Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Waynesboro, Franklin County
Wallower, an author and illustrator of children's books, wrote several books on Pennsylvania and its history, including Your State Pennsylvania (1963).
Children’s author and librarian Lucille Wallower was born in Waynesboro in 1910. Throughout her lifetime she pursued a professional career as a librarian as well as one as a children’s writer, becoming successful at both. She produced numerous books for children, most of which were set in and were about Pennsylvania. She died in 1999 in Cambridge, New York.
Lucille Wallower was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, on July 27, 1910. Her parents were Roland C. Wallower, who worked in the advertising business, and Nora Grace (Werdebaugh) Wallower. Lucille spent the majority of her life in Harrisburg, but she also lived in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. She apparently married a man by the last name of “Van Horn,” according to a note summarizing her obituary, but specific details are currently unavailable.
Wallower studied at Pennsylvania Museum School of Art and the Traphagen School of Fashion. Her first book, Nanka of Old Bohemia, was published in 1937. Shortly after, she became a school librarian at the Harrisburg Public Library, and within a year, she was promoted to children’s librarian. Her first self-illustrated book, A Conch Shell for Molly, was published in 1940 and became a Junior Literary Guild Selection. In 1959, she became the children’s librarian at the Abington Library in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. In 1972, she was promoted to head librarian. She continued writing throughout her career as a librarian, and in 1975, she began her full-time career as a freelance writer and illustrator.
Wallower’s body of work is in itself an amazing achievement. She published over 40 works, many of which include her own illustrations. She began her career writing fiction and non-fiction books for children but eventually moved into the genre of geography. Her geographies, as well as many of her children’s works, focused on different aspects of history throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Wallower’s children’s books and various writings on Pennsylvania earned her membership into many different organizations throughout the state. She was a member of the Pennsylvania Library Association, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Reading Roundtable, and the Old York Road Historical Society.
She passed away on August 30, 1999 in Cambridge, New York.
Self-illustrated Children’s Books
A Conch Shell for Molly. New York: McKay, 1940.
Chooky. New York: McKay, 1942.
Old Satan. New York: McKay, 1956.
The Hippity Hopper; or, Why There are No Indians in Pennsylvania. New York: McKay, 1957.
The Morning Star. New York: McKay, 1957.
All about Pennsylvania. State College, PA: Penns Valley, 1960.
Pennsylvania A B C. State College, PA: Penns Valley, 1963.
My Book about Abraham Lincoln. State College, PA: Penns Valley, 1967.
Pennsylvania Primer. State College, PA: Penns Valley, 1954.
William Penn. Chicago: Follet, 1968.
The Pennsylvania Dutch. State College, PA: Penns Valley, 1971.
African American Workshop. State College, PA: Penns Valley, 1977.
Pennsylvania: The Keystone State. State College, PA: Penns Valley, 1991.