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Opie Percival Read. In Portland, Ore., middle of the first half of the twentieth century. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105142).

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Read, Opie Percival (22 December 1852–02 November 1939), novelist and humorist, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Guilford Read, a carriage manufacturer, and Elizabeth Wallace. Read enjoyed a peaceful, comfortable childhood, dividing his time between attending school and helping out in the fields. While Read was still quite young, his father moved the family to Gallatin, Tennessee, a small town northeast of Nashville....