Mary E. Waller

Mary E. Waller
Mary E. Waller

Time Period


Notable Facts

Mary Waller was an educator and the author of more than twenty novels, many of them written in and based in Vermont.

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Primary Residence


Historical Significance

Mary Ella Waller was born in Boston March 1, 1855, the daughter of the former Mary Doane Hallet of Cape Cod and David Waller of Vermont. She was an educator and the author of more than twenty novels. Mary Waller lived in Bethel, Vermont from 1894 to 1907, though she and her mother summered in Bethel as early as 1875 and owned property in Bethel until 1918. Many of her works were written in Bethel, and many of the scenes in her books are based in Vermont. She remained unmarried throughout her life.

Waller's father and only sibling died in 1867, and she and her mother toured Europe for four years. When she returned to Boston, she first taught at Mrs. Shaw's school, and then at Brearley School in New York. She was the founder of Miss Waller's School in Chicago. She wrote her first novel in 1902 ("The Little Citizen"). "The Wood-Carver of "Lympus", published in 1904, became her best selling novel. The novel is said to have incorporated some Bethel personalities and is based in the southwestern section of Bethel called Olympus (or "Lympus).

Waller's other best known works include "Deep in the Hearts of Men"; "Flamsted Quarries"; "The Windmill on the Dune"; "Through the Gates of the Netherlands"; "The Cry in the Wilderness", "Out of the Silences", "From an Island Outpost"; "A Year Out of Life"; "My Ragpicker"; "Our Benny"; "Sanna of the Island Town"; and "The Daughter of the Rich".

Mary Waller abhorred publicity, traveled widely, loved nature, patented a foot warmer, and was fluent in German, French, and Italian.

Mary Ella Waller died at the age of 84 in Wellesley, Massachusetts in 1938.


  • Writer
  • Teacher


  • High School

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Celebrate Mary Waller and Her Wood-Carver! Link

  • "Vermont; a guide to the Green Mountain state" Link

  • Historical Newspapers Link