Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Olive Percival  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: 1869 in Sheffield, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Percival was born in a log cabin on her family’s farm near Sheffield, Illinois. Her father died when she was ten. In 1887, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother and sister.

Biographical and Professional Information

Percival began writing for publication in 1896 and sold her first poem and first article just before her 28th birthday. She was a multitalented writer, photographer, gardener, artist, and bibliophile who lived in the Arroyo Seco artists' enclave near Los Angeles. She was the author of several books on gardening and garden lore. She was also a regular contributitor to the ''Los Angeles Times'', writing articles on subjects ranging from women’s suffrage to gardening. After the Los Angeles Times bombing in 1910, she penned an article titled ''Would Woman's Vote Suppress Anarchy'', which appeared in the October 16, 1910 issue.The Huntington Library in California owns Percival's diaries, more than 700 of her photographs, and three book manuscripts.

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