McCoy, Iola Fuller (1906–1997)

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McCoy, Iola Fuller (1906–1997)

American writer . Name variations: Iola Fuller. Born on January 25, 1906 (or 1905), in Marcellus, Michigan; died on July 19, 1997, in Morgan, Ohio; daughter of Henry Fuller and Clara (Reynolds) Fuller; graduated from the University of Michigan, A.B., 1935, A.M., English, 1940, A.M.L.S., 1962; married first husband; married Raymond McCoy (an artist); children: (first marriage) Paul Goodspeed.

Born in Marcellus, Michigan, on January 25, 1906, Iola Fuller McCoy was the daughter of Henry Fuller and Clara Reynolds Fuller . Married twice, she had one son, Paul Goodspeed, from her first marriage. She received an A.B. in 1935 from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in English in 1940. She later went on to study library science, receiving an A.M.L.S. degree in 1962. From 1964 to 1969, she was an associate professor of English at Ferris State College. During her career, she also helped to set up new school libraries.

Greatly influenced by her creative writing professor at the University of Michigan, Roy W. Cowden, McCoy started writing historical novels in the late 1930s. She valued accuracy in historical material in her work, and her stories often focused on characters who had to strive against great odds to attain their goals. She traveled extensively throughout Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Europe to gather research for her novels. A Phi Beta Kappa scholar, McCoy received the Avery Hopwood Award for Creative Writing in 1940 and the Michigan Distinguished Alumni Award in 1967. Her novels include The Loon Feather (1940), about the history of Mackinac Island in Michigan; The Shining Trail (1943), a portrait of the Native American chief Black Hawk; The Gilded Torch (1958), about La Salle's discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi River; and All the Golden Gifts (1966), which details life in the court of King Louis XIV.


Commire, Anne. Something About the Author. Vol. 3. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1972.

Contemporary Authors. Vol. 13–16. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1975.

Michigan Authors. 2nd ed. Michigan Association for Media in Education, 1980.

Lolly Ockerstrom , freelance writer, Washington, D.C.