top of page

Mildred Augustine's Nancy Drew: Iowa Time Machine July 5, 1905

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On July 5, 1905, Nancy Drew author Mildred Augustine was born in Ladora, Iowa. A popular children’s author, she wrote some of the earliest Nancy Drew mysteries and largely developed the popular character’s personality.

After a childhood in the small town of Ladora just to the west of Iowa City in Iowa County, Mildred Augustine enrolled at the University of Iowa. Earning a degree in English in 1925 and working for the Daily Iowan, she became the first student to earn a master’s degree in journalism from Iowa in 1927. She also wrote short stories for small magazines and strung articles for papers including the Clinton Herald papers during her college years.

Writing under the pen name Carolyn Keene for the Stratemeyer Syndicate from 1929 to 1947, Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson wrote 23 of the first 30 ‘Nancy Drew’ mystery novels. Over a long career, she wrote over 130 books under more than a dozen pen names for series, including Ruth Darrow and Penny Parker.

In 1944, Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson started writing for the ‘Toledo Blade.’ For the next 58 years, she successfully put pen to paper and gained recognition for her column, ' On the Go.’ #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar 


bottom of page