Woman of the Century/Virginia Sharpe Patterson
PATTERSON, Mrs. Virginia Sharpe, author, born in Delaware, Ohio, in September, 1841. Authorship and journalism were family professions. Her father, Hon. George W. Sharpe, published and edited a paper when a boy of seventeen, and for many years edited the "Citizen," in Frederick, Md. He was distinguished as being the youngest member of the Senate of Maryland, and furnished stenographic reports regularly to the Washington and New York papers, an accomplishment unusual in 1828. He was married to Caroline, daughter of Capt. Nicholas Snyder, of Baltimore, a woman of great force of character. They soon removed to Delaware, Ohio. Their two sons were authors. Mrs. Patterson's education was acquired rather by reading than study, as, up to the age of fourteen, she had but few school-days. Her father instructed her at home. His choice library was her delight, and through it was developed that taste for higher literature which characterized her as a child. Language and rhetoric she acquired unconsciously from constant companionship with her father in his VIRGINIA SHARPE PATTERSON. office duties. After his death she was put in school, and for three years attended the Delaware Female Seminary, where she was recognized as a clever essayist. Her first published articles appeared when living in Bellefontaine, Ohio, about six years after her marriage, in the old Cincinnati "Gazette," and were widely copied. At the same time she wrote a series of satires entitled "The Girl of the Period" for the Bellefontaine "Examiner." A eulogistic notice from the late Dr. J. G. Holland decided Mrs. Patterson to publish them in book form. It appeared under the pen-name "Garry Gaines," in 1878. Under that pen-name she has contributed to various journals for many years. At that time she was invited to take the editorial chair of a Chicago weekly, but ill health compelled her to decline. For months she was an inmate of a Cincinnati hospital, stricken with a malady from which she has never fully recovered. Notwithstanding almost constant invalidism since 1881, against obstacles that would have crushed one who loved letters less, she has done much mental work. In 18S9 she was made vice-president of the Ohio Woman's Press Club. A year later she founded the Woman's Club of Bellefontaine, Ohio, Inaugurated the magazine exchange, and later organized the Monday Club of Kokomo, Ind., where she now resides. In 1888 she originated and copyrighted an entertainment called "Merchant's Carnival, or Business-Men's Jubilee" which has been popular, and has been given with great success in all parts of the United States and Canada.