Woman of the Century/Osia Joslyn Hiles
HILES, Mrs. Osia Joslyn, philanthropist and poet, born near Batavia, N. Y., 13th February, 1832. Her father's name was Joslyn, and his family were originally Bostonians and related to the Breckenridges of Kentucky. Her mother was a Sprague, a first cousin of President Fillmore. OSIA JOSLYN MILES. During the childhood of Osia Joslyn her father removed to Erie county, N. Y. At the age of nineteen she went to Illinois, where, two years later, she became the wife of John Hiles, a man of English birth and highly cultured family. Since 1884 she has lived in Milwaukee, Wis., and has been conspicuously associated with all its larger philanthropies. One of the first was the Home for the Friendless, of which she was an incorporator and whose constitution she helped to frame. She was one of the prime movers and the heaviest worker in the establishing of the Wisconsin Humane Society. The flourishing Woman's Club of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, has had more original matter in the form of essays from the pen of Mrs. Hiles than from any other member. She has for some time been its first vice-president and the president of the ladies' art and science class. One of the first stock companies of women for revenue owes its existence to Mrs. Hiles. It was she who originated and propounded to the club the idea of a stock company of women for the building of a permanent woman's club home, which building idea was afterwards extended by the stock company to facilities for revenue other than that derived from the club. Although all members of the club, the company is entirely distinct from it. She was one of the active incorporators of the Wisconsin Training School for nurses, and has several times been a delegate to the National Conference of Charities and Reforms. In the mind of the public generally she is most clearly recognized as an agitator of the wrongs of the Indians. At first she gave her time to the Mission Indian work in California, personally visiting nearly every reservation and Mexican land grant in southern California. Twice she went to the Interior Department and to the President in the interest of the Indians. She plead their cause in the East and assisted in sending legal help for their protection. Mrs. Hiles, being a woman of wealth, has been able to put money as well as zeal into her philanthropic work. When the Wisconsin Indian Association was formed, she was made secretary. Its labors were largely legislative, and Mrs. Hiles used her influence In helping to defeat some obnoxious bills, in originating and pushing some beneficent ones, and in creating harmony of action with branches in other States. The fact that for twelve years, while her son was completing preparatory and college courses, Mrs. Hiles did all the outside work of her deceased husband's extensive estate, has given her considerable prominence as a successful business woman. Yet, with all the record of her practical philanthropies and financial responsibilities, she is essentially a literary woman and a poet She has published in various periodicals. From the time she was an infant up to the present, Mrs. Hiles has been a sufferer physically, scarcely knowing a well day. Again and again she has been very near death's door, and yet the amount of work she has done and the good she has accomplished in various fields make her career remarkable in the history of public-spirited women. She has traveled extensively, both in America and Europe. She is a lover of art, of nature and of humanity. She is a woman of great personal magnetism and thoroughly conversant with the field of ancient and modern literature, as well as of occult science. Her two homes in Pewaukee and Milwaukee are in summer and winter centers of generous hospitality and centers of art. She is earnestly interested in all measures for the progress of her sex in high and womanly lines.