Edith Franklin Wyatt was born in September of 1873 in Tomah, Wisconsin. Little is known about her early life except that as a young woman she attended Bryn Mawr College, a liberal arts school in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She studied at Bryn Mawr from 1892 to 1894. Then after she graduated she taught at a private institution for around five years.
Wyatt would later be offered a job as an instructor at Hull House in the Near West Side of Chicago. She moved to Chicago and began working in the city where she would live for the rest of her life. Hull House, the institution in which Wyatt was teaching, was a settlement house that was open to new European immigrants. It was known to run an innovative, educational, and successful program. The buildings in which it was contained were demolished in the 1960s. The period of time in which Edith Franklin Wyatt was working at Hull House are considered her most productive years. She was writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Although Wyatt wrote a great number of poems, she is best known for her fiction works. One of her first books of prose was published in 1901. It was titled, Everyone His Own Way. It was followed by True Love: A Comedy of the Affections, in 1903. This book was an early feminist fiction work that concerned personal relationships within two conflicting families.
Wyatt also spent time writing nonfiction, such as the 1911, Making Both Ends Meet: The Income and Outlay of New York Working Girls. This work was characteristic of Wyatt. She was well known for her progressive views of women’s rights and her participation in social causes. She often wrote about various inequalities in labor and animal abuse. She also served as a member of Poetry magazine’s advising committee.
Some of her later works include, The Invisible Gods, published by Harper & Brothers in 1923, and the work, The Satyr’s Children: A Fable, published in 1939. Wyatt spent the entirety of the rest of her life in Chicago and continued to write until her death.
Edith Franklin Wyatt died in 1958, in Chicago, Illinois.