A native Oregonian, journalist and author Mary Jane Carr is best remembered for writing Children of the Covered Wagon, a popular children's book first published in 1934, which was later adapted by Walt Disney film studios as Westward Ho! The Wagons in 1956. She released a revised edition in 1957, and the book was translated into French and Serbo-Croatian, as well as transcribed into Braille.
Born in 1899 in Portland, OR, Carr was the daughter of James B. Buchanan, a lawyer, and Elizabeth Cecilia (Connor) Carr. She attended St. Mary's College, now known as Marylhurst, in Marylhurst, OR. Prior to writing for children, Carr, a Catholic, was an associate editor for the Catholic Sentinel. She eventually left that publication and began writing for the Oregonian, where she produced serialized tales; among these was Young Pioneers, which became Children of the Covered Wagon. Her subsequent writings include Young Mac of Fort Vancouver, which was a runner-up for the Newbery Award in 1941 and a Junior Literary Guild selection, Peggy and Paul and Laddy (1943), Stranger at the Apple Ranch (1946), and the verse volume Top of the Morning (1950). She was a member of the merican Heart Association, the Oregon Historical Society, and Theta Sigma Phi. She died on January 4, 1988, in the city in which she was born.
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