Josephine Scribner was the daughter of an Ohio lawyer. In 1881, she married Charles Gates and lived the rest of her life in Toledo. The couple had a daughter who may have been the inspiration for many of her mother's works. Through 1915, Mrs. Gates had written at least 23 books. She was known especially for her “Live Dolls” series that skillfully blended stories of fantasy with lessons in behavior. Many of the books were attractively illustrated by Virginia Keep. Most of Mrs. Gates's books were published in several editions and are still available today in the rare book market. Her brother, Harvey Scribner, a lawyer in their home town of Mount Vernon, also became a writer.