Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  George Helgeson Fitch  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction

Born: 1887 in Galva, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Fitch was born in Galva and graduated from Knox College in Galesburg.

Biographical and Professional Information

George Fitch was an editor of the Peoria Herald-Transcript and a syndicated columnist who turned his playful eye to politics. He was best known though as humorist and author. Several of his short stories and novels featured a small Midwestern college, Siwash College, that bore some similarity to Knox College, so similar, in fact, that for some time Knox was known casually as Old Siwash. The Siwash stories were the basis for the movie ''Those Were the Days!'' (1940) starring William Holden.

Fitch graduated from Knox College in 1897. He worked as a reporter for a number of Midwest newspapers including the Peoria, Illinois Herald-Transcript.

George died at the early age of 38 from a ruptured appendix while visiting his sister in California.

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