Olive Gilbreath McLorn
Author, Adventurer —
OLIVE GILBREATH GRADUATED FROM La Plata High School in 1900.She then entered Wellesley College in Massachusetts, receiving abachelor and master’s degree from the University of Michigan.She taught English for two years at the University of Kansas. Long interested in Russia, she headed for that country, waiting in Peking, China for four months until permission was granted.
In the fall of 1918, McLorn went back to Russia. There were Americans in Siberia giving help to the Russians, so she traveled on a Red Cross train as an interpreter for the doctors. Her first book, “Miss Amerikanka,” is a romance of unusual theme and flavor published in 1918. Her second book, “If To-Day Have No Tomorrow,” dealing with the Russian Revolution, is a masterpiece. As a foreign correspondent, she wrote for “Harper’s,” “Yale Review” and “Asia Magazine.”
In 1934, at the age of 51, McLorn married her life-long friend Daniel David McLorn of Scotland. They made their home in the international settlement in Shanghai. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, they were interred in China by occupying Japanese forces. McLorn could have returned home but chose to stay with her husband. They spent two and a half years in a concentration camp near Shanghai and were released at the end of the war in 1945.