Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Temperance Leaders Kendrick ~ Woodward

 

Mrs. Ella Bagnell Kendrick, of Hartford, Connecticut, has always been an earnest advocate of temperance. When in 1891 her husband became a business manager of the New England Home, one of the leading prohibition newspapers of the country, she accepted the position of associate editor and through the columns waged a systematic campaign against all liquor traffic She was an efficient member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and served through several terms as assistant secretary of the Hartford Prohibition Club.

Mrs. Ada Miser Kepley, inheriting strong anti-slavery principles from both maternal and paternal ancestors, this intense hatred of slavery took with her the form of hatred for the bodily slavery to alcoholic drink. And although she studied law and later was ordained a minister in the Unitarian denomination, Mrs. Kepley will be best remembered for her work for the abolition of alcoholic drinking and of the laws which tended to perpetuate that evil habit In her law practice she made a specialty of exposing the hidden roots of the liquor trade in her town and county of Illinois. Through the paper Friend at Home which she edited, her readers learned who were the granters, grantees, petitioners and bondsmen for all the liquor shops there. She and her husband built in Effingham, Illinois, "The Temple," a beautiful building which was made the headquarters for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, prohibition and general reform work.

Mrs. Narcissa Edith White Kinney found her place in the white ribbon ranks in the fall of 1880, bringing to the work the discipline of a thoroughly drilled student and successful teacher. Her first relation to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was' as president of the local union in her town. Grove City, Pennsylvania, and next of her own county, Mercer, where she built up the work in a systematic way. She did an immense amount of thorough effective work, lecturing, writing and pledging legislatures to the hygiene bill, for she had made herself a specialist in that department after much study in regard to the best method of teaching hygiene to the young. In 1888 she was sent to assist the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Washington State in securing from the legislature the enactment of temperance laws, and, under her persuasive eloquence and wise leadership, the most stringent scientific temperance laws ever enacted were passed by a unanimous vote of both houses, also in spite of the bitter opposition of the liquor trade a local option bill was passed submitting to the vote of the people the prohibition of liquor traffic in each precinct. Miss White assisted in that campaign and had the gratification of seeing prohibition approved by a majority vote. After her marriage she came to reside permanently in Astoria in Oregon, and she liberally supported the Chautauqua movement for temperance in that state.

Mrs. Janette Hill Knox, in 1881, was elected president of the New Hampshire State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and as the responsibilities connected with that office drew her out from the quieter duties of home to per-form those demanded by her public work, her executive ability developed and the steady and successful growth of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union during the years she held office bore testimony to the strength of her work. Her re-election year by year was practically unanimous.

Mrs. Mary Torans Lathrop was licensed to preach in Michigan in 1871, and was laboring as an evangelist when the woman's crusade swept over the state. She took an active part in the crusade, was one of the founders of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and in 1882 was made president of the state union of Michigan. Gradually her work became that of organization and she labored in various states as a strong helper in securing scientific instruction laws, in Michigan, Nebraska and Dakota amendment campaigns. In 1878 she secured the passage of a bill in the Michigan legislature appropriating thirty thousand dollars for the establishment of the Girls' Industrial Home, a reformatory school in Adrian, Michigan. Mrs. Lathrop's lectures have always been successful and she is equally at home on the temperance platform, on the lecture platform, or at the author's desk. Her memorial ode to Garfield was widely quoted and her brilliant oratory won for her the title ''The Daniel Webster of Prohibition."

Mrs. Olive Moorman Leader, on her marriage in 1880, going to live in Omaha, Nebraska, immediately identified herself with the active work for the temperance cause. She introduced the systematic visiting of the Douglas County jails and she was one of the first workers among the Chinese, being first state superintendent of that department. For twelve years she was identified with the suffrage cause and an adherent and devout believer in the efficacy of Christian Science.

Mrs. Harriett Calista Clark McCabe, in April, 1874, wrote the constitution of the Woman's Temperance Union of Ohio, which was the first union organized. After serving the union for nine years she withdrew from public life but in time yielded to earnest persuasion to aid in the National Woman's Indian Association, and then in the Woman's Home Missionary Society, becoming the editor of Woman's Home Missions the official organ of that society.

