Woman of the Century/Anna Elizabeth Stoddard
STODDARD, Mrs. Anna Elizabeth, journalist and anti-secret-society agitator, born in Greensboro, Vt., 19th September, 1852. Her father was David Rollins, of English descent. Her mother was a Thompson, a direct descendant of the Scotch who settled in the vicinity of Plymouth, Mass. The family removed to Sheffield. Vt., when she was six years of age, and at eleven she was converted and joined the Free Baptist Church. Her parents then moved to Cambridge, Mass., where she had an excellent opportunity to gratify her love of books and study. Foremost in Sabbath-school and other church work, she was recognized as a leader among her young associates. ANNA ELIZABETH STODDARD. In 1880 she became the wife of John Tanner, jr. of Boston, an earnest Christian reformer and strongly opposed to secret orders. He died in September, 1883, and she went south to engage in Christian work. In December, 1885, she became the wife of Rev. J. P. Stoddard, secretary and general agent of the National Christian Association, with head- quarters in Chicago, 111. With her husband she has labored in several parts of the country along the lines of reforms. Always an advocate of temperance, she united at an early age with the Good Templars in Massachusetts, and occupied every' chair given to women and became a member of the Grand Lodge. Finding that most of the time during the meetings was spent on trivial matters of a routine character, to the exclusion of practical, aggressive work against the liquor traffic, she came to the conclusion that it was a hindrance rather than a help to true gospel temperance work. She severed her connection with the order and gave her energies to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, which had just come to the front. She has with pen and voice actively espoused that reform, organizing in different parts of the South Woman's Christian Temperance Unions and Bands of Hope. Having been located in Washington, D. C. for a year or more, she was led to establish a mission- school for colored children, to whom she taught the English branches, with the addition of an industrial department and a young ladies' class. A Sabbath-school was organized in connection with that work, with a system of house-to-house visitations, and a home for the needy and neglected children of that class was established, largely through her efforts. Since January, 1890, her residence has been in Boston, Mass. There her labors have been numerous, the most important of which is the publishing of a monthly paper for women, called "Home Light," designed to encourage those who are opposed to secretism and to enlighten others as to the evils of the same. The financial responsibilities have rested entirely on her from its inception. She espouses the cause of woman suffrage and takes an interest in all the reforms of the day, believing that to oppose one evil to the neglect of others is not wise nor Christian.