Ellis Credle was born in 1902 and brought up in North Carolina on the coast just across from Hatteras Island. Her ancestors had settled in the vicinity when the state was a British Colony.
She taught school in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which she used as a backdrop for many of her books. Living in New York for a number of years, she studied at the Art Students League and the New York School of Interior Decoration; she worked at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.
In 1947 she and her husband and son moved to Mexico, where she remained for the rest of her life. On occasion, Ellis Credle visited her son in Chicago, where she died in 1998. She wrote and illustrated more than twenty books for children, including the classic Down, Down the Mountain.