Woman of the Century/Mary Towne Burt
MARY TOWNE BURT. BURT, Mrs. Mary Towne, temperance reformer, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, of English-American parentage. Her father, Thomas Towne, was educated in England for the ministry. After the death of her father, which occurred in her early childhood, her mother removed with her three children to Auburn. N. Y., where Mrs. Hurt received a liberal education, passing through the public schools and the Auburn Young Ladies' Institute. Four vears after leaving school she became the wife of Edward Burt, of Auburn. When the crusade opened, in 1887. Mrs. Burt began her work for temperance, which has continued without intermission, with the exception of seven months spent in the sick reform of her sister, Mrs. Pomeroy. So deeply was she stirred by the crusade that on 24th March, 1874, she addressed a great audience in the Auburn Opera House on temperance. Immediately after that, Mrs. Burt was elected president of the Auburn Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and served for two years. She was a delegate to the first national convention held in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1874, was one of the secretaries of that body, and in the next national convention, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Was elected assistant recording secretary. In the year 1876. in the Newark, N. J., national convention, she was elected a member of the publishing committee of the "Woman's Temperance Union," the first official organ of the National union. She was afterwards made chairman of that committee and publisher of the paper. During the year 1877 she served as managing editor. At her suggestion the name "Our Union" was given to the paper, a name which it held until its consolidation with the "Signal," of Chicago, when it took the name of the "Union Signal." In Chicago, in 1877, she was elected corresponding secretary of the National Union, which office she held for three years, and during that term of office she opened the first headquarters of the National union in the Bible House, New York City. In 1882 she was elected president of the New York State Union, a position which she still holds. During the year* of her presidency the Stale union has increased from five-thousand to twenty-one-thousand members and from 17910 842 local unions, and in work, membership and organization stands at the head of the forty-lour States of the National union. Mrs. Hurt, with her husband and son. resides in New York. She is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church.