Most of you have probably never heard of writer Edward Eggleston or his most known novel The Hoosier Schoolmaster. Mostly because it was written in 1871. But how many writers have had a novel of their’s made into a movie three times? The Hoosier Schoolmaster films were produced in 1914, 1924 & 1935. Not bad for a book about “a story of backwoods life in Indiana.” (And the number may be four if you include the 1937 Mickey Rooney film Hoosier Schoolboy which seems to have the same plotline, but where Mr. Eggleston is uncredited.)
Eggleston has long been on my radar because one of the family names on my mother’s side of the family is Eggleston. And though a direct connection has not been made with Edward, my sister has traced our family heritage back to the Vevay, Indiana area—which just happens to be where Edward was born. (Can you see the family resemblance in the above picture? Well, at least we both like to wear hats.)
Edward had 19 books published. He died in Lake George, New York in 1902 and according to Wikipedia his summer home there, Owl’s Nest was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
In fact, one of the entire movies can be found on You Tube. He’s the first of eight parts:
Once again proving writers come from everywhere—including places like Vevay, Indiana.
Scott W. Smith