Woman of the Century/Alzina Parsons Stevens
STEVENS, Mrs. Alzina Parsons, industrial reformer, born in Parsonsfield, Me., 27th May. 1849. She is one of the representative women in the order of the Knights of Labor, and her history is. in some of its phases, an epitome of woman's work in the labor movement in this country for the last twenty years. Her grandfather was Colonel Thomas Parsons, who commanded a Massachusetts regiment in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Her father was Enoch Parsons, a soldier in the War of 1812, while her two brothers served in the late war in the Seventh New Hampshire Infantry. Mrs. Stevens has fought the battle of life most bravely. When but thirteen years of age, she began self-support 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 has been compositor, proof-reader, correspondent and editor, and in all of these positions has done well, but it is in the labor movement she has attracted public attention. In 1877 she organized the Working Woman's Union, No. 1, 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 spirits of the Knights of Labor. She was again instrumental in organizing a woman's society, the Joan of Arc Assembly Knights of Labor, and was us first master workman and a delegate from that body to the district assembly. ALZINA PARSONS STEVENS. In the district she has been a zealous and energetic worker, a member of the executive board, organizer, judge, and for a number of years recording and financial secretary. In 1890 she was elected district master workman, becoming the chief officer of a district of twenty-two local assemblies of knights. She has represented the district in the general assemblies of the order in the conventions held in Atlanta, Ga., Denver, Col., Indianapolis, Ind., and Toledo, Ohio, She represented the labor organizations of northwestern Ohio in the National Industrial Conference in St. Louis, Mo., in February, 1892, and in the Omaha convention of the Peoples Party, July, 1892. She is an ardent advocate of equal suffrage, an untiring worker, a clear, incisive speaker and a capable organizer. She has been appointed upon the Women's Auxiliary Committee to the World's Fair Labor Congress. For several years she held a position on the editorial stiff of the Toledo "Bee." She is now half owner and editor of the " Vanguard." a paper published in Chicago in the interests of economic and industrial reforms through political action.