Early Years and Education

Early Years and Education - In1881,JohnG.,Illinois, ,...

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Early Years and Education In 1881, John G. Neihardt was born in Sharpsburg, Illinois, to impoverished parents who passed their  interest in reading and the creative life on to him, but found it difficult to make a living in the American  Midwest. His father named him John Greenleaf after the popular American poet John Greenleaf  Whittier. (Neihardt later changed his middle name to Gneisenau in honor of a German military officer  who helped defeat Napoleon.) John showed early signs of being a precocious child, and at the age  of eleven during an illness, he had a mystical experience that convinced him of his vocation as a  poet. His father, often unemployed, abandoned the family when John was about ten, and his mother  moved with her son to Kansas and then Nebraska to live near her parents.
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  • Fall '08
  • staff
  • John G. Neihardt, poet John Greenleaf, German military officer, Nebraska State Teachers, Nebraska Normal School, special classics program.

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