Lillian Case Russell

Wagner, Kristen Anderson

Born Lulu Case in rural South Dakota, Lillian Case Russell worked as a schoolteacher before beginning her writing career in New York shortly after the turn of the century. Living in Brooklyn with her husband John L. Russell (who would later become known in Western films as John Lowell) and their two children, Russell wrote stories and poetry for newspapers and magazines. Covering topics ranging from Reno divorces to men’s fashions to women’s suffrage, Russell’s early writing demonstrated the wit, flair for the dramatic, and social awareness that would inform many of her later screenplays. This is evident in the 1912 New York Times piece “You Mustn’t Ask to Vote,” in which she offers a biting criticism of anti-suffrage attitudes: “You may toil behind our counters, / In our factories you may slave, / You are welcome in the sweatshop / From the cradle to the grave; / If you err, altho’ a woman, / You may dangle by the throat, / But our chivalry is outraged / If you soil your hands to vote” (10).


More About This Work

Academic Units
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 15, 2019