Woman of the Century/Cordelia Throop Cole
COLE. Mrs. Cordelia Throop, temperance reformer, born in the town of Hamilton, N. Y.. 17th November, 1833. Her mother, a young and beautiful woman, dowered with the fine instinct of the artist, died when her child Cordelia was but two years of age. In her early womanhood her father died, her nearest then of birth and kin being an only brother, two years younger than herself. CORDELIA THROOP COLE. She was received into the home of her grandparents and became a favorite among her numerous relatives. Her literary and religious impulses soon asserted themselves. One of the dreams of her early girlhood was a foreign mission. As education was the initial step toward future activities, she entered Hamilton Academy, and just before graduation an alluring offer of a home with an aunt and an uncle in Galesburg, Ill., and a position as a teacher in the West was accepted. Her life shaped itself to the vocation of a teacher. In Keokuk, Iowa, a private institute for young people was established under the management of R M. Reynolds, with Miss Throop as associate. From that field of labor Mr. Reynolds and Miss Throop transferred their energies to the North Illinois Institute, in Henry, Ill. In December, 1856. Miss Throop became the wife of William Ramsey Cole, an earnest student and active philanthropist, a graduate of the Theological Department of Harvard and an ordained minister in the Unitarian Church. Seven children have been born to them, one dying in childhood and one in early manhood. Mrs. Cole served as secretary of the Iowa Unitarian Association, for seven years devoting the mature energies of her mind to that labor of love, preaching in various pulpits of the denomination, creating and earning on a large correspondence in post-office mission work, attending conferences, forming religious clubs and lending a hand to any agency for the promotion of human welfare. She also, by special request, gave the charge at the ordination of Mary A. Safford in Humbolt. Iowa, in 1880, and a year later performed the same service at the ordination of Volney B. Cushing, in Iowa City. She took a conspicuous part in the temperance crusade, riding many miles to meet an appointment, with the mercury twenty degrees Mow zero, sometimes holding three or four meetings at different points in twenty-four hours. In 1885 shew-as made the Iowa superintendent of White Shield and White Cross work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The new crusade against the subtle foe of impurity amused the conscience, heart and brain of the wife and mother, and she gave herself unreservedly to that work, making hundreds of public addresses, handling the subject with rare delicacy and skill, and winning the sympathy and warm appreciation of all right-thinking people. Her earnest talks to women have been a marked feature of her work, and more recently her published leaflets, "Helps in Mother Work" and "A Manual for Social Purity Workers," are admirable. In 1889 she received the offer of the place of associate national superintendent, but, loyal to her feeling of duty to the non-partisan side of the dividing lines, she declined. The home of Mrs. Cole, in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, is a center of generous hospitality to all human-kind. There the outcast have been sheltered, the stricken comforted, the tempted strengthened, the sinful forgiven, the cultured and aspiring made glad.