Edward Payson Roe was one of Orange County’s most distinguished writers. He was born in Moodna, Orange County, N. Y., in 1838, and died at his home near Cornwall-on-Hudson in 1888. He is best remembered as a novelist whose works achieved great popularity in America and abroad, several of his novels being translated into foreign languages. He studied for the ministry, but illness caused him to abandon his studies while attending Williams College before graduation, but he afterward received a Bachelor’s degree, studied at Auburn and Union Seminaries, and in 1862-65, was a chaplain in the volunteer service during the Civil War between the states. He was from then until 1874 pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Highland Falls, N. Y., after which he gave himself up to lecturing, writing and fruit culture.
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His first novel, “Barriers Burned Away,” (1872,) was a story suggested by the great Chicago fire. This was followed by “Play and Profit in My Garden,” (1873.) These two works established his reputation as a writer, and were followed in rapid succession by “What Can She Do,” (1873,) `Opening a Chestnut Burr,” (1874,) “From Jest to Earnest,” (1875,) “Near to Nature’s Heart,” (1876,) “A Knight of the Nineteenth Century,” (1877,) “A Face Illuminated,” (1878,) “A Day of Fate,” (1880,) “A Young Girl’s Wooing,” (1884,) “An Original Belle,” (1885,) “Driven Back to Eden,” (1885,) “He Fell in Love With His Wife,” (1886,) “The Earth Trembled,” (1887.) He also wrote “Success With Small Fruits,” (1880,) and “Nature’s Serial Story,” (1884.)