John Crowe Ransom was a renowned American poet and literary critic. He was born in 1888 in Pulaski, Tennessee, to James and Ella (Crowe) Ransom. His father was a Methodist minister. John entered Vanderbilt University in Nashville in 1903 at the age of fifteen. After graduation in 1909 he studied classics as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford until 1913. After serving in World War I, he married Robb Reavill and became a teacher of English at Vanderbilt University, where he remained until 1937. While at Vanderbilt Ransom became a leader of a group of poets who shared a belief in the South and its regional traditions.
One of the interesting turn-of-the-century Knox County, Ohio, residents who was affected by the poetic muse was Isaac Warren Bell. The Bells were early settlers in Knox County. Isaac was born near Martinsburg in 1865. His father was Robison Bell. In 1889 Isaac married Eunice Ann Blackledge, and the couple settled on the family farm in Morgan Township. They had five children.
Eva Sparks Taylor was an enthusiastic writer of poetry. Eva Sparks was born in Licking County, Ohio, in 1903 to Forest and Lulu Sparks. The family moved to Knox County, where Eva spent most of the rest of her life. After graduating from high school, she attended Bowling Green State University in Kentucky. Having decided on a business career, she returned to Mount Vernon where she worked as a secretary at The Cooper-Bessemer Corporation. In 1931 Eva married Laurence Taylor, and the couple lived in other locations in Ohio where Laurence, a civil engineer, was working on Muskingum River dam projects. In 1938 the Taylors moved back to Mount Vernon.
A romance novel in verse form was the special literary creation of Celize Foote Blackledge. Celize was born on a farm near Fredericktown, Knox County, Ohio, in 1857. Her father, James B. Foote, and her mother were among the early settlers of the area, moving from Connecticut to Knox County. The area near Fredericktown where they lived became known as the Foote settlement. The family later moved to the village, where James B. became owner of the foundry, known by his name.