Woman of the Century/Amanda L. Aikens
AIKENS, Mrs. Amanda L., editor and philanthropist, born in North Adams, Mass., 12th May, 1833. Her father's name was Asahel Richardson Barnes. Her mother's maiden name was Mary Whitcomb Slocum. Mrs. Aikens was reared under deeply religious influences. Much of her education was received in Maplewood Institute. Pittsfield, Mass. Since her marriage to Andrew Jackson Aikens she has lived in Milwaukee, Wis., where she has been for many years a leader in local charities, church work and efforts for the intellectual development of women. She has one daughter, Stella, who is a poet of wide reputation. In November, 1887, Mrs. Aikens began to edit "The Woman's World," a special department of "The Evening Wisconsin." of which her husband is one of the proprietors, published in Milwaukee. Up to that time she was best known for her active interest in, and intimate connection with, numerous benevolent societies. She was at one time president of the Board of Local Charities and Corrections, two years president of the Woman's Club of Milwaukee, two years chairman of the Art Committee, and has been vice-president of the Wisconsin Industrial School for Girls, and for ten years the chairman of its executive committee. During the Civil War she was an indefatigable worker. It was she who made the public appeals and announcements through the press when the question of a National Soldiers' Home was agitated. In the history of Milwaukee, published in 1881, AMADA L. AIKENS. there is a long account of her various labors for suffering humanity in that time of strife and bloodshed, the War for the Union. She has traveled extensively in Europe, and her newspaper letters were really art criticisms of a high order. She was one of the most enthusiastic and successful of those who raised money in Wisconsin for the Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, for the purpose of admitting women on equal terms with men. She helped largely in organizing the first Woman's Republican Club of Wisconsin, and was a State delegate to the National Conference of Charities when it met in Baltimore. In 1891 she read a paper before the State Conference of Charities in Madison, Wis. Mrs. Aikens had much to do with the introduction of cooking into the public schools of Milwaukee. She has been identified for fifteen years as an officer or director with the Art Science Class, a literary organization for the purpose of developing a taste in architecture, painting, sculpture, and science. One-hundred-fifty ladies belong to this class, and it has done more for the direct education of women in the arts and sciences than any other society in the State. There are few, if any, interests of importance in the matter of advancement for women in her city or her State with which Mrs Aikens has not been more or less identified. She is known to be a talented woman in the literary sense of the word, a loyal wife, a devoted mother, and a philanthropist of the truest and tenderest type.