Miriam Evangeline Mason began life in Goshen, Indiana in the year 1900. During her early life the family also resided in Bloomington, Elletsville, and Martinsville, Indiana. Miriam was one of a family of seven.
She decided to become a writer after working as a school teacher and assistant editor for a magazine, among other jobs. She felt that her childhood on a rolling Indiana farm had a way of springing to life for boys and girls in her books. Miriam married M. M. Swain in 1924. They had one daughter, Kathleen.
Her first published book was Little Story House, which appeared in 1935. During her prolific career, she wrote over fifty books for young people, and during her later years she also served as a consultant for primers produced for elementary school students.
She moved to Batesville during the late 1940's. She had been researching a book at Madison, and came to Batesville for a visit. She liked the town, and purchased the home at 510 Western Avenue. This became known as "the spooky house" because of its unkempt appearance.
According to her grandson, Andy Beck, the three important things in her life were: church, culture and reading. The last she instilled in her grandson. He was required to read one book a week during his stays at her Batesville home. He would visit the cavernous library on the second floor of the Memorial Building, make his weekly selection, read it, and return the next week every week of his stay. Included in her works were books based on her grandchildren. The book about Andy was entitled, A Small Farm for Andy, appearing in 1958 when he was seven years old. The book about his sister, Kathleen Miriam Beck (Hurwitz), was entitled, Katie Kittenheart, published in 1957.
Miriam Mason Swain would reside in Batesville until her death in 1971.