Woman of the Century/Ann Viola Neblett
NEBLETT, Mrs. Ann Viola, temperance worker, born in Hamburg, S. C, 5th March. 1842. Six months after her birth her parents returned to their home in Augusta. Ga. Mrs. Neblett is a descendant of two old Virginia families, the Ligons, of Amelia county, and the Christians, of the Peninsula, who were originally from the Isle of Wight. Her maternal great-grandfather was a captain in the Revolutionary War and served with distinction. Her grandmother was a Methodist preacher's wife, class-leader and Bible-reader. ANN VIOLA NEBLETT. Mrs. Neblett's girlhood and early womanhood were passed in a quiet home in Augusta. The abolition of slavery and its enforcement at the close of the Civil War reduced her grandmother, her mother and herself to poverty, and, but for the aid rendered by a devoted former slave, they would have suffered for food in the dark days of 1865. In February, 1867, she became the wife of James M. Neblett, of Virginia, a successful business man. They made their name in Augusta till the fall of 1870, since which time they have resided in Greenville. S. C., where she has been an indefatigable Woman's Christian Temperance Union worker, showing great energy and executive ability. She was the first woman in her State to declare herself for woman suffrage, over her own signature, in the public prints, which was an act of heroism and might have meant social ostracism in the conservative South. After years of study and mature thought on theological questions, she takes broader and more liberal views concerning the Bible and its teachings, and is in accord with the advanced religious thought of the present time. Having been reared amid slavery, seeing its downfall and observing the negro since 1865, she believes that the elevation of the negro must come by the education of the heart, the head and the hand. Her husband died 28th December. 1891, after a long illness she had sustained and encouraged her in her charitable work throughout their married life.