Woman of the Century/Ada Chastina Bowles

BOWLES, Mrs. Ada Chastina, Universalist minister, born in Gloucester, Mass., 2nd August, 1836. On her father's side her ancestry runs through the Choates and on her mother's side through the Haskells, back into staunch old English families. Her youth was spent by the sea, and her outdoor sports laid the foundation for the vigor and health that have always characterized her. She was born with a sound mind in a sound body. Her early opportunities for acquiring education were limited. After easily and rapidly learning all that was taught in the public schools of Gloucester, she was wholly unsatisfied with her attainments and pushed forward with different studies by herself. At the age of fifteen she began to teach in the public schools. She continued in that vocation until she was twenty-two, employing, meanwhile, such leisure as she could command in writing for the press. She was then married to a popular clergyman. Rev. B. F. Bowles, pastor of the Universalist Church in Melrose, Mass. Although by that marriage she became the stepmother of three children, and later the mother of three more, she still found time for a variety of church work, including teaching an adult Bible class. Her success with that class led her to deeper theological study, under the direction of her husband. Mr. Bowles desired that his wife should be in all things his companion, and, after giving her a thorough course in theology, he encouraged her to preach the gospel, which she had long felt called to declare. She began in 1869 by supplying vacant pulpits in New England. In 1872 she was licensed in Boston to preach and became the non-resident pastor of a church in Marlborough, Mass. Mr. Bowles, at that time settled in Cambridge, soon after accepted a call to the pastorate of the Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia, and Mrs. Bowles was called as non-resident pastor of the Universalist Church in Easton, Pa., a position she held for three very successful years, although the church had been for many years dormant. She closed her connection with that parish that she might lay the foundation of a new church in Trenton, N. J., which she accomplished in six weeks of energetic work. She was regularly ordained in 1874 and has preached and lectured since that time in most of the large cities of the United States. When without a church of her own, she has shared the parish work of her husband and has been constantly engaged in charitable and philanthropic work. In addition to all her ministerial work, she lectured in various parts of the country under the auspices of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, in which organization she has been ADA CHASTINA BOWLES.jpgADA CHASTINA BOWLES. state superintendent of various departments. She has been national lecturer of the American Suffrage Association and president of State, county and city suffrage organizations, as well as an active member of many other reforms. Notwithstanding all these duties and labors, she is famed among her acquaintances as a wise and affectionate mother and a model housekeeper. One of her most popular lectures is on "Strong-minded Housekeeping." which embodies her own experience in household cares and management. She is an expert swimmer, perfectly at home in or on the water, and can handle a saw, hammer or rolling-pin with equal dexterity. Her public life has never in any way been allowed to interfere with the exercise of a gracious private chanty She is a very popular and convincing speaker. In all that she undertakes Mrs. Bowles is prompt and incisive, and in private life is as constant in good works as she is able in public in inspiring others to all worthy endeavors. Her present home is in Abington. Mass