Helen Welshimer

You’ve probably never heard of Helen Welshimer

~~I’m not surprised~~

Except for the fact that she was my dad’s cousin, I wouldn’t have known who she was either. Ms. Welshimer was a poet and a journalist and an essayist during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. She wrote for a couple of newspapers in Ohio and eventually became a freelance writer with NEA (Newspaper Enterprise Association), where her interviews and articles were syndicated nationwide. She was a contributor to several magazines, including Good Housekeeping and published several books of poetry.

Lost Love

“My heart is listening,
Open and clear,
For somebody’s voice
That I’ll never hear.”

She was accomplished to say the least but unfortunately I never got to meet her. Helen died in 1954 at the age of 53 and I was born a few years later. I’ve always wished that I had gotten to know her because she seemed so glamorous. She was beautiful and talented, a small town girl who left Canton, Ohio to live in New York City and also a bit of a mystery.

Fourteen years before Helen died she came home to Canton and became bedridden, a semi-invalid that never recovered her health. I dare not speculate on what happened to Helen but it was a tragedy that someone so vibrant and young, spent so many years suffering. Helen continued to write but remained at home taken care of by her mother.

My parents owned one of Helen’s books and I’ve recently acquired two others.  When I ordered Shining Rain off of the internet I was astounded when the book arrived and three letters and two Christmas cards fell out.

The original owner of the book of poems must have been a huge Helen Welshimer fan and it seems had written several fan letters to her home in Canton.  Helen, her mother Clara and her sister Mildred, penned responses to the fan letters and the owner of this book stored her treasures amongst its pages.

I am so happy that these letters, written by my family were preserved and that I was lucky enough to be the person that bought this particular copy!  Serendipity!

Here are two links to articles written by Helen during the height of her journalistic career:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YDJBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=g7cMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6342%2C4642958

http://news.google.com/newspapers?sjid=lFUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3834,2120427&dq=helen+welshimer&id=7A1QAAAAIBAJ

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9 thoughts on “Helen Welshimer

  1. What an amazing discovery and a wonderful story, the letters could not have fallen into better hands, a true family treasure. And I love that she wrote about Mrs Wallis Simpson, what an interesting era she was writing in. I hope your collection continues to grow and she continues to inpire you.

    Love the title ‘Shining Rain’, it reminds me of that scientific discoverey that positive thoughts can affect the molecular structure of water, so happy people can make shiny rain and she seems to have known all about it.

    • It was amazing that I found that particular book on that particular auction. It must have been “meant to be”. I did not know what “Shining Rain” was so thanks for enlightening me! Happy Sunday!

  2. Today I found a notebook with poems by many different people-one was by Helen Welshimer. What Do I Want For Christmas?
    What do I want for Christmas?
    Last summer’s moon would do,
    Stars we have plucked together,
    Maybe a kiss or two.

    Rain on my cheek in autumn,
    When all the trees are bare,
    Brush of your lips against my cheek,
    Wind blowing through my hair.

    Tape for the hurt of broken rhymes,
    Pink lemonade with straws,
    Maybe another date with you…
    Is there a Santa Claus?
    Now I see there are several poems by her. These are written on a typewriter and in an old notebook. Perhaps an poetry class collection. There is a date 1938 on one page.

  3. My 98-year-old Mother passed away last year, and we discovered an old scrapbook from her teen years, hidden away in a closet. Along with love letters from old beaus and little souvenirs from her social life were many, many clippings of poems by Helen Welshimer.

    I live 25 miles from Milligan College, so I will try to visit the Library there sometime soon to look at their collection of her personal papers.

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