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Woman of the Century/Mary Antoinette Hitchcock

HITCHCOCK, Mrs. Mary Antoinette, temperance reformer, born in the town of Rodman, Jefferson county, N. Y., 28th April, 1834. She is the only daughter of Lorenzo Dow and Urrilla Barnes. When she was eleven years old, her parents moved to Wisconsin, then a new country with poor educational facilities in that part of the State where they settled. Much of her instruction was received at home, under the care of a governess. At sixteen years of age she began MARY ANTOINETTE HITCHCOCK.jpgMARY ANTOINETTE HITCHCOCK. to teach, and her efforts were attended with success. In 1852 she became the wife of Alfred Hitchcock, but for some time after continued to teach. In 1857 her husband was ordained to the ministry and became not only an earnest teacher of the gospel, but a fearless advocate of temperance reform. When the Civil War cloud hung over the country, they were living in Kansas, having moved to that State in 1859. Being imbued by nature and training with the most ultra Union and anti-slavery sentiments, she was all enthusiasm for the cause and the soldier, ready to lend her aid in every possible way. At that time many of the leaders passed through their town to Osawatomie to form the Republican Party, and she housed and fed fifty of them in one night, among them Horace Greeley, and spent the hours of the night in preparing their food for the next day. As first assistant and county superintendent of schools she and her husband divided Phillips county, Kans., into school districts and started a number of schools. Afterwards removing to Fremont, Neb., where her husband accepted a pastorate, she became an enthusiastic member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and, impressed with the idea that a State organization was necessary for its lasting influence, she was in 1874 the projector of the movement that resulted in the State organization. She refused the presidency at that time, on account of her husband's health. The next few years, deprived by death of husband and father, she entered still more actively into the work and became district president and vice-president-at-large of the State. Called to Sioux City, Iowa, on account of the death of her cousin, George C. Haddock, the circumstances of whose untimely end caused general indignation and horror, she there, over his lifeless form, promised the sorrow-stricken wife to devote the remainder of her life to the eradication of the terrible alcohol evil. Since accepting the State presidency in 1888 she has traveled continually over the State, organizing unions and attending conventions. Though not calling herself a lecturer, she has delivered many earnest talks. She has one son and one daughter. Her home is in Fremont. Neb.