Martha Finley was born in 1828 in Chillicothe, Ohio. She lived in Circleville, Ohio South Bend, Indiana and finally Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She began her writing career by writing short stories for Sunday School papers. Her most popular works are the Elsie Dinsmore series which consisted of 28 titles. In addition, she wrote the Mildred Keith series which consisted of 7 titles. She also wrote over 50 short books and pamphlets and numerous short stories and articles. Finley died in 1909.