Woman of the Century/Mary Williams Chawner Woody
WOODY, Mrs. Mary Williams Chawner, philanthropist and educator, born in Azalia, Ind., 22nd December, 1846. She is of English blood. Her grandfather. John S. Chawner, was an English lawyer, who came to America early in this century, and married and settled in eastern North Carolina. The other ancestors, for several generations, lived in that section. Among them were the Albertsons, Parkers and Coxes. Both families were Friends for generations. Mary's parents were very religious, and gave to their children the guarded moral and religious training characteristic of the Friends a half-century ago. She was educated in the preparatory schools, supplemented by training in the Friends' Academy and in Earlham College, to which was added a year of study in Michigan University. MARY WILLIAMS CHAWNER WOODY. In all those institutions coeducation was the rule, and the principles of equality therein inbibed gave shape to the sentiments of the earnest pupils. She entered, as teacher, the Bloomingdale Academy, where her brother. John Chawner, A.M., was principal. In the spring of 1868 she became the wife of John W. Woody, A.M., LL.B., of Alamance county, N. C. Together they entered Whittier College. Salem, Iowa, as teachers. Mrs. Woody threw the utmost vigor into her teaching. At the end of five years Prof. Woody was elected president of Penn College, an institution of the Friends, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and Mrs. Woody entered that institution as teacher. In 1881 they returned to North Carolina to labor in Guilford College. There her poor health and the care of her little family prevented her from teaching, but with her home duties she found time for religious work, for which perfect liberty was afforded in the Friends Church, while her husband still filled his favorite position as professor of history and political science in Guilford College. When the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized in North Carolina, she entered its ranks, and in the second State convention, held in Asheville, in October. 1884, she was chosen president, a position to which she has been elected every year since that date. At the time of her election to the presidency, the church at home was completing its proceedings in setting her apart for the ministry of the Word. The requirements in that double position were not easily met. In the Woman's Christian Temperance Union work she cheerfully seeks and presents to her followers what can be most readily undertaken. Her annual addresses before her State conventions are models.