Mrs. Caroline Elizabeth Merrick, wife of Edwin T. Merrick, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana at the time of the Civil War, began her work for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union at a time when the temperance cause was widely agitated in the South, though its reception on the whole was a cold one. She was for many years state president for Louisiana. She has written extensively on the subject but her chief talent was impromptu speaking and she developed into a very successful platform orator, holding an audience by the force of her wit and keen sarcasm. Her sympathies were also aroused upon the question of woman's suffrage and for years she stood comparatively alone in her ardent championship of the cause. She was the first woman in Louisiana to speak publicly in behalf of her sex. She addressed the state convention in 1879, and assisted in securing an article in the constitution making all women over twenty-one years of age eligible to hold office in connection with the public schools. It required considerable moral courage to side with a movement so derided in the South at that time, but Mrs. Merrick never faltered in her work for the emancipation of women; moreover, she always took active part in the charitable and philanthropic movements of New Orleans, her native city.

Mrs. Mary Clement Leavitt after being prominent in New England temperance work for years was elected president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Boston, and national organizer of the society. In 1883 she accepted from the president of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Miss Willard, a roving commission as pioneer for the temperance union which was organized in that year. Thenceforth Mrs. Leavitt's work has been without parallel in the records of labor in foreign missions and for temperance. When volunteers were asked for a canvas of the Pacific Coast states she was the first one to answer, and she was also the first to go abroad in the interests of the new organization The association offered to pay her expenses but she decided not to accept it She bought her ocean ticket with her own money and in 1883 sailed from California for the Sandwich Islands. In Honolulu the Christians and white rib-boners aided her in every way, and after organizing the Sandwich Islands she went on to Australia where she promptly established the new order. Leaving Australia she visited all the other countries of the East and completed her tour over all the lands in the European continent She organized eighty-six Woman's Christian Temperance Unions and twenty-three branches of the White Cross, held over one thousand, six hundred meetings, traveled nearly a hundred thousand miles and had the services of two hundred and twenty-nine interpreters in forty-seven languages. After her return to the United States in 1891, she published a pamphlet The Liquor Traffic in Western Africa. During her great tour of the world she never in seven years saw a face she knew and only occasional letters from her enabled the home workers to know where she was laboring.

Mrs. Addie Dickman Miller, while teaching at Philomath College in Philomath, Oregon, where her husband was also a professor, the temperance movement in that state became a critical issue and she and her husband identified themselves with the cause. Mrs. Miller indeed gave up teaching and devoted herself to the work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. After moving to Portland, Oregon, and while caring for her children, she found time to serve several terms as president of the Portland Temperance Union arraying the motherhood of the city against the evil of intemperance. Besides her platform work she for years edited the woman's department in the West Shore, a Portland periodical. She also published 'Letters to Our Girls" in an Eastern magazine, a series of articles containing many valuable thoughts for the young women to whom they were addressed.

Mrs. Cornelia Moore Chillson Moots knew the state of Michigan in its pioneer days, her parents taking her there in 1836. Abigail Chillson, the grand-mother, went with them and as the new settlements were without preachers this elderly woman and ardent Methodist even supplied the itinerary by preaching in the log cabins and the schoolhouses of the early pioneers. Mrs. Moots' father was a temperance advocate also and staunch anti-slavery man, and the Chillson home was often the refuge of the slave seeking liberty across the line. With such inheritance and under such influence it was only natural that Mrs. Moots should become a forceful evangelist herself. After years of activity in exhorting and organizing new branches, a new field opened to her as a temperance worker and like her father she turned her force into the broad channel of temperance reform. She served many terms as state evangelist in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and in spite of her radical views on temperance, equal suffrage and equal standard of morals for men and women, she was one of the most popular and most beloved speakers in the cause.

Miss Ellen Douglas Morris was reared according to the strictest sect of the Presbyterians and never dreamed of becoming a public speaker, until happening to attend a district convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Savannah, Missouri, where she was teaching, the state president believed she saw the latent power in the quiet looker-on and said to the local union, ''Make that woman your president." After great entreaty on their part and great trepidation on hers this was done. The next year saw her president of the district, which she quickly made the pioneer of the state. When a state's secretary was needed Miss Ellen Morris was unanimously chosen and installed at headquarters. Her success in every position she held in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was due to the careful attention she gave to details and the exact fulfillment of her service.

