Teacher Guide

O Pioneers Lesson Plan

About the Author

Willa Cather was born on December 7, 1873 in Back Creek Valley (a small farming community close to the Blue Ridge Mountains) in Virginia. She was the eldest child of Charles Cather, a deputy Sheriff, and Mary Virginia Boak Cather. The family came to Pennsylvania from Ireland in the 1750's.

In 1883 the Cather family moved to join Willa's grandparents William and Caroline and her uncle George in Webster County, Nebraska. At the time her family included Willa's two brothers, a sister, and her grandmother. A year later they moved to Red Cloud, a nearby railroad town, where her father opened a loan and insurance office. The family never became rich or influential, and Willa attributed their...

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