Woman of the Century/Cora Scott Pond Pope
POPE, Mrs. Cora Scott Pond, born in Sheboygan, Wis , 2nd March, 1856. She is a second cousin on her father's side of General Winfield Scott Her father was born in Calais, Me., and her mother in St John, New Brunswick. After marriage they went immediately to the West, settling first in Sheboygan, in 1850, and then moved to Two Rivers, Wabasha, Minn., Chippewa Falls, and finally settled in Eau Claire, Wis. Miss Pond was the third in a family of eight children, three girls and five boys. CORA SCOTT POND POPE. She attended the public schools regularly and added to her already robust constitution by outdoor games, until she was fifteen years old She could run as fast as the boys, who were invariably her playmates. There were no books or libraries in the town, and from fifteen to twenty-one years of age she devoted herself to music and social Interests. She desired above all things to finish her education in the University of Wisconsin. Her father was a successful inventor of machinery and booms for milling and losing purposes. Her mother was indefatigable in her care of the children The question of expense was a crucial one, with so large a family to support, but it was decided that her wish should be gratified and, in her twenty-second year, Miss Pond entered the State University. She was unable to interest herself particularly in mathematics or the languages, but whatever related to the English and to history, literature, rhetoric and oratory was especially attractive. She decided to fit herself as a teacher of oratory and, not wishing to finish any prescribed course in the university, after studying there three years, she set out for Boston alone in 1880, one of the first young women in her city, in those days, to go away from home, and adopt a profession She entered the department of oratory of the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1883 she was graduated first in her class. For one year afterward she taught with her professor in the conservatory. While there, she was much interested in woman's work at the polls, in woman suffrage and temperance, and because of special work done alone in the hardest ward of the city, where no woman had ever labored before, she was invited by Mrs. Lucy Stone to help them organize the State for woman suffrage. Miss Pond had intended to teach for ten years and then go West and take up the work for women, but she decided to accept the proposition. She continued the work and organized eighty-seven woman suffrage leagues in Massachusetts, more than had ever been organized before, arranged lectures, spoke in the meetings and raised money to carry on the State work for six years. Although engaged in that work, she was interested in every reform. Her first great effort in raising money was in 1887, when she organized a woman suffrage bazaar. It was held in Music Hall, Boston, for one week. Over six-thousand dollars were cleared. After that most of her time was spent in raising money for State work. While teaching in the conservatory, Miss Pond arranged five-minute sketches from Dickens, Shakespeare and other authors, and presented them with her scholars to the public in the conservatory. In 1889 she arranged national historical events in the same way to raise money for the State work. The inventive mind of her father showed itself in that. The pictures for dramatic expression arranged themselves, in one evening, spontaneously in her mind. She called it "The National Pageant" and copyrighted her programme. The idea was not at first received with enthusiasm by some of the prominent women of Boston. Two only stood by her and said " Go on." "The National Pageant" was given in Mollis Street Theater, oth May, 1889. The nouse was crowded at two dollars per ticket. It was a grand success. Over one-thousand dollars were cleared at one matinee performance. Miss Pond decided to give up her State work, devote herself to "The National Pageant" and give it for various societies of women to help them raise money to carry on their work. Seconded by Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, who had always been to her as a godmother in her Boston work, and by a prominent business woman of Boston, Miss Amanda M. Lougee, Miss Pond made her venture and carried it into the large cities of the country, and has given one performance each month since then for local societies, and raised many thousands of dollars for charitable purposes. She gave it in Chicago, in the Auditorium, the first historical work given after the decision by Congress to hold the Columbian Exposition in that city. In one night six-thousand-two-hundred-fifty dollars were cleared. While in Chicago, Miss Pond met a man of excellent business ability, John T Pope, who assisted her in the pageant for over a year. They were married 39th December, 1891, and make their home in Chicago.