Josephine Pollard was born in New York City, one of seven children of an architect and his wife. She attended the Springler Institute, an exclusive girls' school. She was a devout Presbyterian and worked as an editor for the Sunday School Times and the Methodist Book Concern, and published more than 100 hymns. Her poetry was published in a number of magazines, including Harper’s and Scribner’s, and in the New York Ledger. Some of her children’s poetry was collected in a volume called Elfin in 1882.
She also wrote for children’s magazines of the era such as The Little Corporal. She wrote several very basic, one-syllable history books for children in the 1880s, as well as numerous children's Bible stories. She was a founding member of the professional women’s club Sorosis.