Charles Alden Seltzer – A True Story of Rags to Riches

In the world of fiction there are storytellers and there are writers and, every once in a while, you come across somebody who can do both. On August 15, 1875 one of these rare people was born to parents Lucien B. Seltzer and Oceania Hart in Janesville, Wisconsin. After spending much of his youth in New Mexico, Charles Alden Seltzer began writing novels about the American West.

Even though he eventually became a phenomenal and much loved author, he wrote almost two hundred stories before one was accepted by a publisher. His family was extremely poor during the years before he became well known, and his first manuscripts were written on pieces of wrapping paper that his wife, Ella, bought from the butcher. Charles did several jobs, including carpentry, in order to support his wife and their five children during these rough financial times.

After his first sale, Seltzer’s work became very popular, very quickly and began to appear in magazines such as Western Story Magazine, The Outing Magazine and Argosy. Much loved in his community of North Olmstead, Ohio, Charles went on to serve two terms as mayor before his death on February 9, 1942 as a result of complications from diabetes.