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Elizabeth Orton Jones

Elizabeth Orton Jones, nicknamed Twig more than fifty years ago, was born on June 25, 1910 in Highland Park, Illinois. In the 1940s she moved to a house in Mason, New Hampshire bought with her first royalty check from TWIG. She lived there for more than sixty years.

Twig’s childhood dolls and dollhouse were memorialized in Big Susan, these dolls, their furniture and a replica of her dollhouse are on display in the Highland Park Illinois Historical Society. The miniature living room furniture and rug were handmade by Twig’s Grandmother Orton. The original dollhouse was purchased secondhand for seven dollars by Twig’s mother, Jessie Orton Jones, as a gift for her young daughter. It was given away when Twig was a grown woman, being seven and a half feet long it took up too much space in the attic. Many years later Twig’s physician, Dr. Robert Wellwood, built the replica dollhouse by taking measurements from the illustrations in Big Susan.

Twig wrote and illustrated more than 20 books for children, in 1945 she won the Caldecott Medal for Prayer for a Child. She passed away in May, 2005, at the age of 94.

Photograph by John Mills, Jr. Taken in 1942 while working on TWIG.