Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Alzina Parsons Stevens 1849 ~ 1900


The history of Mrs. Stevens, industrial reformer, born in Parsonfield, Missouri, May 27, 1849, is, in many of its phases, an epitome of women's work in the labor movement in this country during her life. Mrs. Stevens fought the battle of life most bravely.

When but thirteen years of age she began work as a weaver in a cotton factory. At eighteen years of age she had learned the printer's trade, at which she continued until she passed into other departments of newspaper work. She was compositor, proofreader, correspondent, and editor. In all these positions she acquitted herself well, and it was in the labor movement that she attracted public attention.

In 1877 she organized the Working Women's Union of Chicago, and was its first president Removing from that city to Toledo, Ohio, she threw herself into the movement there and was soon one of the leading members of the Knights of Labor. Later, she was instrumental in organizing a Women's Society, the "Joan of Arc Assembly, Knights of Labor," and was its first master workman, who went from that body to the district assembly. In 1890 she was elected district master workman, becoming the chief officer of a district of twenty-two local assemblies of knights. She represented the district in the General Assemblies of the hour and the conventions held in Atlanta, Denver, Indianapolis, and Toledo.

She represented the labor organizations of Cleveland, Ohio, in the. National Industrial Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1892, and in the Omaha Convention of the People's Party that same year. She was always an ardent advocate of equal suffrage, and a capable organizer and untiring worker for the cause.

For several years she held a position on the editorial staff of the Toledo Bee, later became sole owner and editor of the Vanguard, a paper published in Chicago, in the interests of economic and industrial reform through political action.

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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