Martha Finley was born on the 26th of April, 1828, in Chillicothe, Ohio. Her parents had a good supply of funds and educated her at home by private tutors. Later in life she went to a few private schools. Miss Finley lived with her parents until they died in 1853. The particular locations of the various places she lived over many years is some what uncertain. She taught for a number of years and had her first publications made in a Presbyterian publication. She eventually became ill and had to move to Maryland.She lived with a number of relatives during her illness. Though the illness had her bedridden, God used this sick time to allow her to begin her beloved Elsie books. The first Elsie book was published in 1867 under the name Martha Farquharson. She eventually moved to a home of her own in Elkton, Maryland, and continued to write children’s fiction until she died in 1909 [obituary]; she was buried in Elkton
Cecil County, Maryland [Grave location]. The Lord continues to use her books and works today to impacted girls nation wide.
Martha Finley wrote 28 books in the Elsie Dinsmore series as well as 7 books in the Mildred Keith series (Mildred is Elsie’s cousin). But the Elsie Dinsmore’s where only about a 1/4 of her total works.