census records has been difficult, although it was possible she was out of the country at both those times, with her extensive travel history.

Marriages

Elizabeth married Richard James Van Deusen on 17 Jun 1926 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[6] She was 26 years old according to the marriage record. James' age was not listed but we know from his birthdate of record (4 March 1879) that he was 47 years old. Elizabeth listed her father's name correctly on the marriage certificate, but listed her mother as "Marie Antoinette Kneipple". She sailed that same day from Puerto Rico to New York with her new husband.

She was definitely[7] married to John Gaither Roberts, although official marriage and divorce documentation has not yet been found. The first record of her identifying herself as Elizabeth Roberts is from 1936, and John Gaither Roberts identified as "Married" when he enlisted in 1942, and his marriage to his next wife was in 1946, so their marriage was from before 1936 to sometime between 1942 and 1946. Her first husband, Richard Van Deusen, lived until 1972 according to the Social Security Death Index,[8] so she was divorced/separated from Mr. Van Deusen at some point before 1936.

John And Elizabeth Roberts had one child together, John Christopher Roberts.

Travel

When compiling this list, I was tempted to say "Good lord, Elizabeth, you're exhausting me and I haven't even gotten on a boat." This is some travel record! Oesting-1 18:21, 14 May 2015 (EDT)

  • Prior to July 1925: Traveled to Puerto Rico.
  • 16-20 July 1925: At age 22, Sailed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York, New York on the S.S. San Lorenzo, single and seemingly alone. Her address in the United States was given as 957 E. Boone St, Frankfork, Ind.[9]
  • Between 1925 and June 1926: returned to Puerto Rico.
  • 17-21 June 1926: Sailed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York, New York on the S.S. Coamo with her husband Richard Van Deusen whom she had married just that day. Their address in the United States was listed as "Hotel Pennsylvania, N.Y.C." Another passenger on that ship, Jacob Paley, listed that same address.[10]
  • 25 September 1926: In the United States as evidenced by a line in the Huntington Herald,[11] Mrs. Richard James Van Dusen of Porta Rico who recently returned from a four months European tour is the guest of her grand parents Mr. and Mrs. D. F. Burgess." This also implies that her permanent residence was in Puerto Rico during this timeframe.
  • Between September 1926 and May 1928: returned to Puerto Rico.
  • 10-14 May 1928: Sailed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York, New York on the S.S. San Lorenzo, seemingly alone. She was listed as "Van Deusen, Elizabeth K." with an address in the United States of 957 E. Boone St, Frankfort, Ind.[12]
  • Between May 1928 and September 1929: returned to Puerto Rico. Because she authored a book about a hurricane that occurred on September 13, 1928, there is some reason to believe she may have returned to Puerto Rico before that date.
  • 5-9 September 1929: Sailed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York, New York on the S.S. Coamo, with her husband Richard, again listed as "Van Deusen, Elizabeth K." This time, their address was again the Hotel Pennsylvania, N.Y.C.[13]
  • Between September 1929 and May 1931: returned to Puerto Rico.
  • 28 May - 01 June 1931: Sailed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York, New York on the S.S. Borinquen, seemingly alone. She was listed as "Van Deusen, Elizabeth" with an address in the United States of 957 E. Boone St, Frankfort, Ind.[14]
  • Between May 1931 and February 1933: returned to Puerto Rico.
  • 15-19 February 1933: Sailed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York, New York on the S.S. Borinquen, seemingly alone. She was listed as "Van Deusen, Elizabeth" with an address in the United States of 815 W. Taylor St, Kokomo, Ind.[15]
  • Before December 30 1936: traveled to France.
  • 30 December 1936 - 08 January 1937: sailed from Le Havre, France, to New York, New York on the S.S. Washington, seemingly alone but identified as "Elizabeth Roberts". Her address in the United States was listed as 5534 Cornell Ave, Chicago, Ill. There is a line through her and a few other passengers' names but it is not known what this means.[16]
  • Between February 1933 and October 1937: traveled to Italy, possibly with her new husband John Gaither Roberts.
  • October 1937: Sailed from Genoa, Italy, to New York, New York with her then husband, John Gaither Roberts.[17] Place of residence on immigration papers for both of them listed as 5534 Cornell Ave, Chicago, Ill. Judging by John Christopher's birthdate, Edith would have been about two months pregnant at the time of this trip.
  • 1938: Published Reap the Whirlwind "after a year's residence in Central Europe", so may have traveled there and then home from Italy.

