Julia Stockton Dinsmore (March 6, 1833, Terrebonne Parish, LA – April 19, 1926, Santa Barbara, CA)
Dinsmore was born in Louisiana at her family’s Bayou Black plantation in 1833. When Dinsmore was nine the family moved to Boone County where her father had purchased 371. Dinsmore attended the Young Ladies’ Seminary in Cincinnati and her love of languages and literature grew. Dinsmore returned to her father’s acreage to help with the work after her graduation. Shortly, her nieces came to live with Dinsmore after the death of their parents. Not long after, Dinsmore’s father died leaving the farm to her along with substantial debt. Dinsmore and her nieces lives were difficult until she inherited $10,000 (equivalent to nearly $244,000 today) from a cousin in 1888. Throughout her life, Dinsmore consistently wrote poetry, but her inheritance allowed her to write more. After her nieces’ encouragements she submitted her poetry for publication. Dinsmore’s collection of poetry, Verses and Sonnets, was published in 1910. The book was well-regarded and Dinsmore received numerous letters praising it, including one from Theodore Roosevelt, whom she had met years earlier when he was a neighbor of one Dinsmore’s nieces. While visiting family in Santa Barbara, Dinsmore fell and broke her hip. She later died from complications of the fracture.
Works Available at KCPL
Verses and Sonnets – K 811.5 D587v
“A Trip Back in Time – Dinsmore Homestead Takes Visitors Back to NKY’s Past,” Sunday Challenger, October 24, 2004, 4c.
Callopy, Catherine T. “Julia Stockton Dinsmore,” on file at the Dinsmore Homstead, Burlington KY.
Dinsmore, Julia Stocton. Verses and Sonnets. New York Doubleday, 1910.
Dinsmore Family Papers, Dinsmore Homestead, Burlington KY.