Nebraska Authors

Helen Watts-McVey

AKA: Galena Helen Watts McVey

Born 1844-12-13 Lafayette County, WI (USA)

Died 1928-11-28
University City, MO (USA)

Bel-Nor, MO (USA)
Valhalla Cemetery has her cremains in storage; they were never claimed.

Watts-McVey was the only woman columnist for William Jennings Bryan's Commoner newspaper. She came to The Commoner after a very diverse career working for publications up and down the Missouri valley. Michael Kazin remarks on the importance of her contribution to The Commoner in his biography of Bryan: She helped broaden the publication's appeal by writing about everyday issues and women's concerns. She had endured the loss of all but one of her brothers in the Civil War, the death of two of her children, and her husband going blind. She shared Bryan's political goals but not his optimism. Kazin notes that before coming to The Commoner she had worked variously as a typesetter, proof-reader, columnist and devotional poet. She was an early Women's Rights activist.

Places Lived

Lafayette County, WI
Sedalia, MO
Lincoln, NE
St. Louis, MO
University City, MO

Author Of

  • Journalism
  • Poetry


William Jennings Bryan; The Commoner; Feminists



Places Worked

The Commoner



Columnist for The Commoner

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Helen Watts-McVey

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)