Mrs. Josephine Ralston Nichols, a popular lecturer, was attracted to the temperance movement by an address delivered in Maysville, Ky., her home, by Lucretia Mott She was soon drawn into the movement and added to her lectures a number devoted to temperance. The scientific aspect of the work received her special attention and some of her lectures have been published by the Woman's Temperance Publishing Association. Her greatest triumphs, however, have been won in her special department as superintendent of the exposition department of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, where she worked for years, beginning in 1883. In state and county fairs all over the country she aided the women in making them places of order, beauty, and sobriety instead of scenes of disorder and drunken broil. In many cases she entirely banished the sale of intoxicants either by direct appeal to the managers or by securing the sole privilege of serving refreshments and in all cases banners and mottoes were displayed, and cards, leaflets and papers and other literature given away. So general was the satisfaction that several states passed laws prohibiting the sale of intoxicating drinks on, or near the fair grounds. In 1885 the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Indiana made her its president, but she continued her practical work for the national society, extending and illustrating knowledge of the aims of the cause.

Mrs. Martha B. O'Donnell's work for temperance was accomplished through the society of Good Templars. It was most effective and she became president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of her county in New York State. Having long been identified with the independent order of Good Templars she began in 1868 the publication of the Golden Rule, a monthly magazine in the interest of this order. In 1869 she was elected one of the board of managers of the Grand Lodge of the state of New York. In 1870 she was elected grand vice-templar and was re-elected in 187 1. At her first attendance in the right worthy grand lodge of the nation she was elected right grand vice-templar. Interested deeply in the children she was the moving spirit in securing the adoption of the "Triple Pledge" for the children's society connected with the order. She had charge of introducing the juvenile work all over the world. Her activity in this direction led her to visit Europe as well as many parts of the United States and always with success. Late in her life she became president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of her own county and passed many quiet years at her home in Lowville, New York.

Mrs. Mary Osburn, born in Rush County, Indiana, July 26, 1845, while matron and teacher of sewing and dressmaking in the New Orleans University accomplished much as superintendent of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union among the colored people throughout Louisiana.

Mrs. Hannah Borden Palmer, of Michigan, accompanied her husband to die front in the Civil War, camping with his regiment until the muster-out in September, 1865, and returning home she was elected president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Dexter, Michigan. Under her guidance this union organized a public library and reading room in the town. It was mainly through her efforts, too, that a lodge of Good Templars was organized in Boulder, Colorado, where her husband's business had called him. Her love for children induced her to organize a Band of Hope which grew to an immense membership. During that time she was, moreover, presiding officer of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Boulder. Yet another move in her life brought her fresh opportunity for temperance work. In Buffalo, New York, she united with the Good Templars, serving as chaplain, vice-councilor, and select councilor. Her council sent her as its representative to the grand council in February, 1890, and on her introduction into that body she was made chairman of the committee on temperance work and was elected grand vice-councilor, being the first woman to hold that position in the jurisdiction of New York. In the subsequent sessions of the grand council in February, 1891, and February, 1892, she was re-elected grand vice-councilor, being the only person ever reelected to that office.

Mrs. Florence Collins Porter's early surroundings were those incidental to the new country, her father. Honorable Samuel W. Collins, being one of the early pioneers in Aroostook County, Maine. Later she left the little town of Caribou, where she had been writing for newspapers and periodicals, since she was fifteen years of age, and in Ohio she became greatly interested in public temperance reform with considerable success as a lecturer. At the formation of the non-partisan Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Cleveland, Ohio, she was chosen national secretary of literature and press work and in that capacity she worked for many years.

Miss Esther Pugh of Ohio, early became interested in moral reforms and she was one of the leaders in the crusade joining the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in its first meetings. She was an officer of the Cincinnati Union from the beginning, giving the best years of her life to the work. She was publisher and editor of Our Union for years, and her management as treasurer of the national society repeatedly aided the organization in passing through financial difficulties. She traveled on temperance work through the United States and Canada, lecturing and organizing unions by the score. She was called "The Watch-dog of the Treasury."

