Bess Streeter Aldrich was an American author.
Streeter was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State Normal School, she taught school at several locations in the west, later returning to Cedar Falls to earn an advanced degree in education. A writer since early childhood, she won a writing contest at age fourteen and another at seventeen.
In 1906, she married Charles Aldrich. They moved to Elmwood, Nebraska, where Charles, Bess, her widowed mother, and family friends invested and purchased a bank. They had four children—Mary, Robert, Charles and James.
Aldrich began writing more regularly in 1911 when the Ladies' Home Journal advertised a fiction contest, which she entered and won. Prior to 1918 she wrote under her pen name, Margaret Dean Stephens. She went on to become one of the highest-paid women writers of the period. Her stories often concerned Midwestern pioneer history and were very popular with teenage girls and young women.
Aldrich's first novel, Mother Mason, was published in 1924. When Charles died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1925, Aldrich took up writing as a means of supporting her family. She was the author of about 200 short stories and thirteen novels, including Miss Bishop. The latter novel was made into a movie Cheers for Miss Bishop, which starred Martha Scott and Edmund Gwenn and premiered in Lincoln, Nebraska.