Singmaster, Elsie (1879-1958)

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Elsie Singmaster, ca. 1920.
Photo: Wikipedia

Elsie Singmaster Lewars (29 August 1879 – 30 September 1958) who wrote under her maiden name Elsie Singmaster, was an American author who wrote outstanding "local color" fiction with Eastern Pennsylvania as a major locale. Though she was Lutheran of Pennsylvania-German stock, some of her works deal with the "plain people," including the Mennonites. Her novel I Heard of a River (1948) tells of the first Mennonite settlement in the early 1700s in what is today Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Most of the short stories in her collection Bred in the Bone (1925) center around the Reformed Mennonites; a few deal with young Amish men. These characters and their problems Elsie Singmaster treats with sympathy and gentle, never derisive, humor. Her home was at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where her husband, Herald Lewars, was a professor at Gettysburg College. She was the author of nearly 350 short stories which appeared in literary journals and popular magazines and published 38 books. For their preservation and regional representation of Pennsylvania German culture, Singmaster's writings are still valued and also for their insights into another time and place in the American human experience.

Author(s) Elizabeth Horsch Bender
Victor G. Wiebe
Date Published March 2018

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Elizabeth Horsch and Victor G. Wiebe. "Singmaster, Elsie (1879-1958)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2018. Web. 14 Jul 2020.,_Elsie_(1879-1958)&oldid=160120.

APA style

Bender, Elizabeth Horsch and Victor G. Wiebe. (March 2018). Singmaster, Elsie (1879-1958). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 July 2020, from,_Elsie_(1879-1958)&oldid=160120.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 534. All rights reserved.

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