Helens father was Arthur H. Keller. He was a former captain in the Confederate Army and later an editor of a newspaper. Helen's recollects how she used to make her way through 'great drifts of newspapers' to her father's side. Helen found her father's work amusing and puzzling, and would often imitate him to find out exactly what he would be so occupied in. It was only several years later that she learnt that he was an editor.