Woman of the Century/Helen Marr Hurd

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HURD, Miss Helen Marr, poet, born in Harmony, Maine, and February, 1839. Her father, HELEN MARR HURD A woman of the century (page 417 crop).jpgHELEN MARR HURD. Isaiah Hurd, 2nd, was the son of Jeremiah and Nancy Hurd, who went from New Hampshire and settled in Harmony at the time of its incorporation. When Isaiah grew to manhood, he settled in that town, where he always lived. He and his wife, Mary, a daughter of John and Hannah Page, were people of intelligence. Before Helen was eleven years old, she had learned nearly the whole of the Bible. As soon as she could read, she manifested a preference for poetry, and when but eleven years old, she had written many disconnected bits of rhyme. On her thirteenth birthday she wrote a little poem, and others soon followed. Between the years of thirteen and eighteen she composed two stories in verse and several other short poems, which are not in print. A very great impediment to her studies was severe myopia. Her greatest bereavement was the death of her father, when she was but sixteen years of age, leaving her mother, who was in feeble health, with the care of a large family, and throwing Helen upon her own resources for further advancement in her studies beyond the common school. Her perseverance overcame both difficulties to such an extent as to make her studies and readings quite ample, and in the normal class she prepared herself for teaching. The trouble with her eyes had made teaching impossible, and thus poem after poem followed in quick succession. Miss Hurd had hoarded her rhymes, making no effort to come before the public until, one plan after another of her life having failed, she began to believe that she should not bury her talent. She has published a large volume, her "Poetical Works" (Boston, 1887), illustrated by Miss Allie Collins, and has ready for publication another volume of poems, a novel and a history of Hallowell, which she hopes to complete soon. Miss Hurd has taken an active interest in the temperance cause and other movements that concern humanity. Her home is now in Athens, Maine.