April 19, 1869: Writer Melville Davisson Post Born

Apr 19, 2017

Post’s most popular short stories involved the detective Uncle Abner.
Credit E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Writer Melville Davisson Post was born in Harrison County on April 19, 1869. He became a popular writer, starting with his 1896 short story collection, The Strange Schemes of Randolph Mason.

With a law degree from West Virginia University and a successful writing career underway, Post married Ann Bloomfield Gamble Schoolfield. Together, they traveled the world and the East Coast before settling down at their home, known as the “Chalet,” in Harrison County.

Post’s most popular short stories involved the detective Uncle Abner. He also penned well-read detective series about Monsieur Jonquelle and Walker of the Secret Service as well as longer works, such as Dwellers in the Hills, The Mountain School-teacher, and Revolt of the Birds.

Much of Post’s work is set in the 19th-century West Virginia countryside and reflects his affection for the outdoors, forests, and weather. He continued to publish until his death.

Still rising in skill and fame, Melville Davisson Post loved to ride horses. Sadly, he suffered a serious fall from a horse in 1930 and died from his injuries at age 61. He was buried in Harrison County.