Florence Ryerson (Florence Ryerson)

Florence Ryerson

Florence Ryerson was born in Glendale, California. She was the daughter of Charles Dwight Willard and Mary McGregor. Charles Dwight Willard (1860-1914), journalist and political reformer, was an 1883 graduate of the University of Michigan, worked on the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Herald, and was author of The Fall of Ulysses – An Elephant Story (1912), The Herald’s History of Los Angeles City (1901), and other books. In 1920 Florence and her husband, Harold Swayne Ryerson, worked in the manufacture of ladies’ clothes. Florence was also a stage actress and wrote short stories for magazines. In 1926, Florence Ryerson joined Paramount Pictures to work on silent film scripts, among them Adam and Evil and Wickedness Preferred. Later sound films she wrote include the Fu Manchu and Philo Vance series. She was co-author of the screenplay for The Wizard of Oz, along with frequent collaborator Edgar Allan Woolf and British author Noel Langley. Both Ryerson and Woolf created the Wizard’s Kansas counterpart, Professor Marvel. In the 1930s, Florence Ryerson and second husband Colin Campbell Clements acquired the 19th century Workman Ranch in Canoga Park, in the western San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. She renamed the estate Shadow Ranch for the amount of shade provided by the numerous large Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) eucalyptus trees, originally planted in the 1860s during the Workman era. They restored and expanded the historic adobe and redwood ranch house, and lived there through the 1940s. Ryerson co-wrote the ‘The Wizard of Oz’ screenplay while living there. Ryerson wrote plays and mystery novels with husband Colin Clements. For Broadway in the 1940s they wrote Glamour Preferred, Harriet, and Strange Bedfellows. In Harriet, Helen Hayes was Harriet Beecher Stowe. Colin Clements died in 1948. Ryerson retired to Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, in 1951, where she continued to write plays, some for the local high school. Florence Ryerson Clements died in Mexico City of cardiac insufficiency in 1965. Her remains were cremated in Mexico and given to her son, Harold Swayne Ryerson, Jr.


  • September, 20, 1892
  • USA
  • Glendale, California


  • June, 08, 1965
  • Mexico City, Mexico

Cause of Death

  • cardiac insufficiency


  • Cremated

1514 profile views