From Our Vault: Books reflected NW upbringing
Anne Shannon Monroe, a local author who lived on Bryant Road in the early 1900s, was the great-granddaughter of George Shannon, the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
George Shannon is remembered for two things: He got lost on the expedition for two weeks and nearly starved to death; and after the expedition, he attended law school and served as a senator from Missouri.
Born in Bloomington, Mo., in 1873, Anne Shannon Monroe moved with her parents and siblings to Yakima, Wash., where her father started a medical practice. Dr. William Monroe died two years later. The family then moved to Tacoma, where Anne began teaching in 1899.
Her aspiration, though, was always to become a writer, so she set out on her own for Chicago, where she worked for six years at the Daily News as editor of Common Sense, a trade magazine. She returned to the West Coast for four years, running her own advertising office in Portland from 1907-1911.
Her next stop was New York City, where she began a productive career writing for the Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal and other publications. In 1913, Monroe returned to Oregon and settled for a time in Harney County, where she managed a 300-acre homestead that she purchased for $16.
Monroe wrote fiction, biographies, inspirational works and self-help books. Many of her works reflected her own childhood experiences growing up in eastern Washington; her first book, "Eugene Norton: A Tale of the Sagebrush Land," was published by Rand McNally in 1900.
One of her most widely-read books was Bill Hanley's 1930 autobiography, "Feelin' Fine," for which Monroe was the ghost writer. Hanley was a prominent Harney County rancher who had political aspirations. Her last books, written in 1936 and 1940, were entitled "Mansions in the Cascades" and "Sparks From Home Fires."
A quiet, consistent, ambitious, independent woman, Monroe lived in Oswego for more than 30 years. She never married, and died on Oct. 18, 1942. Many of her books can be found in the Lake Oswego Public Library.