Writing and Publications

Van Duesen, Elizabeth K. Tales of Borinquen (Porto Rico). Boston: Silver, Burdett, 1928. Print.[18]
Van Duesen, Elizabeth K. Ph.D. Stories of Porto Rico. Boston: Silver, Burdett, 1928. Print.[19]
Van Duesen, Elizabeth K. Ph.D. Tropical Tales: Porto Rico. Boston: Silver, Burdett, 1929. Print.[20]
Roberts, Edith. The Hurricane: (el Huracán de San Felipe) Porto Rico, September 13, 1928. Bureau of supplies, printing, and transportation, 1929. Print.[21]
Roberts, Edith. Candle in the Sun: A Tragi-Comedy of Intermarriage. Bobbs-Merrill, 1937. Print.
REVIEWS
The New York Times Book Review dated May 16, 1937, on page 6, wrote a review titled "Two Ways Of Life In Conflict; "Candle In The Sun" Is a Tragi-Comedy of Intermarriage Which Has Its Setting In The West Indies". Elizabeth's first husband's prior wife was Puerto Rican, so this work may not have been pure fiction.
Roberts, Edith. Reap the whirlwind: the challenge of a world in turmoil. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. 1928. Print.
REVIEWS
Intolerant World[22]
REAP THE WHIRLWIND. By Edith Roberts. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1938. $2.50.
Reviewed by THEODORE PURDY, JR.
IN this simple but ardently told story, Mrs. Roberts strikes jointly at our illusions and at Europe's political errors. Comparing the thoughtless but comparatively hopeful youth of America with that of war-primed Jugoslavia, she provides both a dramatic narrative and an admirable tract for the times. There is nothing pretentious or panoramic about her plot. A young American writer (who tells the story) meets a Serbian who has come to Chicago to study sociology and learn our ways, preparatory to a revolutionary campaign in his native land. From this intense peasant nature the American hears what war and dictatorship can do to a poor nation; from the American, Petar Montich learns tolerance and how to enjoy the easy-going companionship of youth. He also falls in love with the American's cousin, who for a moment thinks she wants to go back to Serbia and poverty with him. Small wonder that Petar leaves Chicago with regret, and plunges almost at once into disillusionment in Belgrade, where he finds his foster parents destitute and his mentor in jail. The story comes to a climax during a student riot which breaks out when an Italian minister visits Belgrade. As the book ends, the American, unable to face talk of recession "hardships" at home, is about to enlist with the Loyalists in Spain.
Though it is not remarkable for intellectual subtlety, there are many excellent qualities in this novel, above all a drive and conviction that often cleanly fuse propaganda with the matter of the plot, making a believable and persuasive whole. Presentation of certain all too threatening European realities in this romantic, wrong-end-of-a-spyglass fashion may not suit serious students of inter-national affairs, but some such process seems necessary if we are to boil down political immensities for the purposes of fiction. Certainly the author makes clear the advantages we enjoy at present, and the necessity of defending them, and though she lays on the melodrama a trifle thickly towards the end, her book is sensibly an advance over her recent Porto-Rican novel.
Roberts, Edith. Tamarack. (1 edition - first published in 1940)
Roberts, Edith. This marriage. Indianapolis: The Bobbs Merrill Company, 1941. Print.
This marriage This marriage 1 edition - first published in 1941
Little hell, big heaven. 1 edition - first published in 1942
AND TO-MORRO'S DOOMSDAY. Roberts, Edith. 1938, George G Harrap, Hard Cover, Book.
That Hagen girl That Hagen girl 1 edition - first published in 1946
Roberts, Edith Kneipple. The Men in Her Life: The Divorce of Marcia Moore. Doubleday, 1948. Bantam Books; Bantam ed edition, 1949. Print.
Roberts, Edith. That Loring Woman. New York: Doubleday and Co,, 1950. Print.
REVIEWS
KIRKUS REVIEW
"A small town in the middle west, as it faces- not too kindly- the larger emotions of Jenny Loring, who had married rich Jason Loring only to confront his tyranny and his debasing physical rejection of her. Frayed as to nerves, Jenny confides in Dr. Lewis Cotter, also a victim in his marriage, and when they fall in love they learn that he will soon die of cancer and that he can only offer a spiritual relationship. Jenny and Lewis, determined to salvage what they can, manage to be together as Jenny helps him with his book. And at the close, after a blow up in which Lewis's wife burns the book, kills herself, and Lewis dies, Jason dies, there's a younger and more satisfying man for Jenny.... There's a lot of emotional exercise here- but any honest woman would be ashamed to carry on like this."