Mrs. Lulu A. Ramsey of South Dakota is exceptionally broad in her aims and charities, and a firm believer in woman's power and influence, yet for the field wherein to exert her best energies and benevolences, she chose the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She was for years president of the local union, took an active part in the work of her district for which she filled the office of corresponding secretary and which selected her as its representative in the national convention in Boston, in November, 1892. Her ambition was to found an industrial school which should be so broad and practical in its aims and methods that each pupil should be self-supporting while there and leave the institution as master of some occupation. For years she labored to organize such a school and make it the special charge of a National Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Mrs. Mary Bynon Reese came to Alliance, Ohio, just before the breaking out of the temperance crusade, and led the women of the city to a prohibition success. While lecturing in Pittsburgh and visiting the saloons with the representative women of the place, she was arrested and with thirty-three others imprisoned in the city jail, an event which aroused the indignation of the best people and made countless friends to temperance. After the organization of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, she was identified with the state work of Ohio as lecturer, organizer and evangelist. She was the first superintendent of the Depart-ment of Narcotics and in 1886 she was made one of the national organizers and sent to the North Pacific Coast, where her work was very successful. She afterwards made her home a few miles from Seattle, which city became her head-quarters as state and national organizer.

Mrs. Anna Rankin Riggs has won many honors in the white ribbon army, her principal field being Portland, Oregon. On her coming to the Northwest, Portland had no home for destitute women and girls and in 1887 the Portland Temperance Union, under the auspices of Mrs. Riggs and a few noble women, opened an industrial home. The institution was kept afloat by great exertion and personal sacrifice until it was merged into a refuge home and incorporated under the laws of the state. Mrs. Riggs was almost continuously in office as president of the Oregon Woman's Christian Temperance Union. In 1891 she started the Oregon White Ribbon which proved a successful publication. A prominent feature of her work in Oregon was a school of methods which proved an inspiration to the local unions in their department work. Mrs. Riggs has also represented Oregon at conventions and was president of the International Chautauqua Association for the Northwest Coast.

Mrs. Ellen Sergent who has held the highest office open to a woman in the order of Good Templars, was a member of the board of managers of the first state Woman's Christian Temperance Union, established in Syracuse, New York, and was one of a committee sent from that convention to appeal to the Albany legislature for temperance laws. But for all these honors she is best remembered in the white ribbon ranks for her children's stories on temperance. These were published in the Sunday School Advocate and Well Spring, and are delightful and poetic as well as instructive.

Mrs. Jennie E. Sibley of Georgia showed such courage in temperance work that she gained a reputation throughout the land. It has been said of her that 'She worked with her hand, her purse, her pen, her eloquent tongue, with all the force and fever of a crusader, and the most purifying and regenerating results followed her efforts in every field."

Mrs. Henneriette Skelton's name was associated in the minds of thousands of German citizens of the United States of her time as one of the most indefatigable workers in the cause of temperance. Born in Giessen, Germany, she with her brothers emigrated parentless to America. The energy and zeal with which she devoted her life as a young woman to temperance work were recognized by the national executive board of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and she was appointed one of its national organizers. In that capacity she traveled all over the United States, lecturing both in English and her nature tongue and leaving behind her local unions of women well organized and permeated with earnestness. For a time she edited the temperance paper known as Der Bahnbrecher, besides writing three books published in the English language. "The Man Trap," a temperance story, "Clara Burton," and "The Christmas Tree" a picture of domestic life in Germany. Her platform efforts were marked by breadth of thought, dignity of style and the very essence of profound conviction.

Mrs. Emily Pitt Stevens devoted her life to educational and temperance work on the Pacific Coast. She started an evening school for working girls; she organized the Woman's Co-operative Printing Association, and edited the Pioneer, a woman's paper produced entirely by women on the basis of equal pay for equal work. She was aided by prominent men in placing the stock of the company and through it she exercised great influence in advancing the cause of women in California. After the organization of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in California she labored earnestly in that society. She contributed to the columns of the Bulletin, Pharos, and Pacific Ensign, and served as state lecturer. She joined the Prohibition Party in 1882 and she led the movement in 1888 to induce the Woman's Christian Temperance Union to endorse that party. As far back as 1874, she instituted the Seaman's League in San Francisco, and in 1874 the old Seaman's Hospital was donated by Congress to carry on the work, and the institution became firmly established. The inception of this splendid work together with many other California reforms in those days was from the mind of Mrs. Stevens.

