Woman of the Century/Frances Laura Swift
SWIFT, Mrs. Frances Laura, church and temperance worker, born Strongsville, Ohio, 6th February, 1837. She is descended from a long line of New England ancestors, the Damons, who settled in Massachusetts two-hundred years ago. Her mother removed to Ohio, after the death of her father. Miss Damon, was educated in the Springfield Female Seminary, and taught, subsequently, New- England-girl fashion, to round off her education. She became the wife of Dr. Eliot E. Swift, of Newcastle, Pa., a young Presbyterian minister. He was called to the assistance of his father, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Allegheny, Pa., whom he succeeded, and where he and his wife labored for twenty-six years. Dr. Swift died on 30th November, 1887. With her husband's encouragement, Mrs. Swift became an efficient worker in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. With his sympathies and aid, she entered into the labors of the crusade. The calm strength of Dr. Swift's example won for the cause of temperance many friends, the cooperation of other ministers, and opened closed doors of opportunity and encouraged all workers. Mrs. Swift was the leader of the first crusade band in Pennsylvania She was for eight consecutive years president of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Pennsylvania. During all those years she was also president of the local union, where she first pledged FRANCES LAURA SWIFT. herself. She is vice-president of the Woman's Board of Foreign Missions of her church, a member of the Board of Stale Charities, and actively identified with many benevolent institutions of the city. In 1887 she resigned the position of president of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, having had eleven-hundred unions under her care, and several thousands of officers and superintendents associated with her. She then went to Europe for eighteen months with her daughter and two other young ladies. Mrs. Swift has two sons, the younger a physician. As a presiding officer she is a woman of grace, gentleness and dignity.