The Elsie Dinsmore doll was the brainchild of Christian homeschooling parents Lee Bereza and her husband Bill. They wanted a wholesome doll, based on the books by Martha Finley, for their daughter Sarah and for other young girls like her. The dolls hands are molded to allow them to clasp in prayer. It was a family business, Breezy Point Treasures, and the dolls were originally manufactured for them by the Lee Middleton doll company (of Ohio) starting in 1998. The picture above to the right shows the two dolls sold by Breezy Point Treasures: Elsie Dinsmore and Mildred Keith.
Mission City Press bought the doll line in 2003 and has greatly expanded the collection.The dolls are still made in America by RJG Toys, LLC of NJ. Elsie and Mildred (now called Millie) got makeovers; they are the same sculpt but their painting, costuming and hair was changed dramatically. Elsie got ringlets and Millie’s hair went from black to blonde. The styling and costuming of the new dolls is done by doll maker Robin Woods and shows her frilly, exceedingly feminine style. All of the extensive line of clothing that is available for these dolls reflect the Southern Belle, antebellum fashions of the dolls’ characters from the books. The clothing features lots of frills, trims and ruffles and layers and layers of underclothes.
Two new dolls were introduced by Mission City Press: Violet (Elsie’s daughter) and Laylie, a girl born into slavery. Laylie has a new, closed-mouth face mold. Also added to the collection was the Kathleen McKenzie doll, a young girl growing up in the Great Depression. Laylie and Kathleen where additions to the Elsie books by Mission City Press, neither of these Characters where in the Original Elsie Dinsmore books. Mission City Press also started A Life of Faith Girls Clubs, which are both in-person and on-line. The Life of Faith Doll line was retired in late of 2009 and they are no longer being produced.
[Thanks you to Just Magic Dolls for the above information!]