Mrs. Lillian M. N. Stevens of Maine, co-worker with Neal Dow for the prohibition of liquor traffic, her first attempt as a speaker was made in Old Orchard, Maine, when the Woman's Christian Temperance Union for the state was organized. This movement fired her soul with zeal and she threw her whole heart into reform work. She was treasurer of the Maine union for the first three years of its existence and then was made its president She was also one of the secretaries of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union and corresponding secretary for Maine of the national conference of charities and corrections, treasurer of the National Woman's Council of the United States and was one of the commissioners of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago is 1893. She was one of the founders of the temporary home for women and children near Portland and one of the trustees of the Maine Industrial School for Girls. In all these manifold lines of work she proved herself an honorable daughter of a state noted for its distinguished sons.

Eliza Daniel Stewart 1816 ~ 1908

Mrs. Anna Elizabeth Stoddard going South in 1883 to engage in Christian work she stayed for several years, laboring in various parts of that country along lines of reform. Always an advocate of temperance she had united at an early age with the Good Templars in Massachusetts, and had occupied every chair given a woman in that association, but feeling a desire for more practical aggressive work against the liquor traffic she severed her connection with the order and gave her energies to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, just then coming to the front It was this reform that she actively espoused in the South, organizing in different parts Woman's Christian Temperance Unions and Bands of Hope. Having been located in Washington, D. C. for a year or more she was led to establish a mission school for colored children, to whom she taught the English branches, with the addition of work in an industrial department Later she returned to Boston, Mass., where her labors were numerous and her charities broad and noble. She believed that "To oppose one evil to the neglect of others is not wise or Christian."

Miss Missouri H. Stokes, while in charge of the Mission Day School in Atlanta, and very successful in that missionary field, found herself drawn into the crusade for temperance which invaded even the South. She became a member of the first Woman's Christian Temperance Union organized in Georgia, and in 1881 was made secretary, going in 1883 to be corresponding secretary of the state union organized that year. She worked enthusiastically in the good cause, writing much for temperance papers and she was for years the special Georgia correspondent of the Union Signal. She took an active part in the struggle for the pas" sage of the local option law in Georgia, and she made a most valiant attempt to secure from the state legislature scientific temperance instruction in the public schools, a state refuge for fallen women, a law to close the barrooms throughout the state, and she fought on for these acts of legislation for years despite the fact that she and her co-workers were everywhere met with the assertion that all these measures were unconstitutional. After being a conspicuous figure in the temperance revolution in Atlanta, Mrs. Stokes made several successful lecture tours in Georgia paying her expenses from her own slender purse and never allowing a collection to be taken in one of her meetings.

Mrs. Lucy Robins Messer Switzer is one of the most prominent temperance workers which Washington Territory, now State, has ever known. In 1882 she was appointed vice-president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union for Washington Territory, and before Miss Willard's visit in June, and July, 1883, she had organized unions in Spokane Falls, Waitsburg, Dayton, Olympia, Port Townsend and Tacoma. She arranged for the eastern Washington convention in Cheney, the twentieth to the twenty-third of July, 1883, and she acted as president for the Eastern Washington State Union, then formed, for many years. Her work in the campaign of 1885-1886 for scientific instruction and local option and constitutional campaigns for prohibition are matters of record, as representing arduous work and wise generalship. She traveled thousands of miles in the work, having attended the national conventions in Detroit, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Chicago and Boston. She was active during the years from 1883 to 1888, when women had the ballot in Washington, voting twice in territorial elections and several times in municipal and special elections. She wrote many articles in forceful and yet restrained style on all the phases of woman's temperance work and woman's suffrage, and it is safe to conclude that the present equal suffrage law in Washington State was made easier of accomplishment through the earlier works of such strong, thoughtful women as Mrs. Switzer.

