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Edmon Low Library

The Vingie E. Roe Collection: Biography

Vingie E. Roe

Vingie E. Roe (Vingetta Elizabeth Roe) was born in Oxford, Kansas on December 7, 1879 to Morris P. and Clara C. Roe. Her brother, Glenne C. Roe, was born in January of 1892. She and her family lived in Wichita, Kansas until they moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma, to form a settlement in 1889. There her father became a well known physician. She later moved to Wellston Carney and Fallis, Oklahoma. Vingie did not receive any schooling past her sixth grade year, and learned all her knowledge of literature from books and short stories. She began writing poetry at a young age, which she later sent to the Wichita Eagle, a Kansas newsletter.

The then president of Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical College, A.C. Scott, read one of Vingie’s poems in the Eagle and enjoyed the piece. He shared this with the Kansas Congressman, Victor Murdock, who took a liking to her work as well, so much so, that he became her patron. Vingie attended Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) for six months in 1902.

Maid of the Whispering Hills was Vingie’s first novel and it was picked up by the first publisher she sent it to, Dodd, Mead & Co. in 1912.

Vingie fell in love with a young man by the name of Raymond C. Lawton. They met in New Orleans on April 27, 1906. Raymond was in the Navy and they sent many a correspondence to one another. They wed on April 12, 1907. The following month the two left for Oregon. There they owned a fruit farm in the Rogue River Valley near Eagle Point. Raymond was an electrical engineer. She later divorced Raymond, and after their divorce, Vingie moved to California. Her mother, Clara C. Roe, lived with her daughter until Clara died. Vingie's father passed away April 7, 1907.

According to a letter she sent to a friend a few days before her death, Vingie suffered from coronary heart trouble. She passed away on August 13, 1958, and was buried in Napa, California.