Eugene Field was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1850, educated in Monson and Williamstown, Mass., at Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois), and at the University of Missouri. His career in journalism saw him write for newspapers in St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, and finally--from 1883 until his death in 1895--Chicago, where he authored a column called "Sharps and Flats" for The Chicago Daily News. He married Julia Sutherland Comstock in 1873 and they had eight children. His volumes of poetry, including A Little Book of Western Verse (1889) and Love Songs of Childhood (1894), made him famous through the United States as a humourist and poet of children, although he also wrote (and published surreptiously) bawdy poems for men's clubs. Biographies of Field are by Slason Thomson, Life of Eugene Field: The Poet of Childhood (New York: Appleton, 1927), and Robert Conrow, Field Days: The Life, Times, and Reputation of Eugene Field (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1974).