Mrs. Eliza J. Thompson was early led into temperance work both by her own inclination and by the influence of her father, the late Governor Trimble of Ohio. In her youth she accompanied her father to Saratoga Springs, New York to attend a national convention and was the only woman in that meeting. On the twenty-third of December, 1873, in her own town, Hillsborough, Ohio, she opened the temperance movement that in a few weeks culminated in the Woman's Temperance crusade and the great success of that movement as it swept from city to town throughout the state is accorded to Mrs. Thompson.

Mrs. Anna Augusta Truitt was one of those who marched, sang and prayed with the crusaders in that remarkable movement in Indiana, and she remained a faithful worker in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. President of the Delaware County Woman's Christian Temperance Union for many years, she was selected by the union to represent them in state and district meetings, as well as in the national conventions. Her addresses, essays and reports proved her a writer of no mean talent. She was an advocate of woman's suffrage, believing that women's votes would go far towards removing the curse of intemperance. In the Woman's Christian Temperance Union she adhered always to the principle of non-partisan, non-sectarian work, and in spite of various hostile attacks she fought on until the temperance union in her city of Munsey, Indiana, was so strongly established, and so influential that no criticism nor persecution could turn the workers she left in the field from their path of duty.

Mrs. Mary Jane Walter is secretary of the department of evangelistic work in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Iowa, and co-worker with J. Ellen Foster. She has attended many conventions, notably one in which the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Iowa withdrew from auxiliary ship with the national association, because of its opposition to the political women's Christian temperance work.

Mrs. Mary Evalia Warren, for many years prominent in temperance reform, was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union from its first organization and she had a field of her own for propagating the work at Wayland University, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where she had furnished money to erect a dormitory for girls called the "Warren Cottage." She joined the Good Templars' order in 1878 and filled all the subordinate lodge offices to which women usually aspire, and as grand-vice-templar she lectured to large audiences in nearly all parts of the state.

Mrs. Lucy H. Washington was a leader in the crusade movement, and when temperance organization was sought in her town of Jacksonville, Illinois, in response to the needs of the hour she was brought into public speaking. Her persuasive methods. Christian spirit, and her eloquence made her at once a speaker acceptable to all classes. Her first address in temperance work outside her own city was given in the Hall of Representatives in Springfield, Illinois. Commendatory press reports on this led to repeated and urgent calls for further lecture work and opened the door of service which was never closed during her life. During succeeding years she was in various official capacities largely engaged in Woman's Christian Temperance Union work giving addresses in twenty-four states and extending her labors from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In the great campaigns for constitutional prohibition in Iowa, Kansas, Maine and other she bore a helpful part and in difficult emergencies, when great interests imperiled, her electric utterances often produced a decision for victory. Her temperance hymns have been sung throughout the country.

Mrs. Margaret Anderson Watts, always a deep thinker on the most advanced social and religious topics, occasionally published her views on woman, in her political and civil relations. She was the first Kentucky woman who wrote and advocated the equal rights of women before the law. During the revision of the Constitution of Kentucky she was chosen one of six women to visit the capital, and secure a hearing before the committees on education, and municipalities, and on the Woman's Property Rights Bill then pending. When the woman's crusade movement was initiated she happened to be living in Colorado where business affairs called her husband for several years, but her sympathies were with the women of Ohio who formed the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and as soon as she returned to Louisville she joined the union there. She worked actively in various departments of that organization, her special work being given to scientific temperance instruction in the public schools. In this and in many benevolences for her city Mrs. Watts accomplished much positive good.

Mrs. Delia L. Weatherby, inheriting the same temperament which made her father an abolitionist, became an active worker in the order of Good Templars. She could endure no compromise with intemperance and in the various places she lived she was always distinguished as an advanced thinker and a pronounced prohibitionist She was a candidate on the prohibition ticket in 1886, for county superintendent of public instruction in Coffey County, Kansas, and she was elected a lay delegate to the quadrennial meeting of the South Kansas Lay Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1888. In 1890 she was placed in nomination for the office of state superintendent of public instruction on the prohibition ticket In 1890 she was unanimously elected clerk of the school board in her home district She was an alternate delegate from the fourth congressional district of Kansas to the national prohibition convention in 1892, and also secured the same year for the second time by the same party, the nomination for the office of public instruction in her own county. All this experience in political life greatly enhanced her value as a member of the white ribbon army, in which cause she has always been prominent. She was president of the Coffey County Woman's Christian Temperance Union for several years and as superintendent of the Press Department of the Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and state reporter for the Union Signal she proved herself one of the strongest women that this enterprising state has ever given to the temperance cause.

