His instinct had correctly
His instinct had correctly interpreted the need, but he never dreamed
how far the feminine nature would reveal itself on paper.
The next morning the editor, with his letters, took the train for New
York and sought his friend, Mrs. Isabel A. Mallon, the "Bab" of his
popular syndicate letter.
"Have you read this department?" he asked, pointing to the page in the
"I have," answered Mrs. Mallon. "Very well done, too, it is. Who is
"You are," answered Edward Bok. And while it took considerable
persuasion, from that time on Mrs. Mallon became Ruth Ashmore, the most
ridiculed writer in the magazine world, and yet the most helpful editor
that ever conducted a department in periodical literature. For sixteen
years she conducted the department, until she passed away, her last act
being to dictate a letter to a correspondent. In those sixteen years she
had received one hundred and fifty-eight thousand letters: she kept
three stenographers busy, and the number of girls who to-day bless the
name of Ruth Ashmore is legion.
But the newspaper humorists who insisted that Ruth Ashmore was none
other than Edward Bok never knew the partial truth of their joke!
The editor soon supplemented this department with one dealing with the
spiritual needs of the mature woman. "The King's Daughters" was then an
organization at the summit of its usefulness, with Margaret Bottome its
president. Edward Bok had heard Mrs. Bottome speak, had met her
personally, and decided that she was the editor for the department he
had in mind.