Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jewell Bothwell Tull (1889-1963)

Née Edith Jewell Bothwell
Author, Poet, Playwright
Born August 3, 1889, Yates Center, Kansas
Died June 1, 1963

Edith Jewell Bothwell Tull was born on August 3, 1889, in Yates Center, the seat of Woodson County, Kansas, and the Prairie Hay Capital of the World. At age twenty-two, she married Clarence Clyde Tull (1881-1968), an Indiana native recently removed to the University of Idaho, where he was an associate professor of English. Judging by Jewell's age (again, twenty-two), the date (June 13, 1912), and the place (Moscow, Idaho, the location of the university), I'm going to guess that she was a recent graduate of the University of Idaho who had caught the professor's eye. The couple made a honeymoon trip to Europe. Thereafter Jewell Bothwell Tull followed her husband in his teaching career, first to Dakota Wesleyan College in 1913 and eventually to Cornell College, located in Mount Vernon, Iowa. As a writer, Jewell contributed to the The Husk, the Cornell English Club review, and The Ollapod, the college humor magazine. She also wrote poems, short stories, and serials for Poetry, Woman's World, and The Farmer's Wife magazines. Her lone work for Weird Tales was the poem "Ghosts," published in the August 1930 issue of the magazine. Finally, Jewell Bothwell Tull authored two one-act plays, "The Slacker" (1917) and "The Forgotten Man" (1934), and a children's book, Sylvia of the Stubbles (1923).

Jewell Tull died on June 1, 1963, but I would like to add one more item of interest to this all-too-brief story of her life. In about 1918, she and her husband welcomed into their home a Swedish-American orphan named Signi Linea Falk. Born in Chicago in 1906, Signi received degrees from Cornell College, the University of Hawaii (1933), and the University of Chicago (1948). After teaching at various institutions, Dr. Falk settled into a twenty-four-year career at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1947. She wrote two studies of other authors, Tennessee Williams (1962) and Archibald MacLeish (1966). Even after retiring in 1971, she remained active and lived almost a century, passing away in 1998. A final note: Tennessee Williams, aka Thomas Lanier Williams (1911-1983), of whom Dr. Falk wrote, also contributed to Weird Tales in 1928 with his story "The Vengeance of Nitocris."

Jewell Bothwell Tull's Poem in Weird Tales
"Ghosts" (Aug. 1930)

Further Reading
If you look hard enough, you can find information on Jewell Bothwell Tull and her family, Clarence Clyde Tull and Signi Linea Falk. You might start at the website of Coe College and its biography of Dr. Falk.

A page from the Royal Purple, the yearbook of Cornell College, from 1931. Don't be confused: Prof. Tull (pictured) is Clarence Clyde "Toppy" Tull. His wife, Jewell Bothwell Tull, though listed as a member of the staff, is not in the picture. Incidentally, Winifred Mayne, sitting in the middle of the front row, was the author of the novel I Am the Fox (1936), written under her married name, Winifred van Etten. Nama Lathe (1881-?) enjoyed a successful career as a teacher and artist. I believe some of the other people listed here rose to prominence as well.
Woman's World, October 1933, with Jewell Bothwell Tull's byline on the cover as author of the novel Forfeit. I hope someone can help with the artist's name.
Finally, the cover of Jewell's play "The Forgotten Man."
Text and captions copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley


  1. TerHan: Edith Jewell Bothwell Tull b. 03 August 1889 d. 01 June 1963 but I don't know where until I get back to my computer. --RAE

  2. Thanks, Rae,

    I have added her death date to my posting. I'll wait to hear from you on the place.


  3. TerHan: Did you see the long obituary for Samuel Youd (John
    Christopher) who died recently. Also, the name Edith is from the 1900 Census of her parents, under Edith J. Bothwell. --RAE

  4. I'm so pleased to find this page. I was just reading some old letters that my mother wrote to her mother. One is from Nov. 5, 1951. My mother was in grad school at the time, at Univ. of Illinois, but had gotten her undergraduate degree at Cornell College in 1948. She writes:

    "I got Jewell's book and a note from Toppy -- short but very nice. In the front of Jewell's book I read 'To Betty Joliffe whose visits to the house of Tull we miss. Jewell Bothwell Tull.' "

    I don't know what book it was but she writes "it has some that were in the chap book 'The Seven Ages,' " so maybe it was a short story collection. Thanks for educating me on Jewell Bothwell Tull!

  5. Dear Sally,

    Thank you for writing and for the personal touches. These are the things that help animate a person's life story. I'm glad I could help.