Woman of the Century/Mary A. Ahrens
AHRENS, Mrs. Mary A., lawyer and philanthropist, born in Staffordshire, England, 29th December, 1836. When she was fifteen years of age her father, the Rev. William H. Jones, brought his family to America and settled in Illinois. Mary was a pupil in the seminary in Galesburg for several years, and a close student until her first marriage, in 1857. Two sons and a daughter were born to her from this union. For eighteen years she was engaged in home duties and horticulture, and in the seclusion of this home she took up the study of medicine and earned her diploma. She felt impelled to labor for the elevation of the recently emancipated colored race, and was the first woman teacher in southern Illinois for that ignorant and long-neglected people. For years after her removal to Chicago Mrs Ahrens devoted herself largely to the lecture field, for which she is well qualified. Soon after her marriage to Louis Ahrens, an artist of ability, this woman of many talents entered the Chicago Union College of Law, and was graduated with honors in 1889. Her success as a practitioner has been marked. True to a high womanly standard, she adopted as a principle of action that, so far as the interests of her clients allowed, her aim should be to adjust differences outside of the courts. Naturally, many of her clients were women, poor and friendless. As vice-president of the Protective Agency for Women and Children. Mrs Ahrens has been of great service to that benevolent organization. Recently, at the annual banquet of the State Bar Association held in Springfield, Ill., Mrs. Ahrens responded to the toast, "Woman in the Learned Professions." Mrs. Ahrens was made chairman of the Woman's School Suffrage Association, of Cook county, and her efforts to secure to the women citizens their legal right to vote at school elections entitle her to the gratitude of every woman in the State. She is a MARY A. AHRENS. member of the Illinois Woman's Press Association, and a paper prepared for the club, in 1892, entitled "Disabilities of Women before the Law," was a masterful presentation of the need of the ballot-power for woman. She has been a suffrage advocate for more than twenty years. Her home is in Chicago.