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The Souvenir of Western Women/Abigail Scott Duniway, Mother and Home Builder

Abigail Scott Duniway


WHEN we consider the hands that build a nation, we naturally look to those whose workmanship is uppermost—the statesman, the legislator, the soldier, the philanthropist, the author, the painter, and the poet. Beneath all these we find the work of smaller, but sometimes mightier, hands. The former may have laid the cornerstone and fitted the keystone to the arch, but the solid masonry of the foundation, upon which the entire structure must rest, is the work largely of the latter.

The hands that work unobserved and silently have builded into the national edifice that which will enable it to withstand the storms of time; and these hands are the hands that rock the cradle—the hands that keep the hearthstone bright and the light burning in the window for wandering feet.

Sometimes the great hands that have helped to chisel out the cornerstone and to mold out of human thought the keystone to the arch have also been among the silent workers. While building grandly above, they have reached down among the workers in the realm of home and builded as grandly and as wisely there.

Among these dual workers are most of the women whose names stand pre-eminent as builders in state, in literature, in philanthropy—not least of whom is our own Abigail Scott Duniway.

In our community is the fruit of her home work. Five sons, solid citizens of their country, stand as worthy testimony to a mother's work. As a public worker in the cause of freedom, as a framer of laws for betterment of the condition of women under the law, Mrs. Duniway stands equal to any; as a mother and home-builder second to none.

M. 0. D.

From the diary of Mrs. Elkanah Walker (a missionary of 1838): "February 15. Camped at the Sweet Water at the foot of Independence Rock, so-called because the Fur Company once celebrated Independence day here. In company with Mr. and Mrs. Gray went to the top of the rock. This, I should judge, is one hundred feet high and a half mile in circumference. It is^coarse granite, quartz predominating."