From "Huntington County, Indiana: History & Families, 1834-1993", p. 22:[23]

Elizabeth Kneipple
1902-1966
A 1919 graduate of Huntington High School, she became a staff writer for Coronet and Esquire magazines and wrote several novels. Her book, That Hagen Girl, that was based on a Huntington family tragedy, was made into a movie, starring Ronald Reagan and Shirley Temple. She also wrote Reap The Whirlwind, Candle In The Sun, and That Loring Woman, which were all made into major motion pictures under her pen name, Edith Roberts.


From "The Chicago of Fiction: A Resource Guide" Roberts, Edith (1902-?)

Born Edith Elizabeth Kneipple, Roberts used her married name from her first marriage on books included here. She later became Edith Kneipple Van Dusen. Several of her novels were adapted as motion pictures, including That Hagen Girl (Doubleday, 1946) which starred a teen-aged Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan (Warner Bros., 1947).
(We know that this record is not completely accurate; her marriage to Van Duesen was prior to her marriage to Roberts.)

Obituaries

Obituaries were printed in the Kokomo Morning Times on February 1 and February 2, 1966.[24][25]

February 1:
Author Edith Roberts dies in California
Mrs. Edith Roberts, author and daughter of Mrs. Cove L. Kneipple, 1815 W. Jefferson, died Monday in Los Angeles. Kokomo residents will remember Mrs. Roberts for an article she wrote for Coronet Magazine, "Kokomo, the Town with the Funny Name". Among her novels were "Candle in the Sun", "Reap the Whirlwind," "Tamarack," and "That Hagen Girl," which was made into a movie with Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan in the lead roles. Mrs. Roberts was born in Marion, and later resided in Kokomo, where her father was manager of the Indiana Bell Telephone. At the time of her death she was director of the Los Angeles Health Museum. Survivors in addition to her mother are- a son, John Christopher Roberts of sausalito, Calif.; one sister, Mrs. E A (Grace) Mirth of Kokomo and a brother, John Kneipple, Silver Springs, Md.; and a grandson. Memorial services and burial will be Wednesday in Los Angeles.

February 2: (OCR text is garbled, I am trying to obtain the original - Oesting-1 11:36, 4 November 2015 (EST))
Edith Roberts (Continutrf from Paf* Ont) of her writing here at the home »f her parents. Her first novel Candle in 'the Sun,"" publishe n 1937, was a merciless expose f archaic and harmful socia manners in Puerto Rico, where he spent 10 years as superyis r of English in the island') schools. The book aroused some esentment in the island, bu Mrs. Roberts said she felt tha conditions there needed to be old. Later some of the abuse she revealed^ were · correctet hrough educational concession by the Puerto Ricah govern ment.; For instance, access tc birth control literature wa ranted-to the poverty-stricken over-populated lower classes. "Tamarack" was a stor with the Wisconsin north wood as its background. "Reap th Vbiriwind" described life un der a dictatorship in Yugoslav a, where the author spent sev ;ral months. The unusual live of young people who lived i Central and Southern Europ under the expectation of war were delineated. "This Marriage," publishe n 1941, was a novel about young couple who attempted t deal with problems of matn mony, parenthood and infidel ty ini the r light of an advancet scientific life. "That Hagen Girl" came ou in 1946- and "The Divorce o Marcia Moore" in 1948. Mrs Roberts' books were frank an realistic, picturing life in its sordid nature. .Her father held posts with In diana Bell in Marion, Hunting ton and other cities besides Ko komo. Mrs. Roberts was gradu ated from high school at Hun ington and received a degre from the University of Chicago Surviving are her mother Mrs. C. L. Kneipple, 18i5 W Jefferson St.; - a son, Joh Christopher Roberts of'Sausa lito, Calif,; a sister, Mrs.. E. A (Grace) Mirth- of Kokomo; brother, John Kneipple./Silver Springs, Md.,~and one'grand child.

