Woman of the Century/Mary Irene Clark Dye
DYE, Mrs. Mary Irene Clark, reformer, born in North Hadley. Mass., 22nd March, 1887. Her parents were Philo Clark and Irene Hibbard, Her father moved his family to Wisconsin in Mary's infancy. When she was ten years of age, the family removed to Waukegan, Ill. After removal to Illinois, she was under private tutors for two years, when she entered an academy. When she was sixteen years old, there came severe financial reverses, forcing her to abandon a plan for a full course in Mount Holyoke, Mass. At that time, persuaded by a brother in charge of the village telegraph office, Mary learned telegraphy and assumed his place, having full care of the office for two years. There were but few women operators at that early day. Mrs. Dye is the only woman member of the Old Time Telegraphers' Association. She became the wife of Byron E. Dye in 1855. Of three children born to them, two survive, a daughter, and a son recently admitted to the bar. Mrs. Dye has been a widow many years and has lived in Chicago, Ill., entering into the various lines of work which the conditions of a large city present to a benevolent and public-spirited woman. Since her children have outgrown her immediate care and concern, she has devoted her time almost exclusively to philanthropic and reformatory work. She was among the first to perceive the need of the Protective Agency for Women and Children, assisting in its establishment in 1886 and serving as secretary for the first three years, and is still an active member of its board of managers. As a charter member of the Illinois Woman's Press Association, she has great satisfaction in the work accomplished for pen-women through its efforts. She is a member of the Chicago Women's Club. With the Margaret Fuller Society, established for the study of political problems, Sirs. Dye did good work. Since the formation of the Moral Educational Society, in 1882, she has been its secretary. She was among the first of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union women to see and teach that the ballot power is an essential factor in the furtherance of temperance work. When the free kindergarten system was inaugurated, Mrs. Dye's pen did good service in the interest of that charity. The placing of matrons in MARY IRENE CLARK DYE. police stations enlisted her sympathy, and her efforts contributed much to the granting of the demand. Her persistent work toward the establishment of the summer Saturday half-holiday is known to only two or three persons, and the same is true of that labor of love, extending over many months, creat- ing a public sentiment that demanded seats for the shop-girls when not busy with customers. Mrs. Dye believes in individual work so far as practi- cable. In impromptu speeches she is fluent and forcible, and on topics connected with social purity, the obligations of marriage and parenthood she is impressively eloquent. As a speaker and writer on reform subjects she is dauntless in demanding a settlement of all questions on the platform of right and justice, manifesting the "no surrender " spirit of her ancestral relative, Ethan Allen. Religious as she is reformatory in her nature, Mrs. Dye seeks the highest estimate given to spiritual things.