Ruth Ann Musick was born in Kirksville, Missouri on September 17, 1897. Musick is best known for being an author and folklorist that focused on West Virginia tales. She attended Kirksville State Teacher's College (currently Truman State University) and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. After earning her education degree, Musick moved to Luana, Iowa to begin teaching at Luana High School. She remained there from 1919 to 1921 and then moved to Garwin, Iowa to teach at Garwin High School for one year. Afterwards, Musick furthered her education at the State University of Iowa, where she graduated with a Master's Degree in Mathematics in 1928. Musick then continued her teaching career in Wisconsin and Arizona before she moved back to Iowa to earn her Doctorate of Philosophy in English from the State University of Iowa in 1943. It was during that time that she found her passion for folklore that she is best known for today.