Sources

  1. IMDb record for Edith Kneipple Roberts (1902–1966) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0731055/
  2. Front page article in The Huntington Herald, Saturday, December 29, 1923. http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/40039519/
  3. Puerto Rico in Pictures and Poetry: An Anthology of Beauty on America's Paradise of the Atlantic, p. 180.
  4. "California Death Index, 1940-1997," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPKP-9BP : accessed 22 May 2015), Edith E Roberts, 31 Jan 1966; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.
  5. "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKGP-27W : accessed 22 May 2015), Elizabeth Knipple in household of Cove Knipple, Marion Ward 1, Grant, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 50, sheet 3B, family 81, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,365.
  6. "Puerto Rico, Registro Civil, 1805-2001," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVN1-R4J1 : accessed 14 May 2015), Richard James Van Deusen and Elizabeth Kneipple, 17 Jun 1926; citing San Juan, Puerto Rico, oficinas del ciudad, Puerto Rico (city offices, Puerto Rico).
  7. Direct knowledge of family.
  8. "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JR9D-W32 : accessed 14 May 2015), Richard J Vandeusen, 22 Jan 1972; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  9. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX9S-MPK : accessed 14 May 2015), Elizabeth Kneipple, 1925; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,755,424.
  10. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KXLF-S6C : accessed 14 May 2015), Elizabeth K Van Deusen, 1926; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,755,610.
  11. [http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/40254472/ The Huntington Herald, Huntington, Indiana, Saturday, September 25, 1926, Page 6.
  12. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:246R-9N6 : accessed 14 May 2015), Elizabeth K Van Deusen, 1928; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,756,002.
  13. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:246R-9N6 : accessed 14 May 2015), Elizabeth K Van Deusen, 1928; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,756,002.
  14. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24NZ-MPL : accessed 14 May 2015), Elizabeth Van Deusen, 1931; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,756,710.
  15. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24NR-712 : accessed 14 May 2015), Elizabeth Van Deusen, 1934; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,757,189.
  16. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24K8-ND7 : accessed 14 May 2015), Elizabeth Roebrts, 1936; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,757,660.
  17. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24KB-HWW : accessed 7 May 2015), John Gaither Roberts, 1937; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,757,803.
  18. Van Duesen, Elizabeth K. Tales of Borinquen (Porto Rico). https://books.google.com/books?id=mF8zAAAAIAAJ
  19. Van Duesen, Elizabeth K. Ph.D. Stories of Porto Rico. https://books.google.com/books?id=F18zAAAAIAAJ
  20. Van Duesen, Elizabeth K. Ph.D. Tropical Tales: Porto Rico. https://books.google.com/books?id=yV8zAAAAIAAJ
  21. https://books.google.com/books?id=u4XKbwAACAAJ
  22. The Saturday Review JUNE 11, 1938, p. 19. http://www.unz.org/Pub/SaturdayRev-1938jun11-00019
  23. Huntington County, Indiana: History & Families, 1834-1993
  24. http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/44708622/
  25. http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/32505443


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Images: 2
Edith Kneipple Roberts' About The Author page.
Edith Kneipple Roberts' About The Author page.

Elizabeth Kneipple Van Deusen To Give Lecture (1928 newspaper mention)
Elizabeth Kneipple Van Deusen To Give Lecture (1928 newspaper mention)

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