Lillie West also had a pen name "Amy Leslie", a name she had just made up.
About 1900, she was living at the Virginia Hotel in Chicago, working since April 2, 1890 as a drama critic writer for the Chicago Daily News.
Lillie’s parents were Albert Waring West who was born 1827 in NY and Kate Webb West born 1837 in Indiana. In 1880 the West family lived in Chicago. Albert was a grain broker. Her siblings: Albert H. born 1866 (his wife - Aida M. West born 1882), Sallie West born 1862.
Lillie could sing and act and worked for several years in light-opera performances across the United States.
Lillie married Harry Brown (also a performer) in 1881. They had a son Frankie born about 1884, but he died about 1889 at the age of 4. Lillie was very disputed at the death of her son. She and Harry divorced about 1889.
It was the next year, by chance, she was offered the opportunity to write about the theater and its performers for the newspaper.
↑ "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24S4-MYF : 10 February 2018), Albert West in entry for Harry Brown and Lillie West, 18 Mar 1883; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,570,190.
"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXNR-1VN : 14 July 2016), Lillie West in household of Albert West, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district ED 108, sheet 632D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0193; FHL microfilm 1,254,193.
"Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3WT-5HK : 10 March 2018), Kate Webb in entry for Amy Leslie Buck Or West, 03 Jul 1939; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,953,487.