Exploring the life and the legacy of Emilie Blackmore Stapp (1876-1962). The Friends of the Stone County Libraries will present a public program exploring the life and the legacy of Emilie Blackmore Stapp (1876-1962), an American children's author and philanthropist whose writing career spanned more than 50 years. She was born in Madison, IN, and died in Wiggins, MS, where she is buried.
Stapp published her first book, Bread and Lasses: Sketches of Child Life, in 1902 and went on to publish a number of other written works. In 1913 she founded the Go-Hawks Happy Tribe, a national philanthropic organization for boys and girls similar to today's Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. It eventually grew to more than 800,000 members in the U.S. and England. Rudyard Kipling became the Big Chief of the Go-Hawks Happy Tribe in England.
Stapp's family moved from Indiana to Des Moines, Iowa, where she became an editor for the Des Moines Capital. During her time in Iowa, she mobilized the Go-Hawks to raise $43,000 in pennies to feed widows and orphans of World War I in Europe.
Stapp later served as children's editor with the Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston. During this time she formed The World Neighborhood Club in collaboration with the Red Cross to establish relationships and befriend children of different countries and to create libraries throughout the world where children could learn English.
In 1952, she moved with her sister to Wiggins, MS, for her health. They lived on 80 acres of land they named Friendship Farm. In 1932 they deeded 12 acres of land and a club house to the Women's Club of Wiggins, and with a donation of more than 4,000 books, they established the first lending library in Stone County. They also built a new post office for the city of Wiggins. During World War II, Stapp raised $42 million in today's value for war bonds.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Stone County Libraries and the Mississippi Humanities Council. The Mississippi Humanities Council is supported by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities and by the generosity of individual donors.