Miss Mary Allen West of Galesburg, Illinois, was a wise practical leader of the temperance cause. When the Civil War came she had worked earnestly in organizing women into aid societies to assist the Sanitary Commission, and after the war she accomplished a remarkable piece of editorial work, editing in Illinois the Home Magazine, which was published nearly one thousand miles away in Philadelphia, but later she left pen and desk for active work in the temperance cause. When the woman's crusade sounded the call of woman, the home and God against the saloon her whole soul echoed the cry, and after the organization of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union had been effected she became an earnest worker in its ranks, giving efficient aid in organizing the women of Illinois and becoming their president In that office she traveled very extensively throughout Illinois and became familiar with the homes of the people. It was that knowledge of the inner life of thousands of homes that made her work for temperance direct, practical and efficient. She was often called upon to help in the editorial labors of Mrs. Mary B. Williard, the editor of the Signal, published in Chicago, and later whom it had been merged with our Union, into the Union Signal and Mrs. Willard gone to Germany to reside, the position of editor-in-chief was given to Miss West who moved to Chicago to accept it. As editor of that paper, the organ of the National and the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union, her responsibilities were immense but they were always carried with a steady hand and an even head. She met the demands of her enormous constituency with a remarkable degree of poise. A paper having a circulation of nearly one hundred thousand among earnest women, many of them in the front rank of intelligence and advancement of thought and all of them on fire with an idea, needs judicious and strong, as well as thorough and comprehensive editing. This the Union Signal under Miss West has had and the women of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union repeatedly, in the most emphatic manner, endorsed her policy and conduct of the paper. Soon after she went to Chicago some women of that city, both writers and publishers, organized the Illinois Woman's Press Association, its avowed object being to provide a means of communication between women writers and to secure the benefits resulting from organized efforts. Miss West was made president and filled the position for several consecutive terms. Her work in that sphere was a unifying one. She brought into harmony many conflicting elements and helped to carry the association through the perils which always beset the early years of an organization. She had an unusual capacity for vicarious suffering; the woes of others were her woes and the knowledge of injustice or cruelty wrung her heart. That made her an effective director of the protective agency for women and children, but the strain of that work proved too great and she stepped outside its directorships although remaining an ardent upholder of the agency. Miss West in 1892 visited California, the Sandwich Islands, and Japan in the interests of temperance work. She died in Kanazawa, Japan, first of December, 1892.

Mrs. Dora V. Wheelock of Nebraska was one of the earliest women temperance workers of that state. In 1885 she became an influential worker for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, serving for several years as local president in Beatrice, and three years as president of the Gage County Union. She was state superintendent of press work and reporter for the Union Signal for Nebraska. She has written much, her articles appearing in the Youth's Companion, Union Signal and other publications, and in every way she has accomplished all that a variously gifted woman might, as one of the advance guard in the cause of temperance.

Mrs. Mary Bannister Willard, sister-in-law of Francis Willard, was called to assume the editorship of the Signal, the organ of the Illinois Woman's Christian Temperance Union and during years of successful work for it she displayed remarkable ability both in the editorial sanctum and as organizer and plat-form speaker. The Signal under her leadership came quickly to the front and it was said that no other paper in America was better edited. But Mrs. Willard's health had become impaired from the constant strain of overwork and with her two daughters she went to Europe. In the autumn of 1886 she opened in Berlin, Germany, her American Home School for Girls, unique in its way and which for years she managed on the original plan with much success. It combined best features of an American school with special advantage in German and French and the influence and care of a refined Christian home. In the years of her residence in Europe Mrs. Willard's gifts and wide acquaintance have ever been at the service of her countrywomen and she stood there as here as a representative of the best phases of total abstinence reform.

