During Chincoteague Island's Pony Penning Week 2023, I spoke at the Museum of Chincoteague and met many Marguerite Henry fans and Misty lovers. I shared for about 45 minutes and then read an excerpt from my Marguerite Henry biography, Marguerite, Misty and Me. Then there was a Q & A. In case you missed it, I will share some of the most interesting facts about Marguerite Henry here. (That's a photo of me speaking at the museum.)
First off, she was born in Milwaukee in 1902 to Louis and Anna Breithaupt. The couple had seven children, but two died at young ages. Marguerite describes herself as their fifth and last child, but she was technically their seventh.
Her older brother Fred had a horse named Bonnie, but Marguerite was forbidden from touching the mare. She had a habit of biting and kicking. Fred kept her from the horse, but she found her way to them through the pages of books.
Marguerite was a total bookworm. Her parents were readers. Her dad's business was words: he owned a printing company. In addition to reading books at a fast clip, Marguerite wrote her own stories.
One of my favorite glimpses into the life of Marguerite Henry as a little girl was that she would roller skate to her nearest library every other day and check out a new book. She loved Zane Grey westerns.
The library was her happy place so much so that her first job was as a book mender at the north branch of the Milwaukee Public Library.
During high school she was active in several clubs like drama, yearbook, Bible study and a literary society. In college she also wrote for the yearbook. She once wrote she wanted to be a journalist, but marriage made her change course. That was partially true.
As a young newlywed living in Chicago, after her marriage to Sidney Crocker Henry, Marguerite began writing for business periodicals and even a magazine called Photoplay which featured news of celebrities and movie reviews. She contributed a few articles to a home/interior design column. She also helped Sid write sales bulletins.
For more fun facts and a deeper exploration into Marguerite Henry's biography, click here to snag my book Marguerite, Misty and Me. I hope it makes you smile and fall in love with horses and horse books all over again.