Mrs. Alice Williams during years of suffering and invalidism read, studied and thought much on temperance subjects, and when restored to health the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was formed in her state of Missouri. She became an active local worker. In 1884 she went with her husband to Lake Bluff, to a prohibition conference there. At the request of Missouri state president, Mrs. Williams' voice was first heard from the platform in a two minutes' speech. She was appointed superintendent of the young woman's work in Missouri and was called to every part of the state to speak and organize. She always commanded large audiences and her lectures presented the truth of the temperance question and social purity in an unusually strong; yet not offensive manner.

Mrs. Jennie Fowler Willing's father was a Canadian "patriot," who lost all in an attempt to secure national independence, and was glad to escape to the States with his family to begin life again in the New West, so that this inherited love of freedom and a mixture of heroic English, Scotch and Irish blood in her veins, naturally brought Mrs. Willing to the fore when the great temperance crusade swept over the land. For several years she was president of the Illinois State Woman's Temperance Union, and with Emily Huntington Miller she issued the call for the Cleveland convention, presiding over that body in which the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized. For a few years she edited its organ now the Union Signal. Mrs. Willing was drawn into public speaking by her temperance zeal and soon found herself addressing immense audiences in all the great cities of the country. As an evangelist she held many large revival services with marked success, and after moving to New York City in 1899, her life was as full of good works as it would seem possible for any human being's to be. She was interested in foreign mission work conducting her evangelistic services, was superintendent in an Italian mission and the bureau of immigration with its immigrant girls' homes in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Her English sturdiness, Scotch persistence, and Irish vivacity, her altogether usefulness made her an ideal type of an American woman.

Mrs. Annie Wittenmyer, although originally famous for her work in the Women's Relief Corps, has done no less efficient service for the temperance cause. When the Civil War broke out she became Iowa's volunteer agent to distribute supplies to the army and was the first sanitary agent for the state, being elected by the legislature. She received a pass from Secretary of War Stanton, which was endorsed by President Lincoln and throughout the Civil War she was constantly in the field ministering to the sick and wounded in the hospital and on the battlefield. She was personally acquainted with the leading generals of the army and was a special friend of General Grant and accompanied him and Mrs. Grant on the boat of observation that went down the Mississippi to see six gunboats and eight wooden steamers run the blockade. While in the service she introduced a reform in hospital cookery known as the special diet kitchens, which was made a part of the United States Army system and which saved the lives of thousands of soldiers who were too ill to recover on coarse army fare. But after the war she turned to temperance work with the same courage and zeal that kept her coolly working even while under fire during the war. She was the first president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, in Iowa, and beginning without a dollar in the treasury she won the influence of the churches and the support of the leading people until her efforts were crowned with success. She established the Christian Women, in Philadelphia, and was editor for eleven years. She also contributed lectures, articles in periodicals, and a numerous collection of hymns to the cause of temperance.

Mrs. Mary Brayton Woodbridge was one of the most prominent women in the Ohio temperance movement. She joined the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and filled many important offices in that organization. She was the first president of the local union in her own home town, Ravenna, then for year's president of her state union, and in 1878 she was chosen recording secretary of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, a position which she filled with marked ability. Upon the resignation of Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, in the St Louis National Woman's Christian Temperance Union Convention, in October, 1884, Mrs. Woodbridge was unanimously elected national superintendent of the department of legislation and petition. Her crowning work was done in conducting a constitutional amendment campaign. She edited the Amendment Herald, which gained a weekly circulation of a hundred thousand copies. From 1878^ she was annually reelected recording secretary of the national union. She was secretary of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union and in 1889 attended the world's convention in England. She died in Chicago, Illinois, October 25, 1894.

Mrs. Caroline M. Clark Woodward entered the field of temperance in 1882 as a temperance writer and she proved herself a consistent and useful worker for the cause. In 1884 she was elected treasurer of the Nebraska Woman's Christian Temperance Union and in 1887, vice-president at large of the state. In 1887 she was appointed organizer for the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union and was twice reappointed. In the Atlanta convention she was elected associate superintendent of the department of work among railroad employees. She was a member of each national convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, including the memorable St. Louis convention of 1884. She was a delegate to the national Prohibition Party convention in 1888, held in Indianapolis and as a final and well-earned honor she was nominated by that party for regent of the state university of Nebraska and led the state ticket by a large vote.

Temperance Leaders Allen ~ Illiohan

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.

 

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