Woman of the Century/Ruth Alice Armstrong
ARMSTRONG, Mrs. Ruth Alice, national superintendent of heredity for the Womans' Christian Temperance Union, born near Cassopolis, Cass county, Mich , 30th April. 1850. Her father, Amos Jones, was from Georgia, and her mother. Rebecca Hebron, was from Yorkshire, England. Both parents were distinguished for their helpfulness to others. From them Ruth received a wise home training. She was educated in the public schools of her native State. At the age of eighteen she commenced to teach, while she was herself a student in the higher branches. Becoming impressed with the injustice done to women in the smaller salaries paid to them than were paid to men for like services, she left her native State for California,, but not until she had made an effort to bring about a better state of affairs for coming generations by aiding in the organization of the first woman suffrage society of her native county. As a teacher she was successful. In 1874 she was married to Thomas Armstrong, a stock-raiser of Trinity county, Cal. He, believing in the social and civil equality of man and woman, and that a wife should be a companion not only in the joys and sorrows of a home, but in business also, bestowed upon her the same privileges and responsibilities as he himself bore. Their life on their mountain stock ranch was idyllic, spent in hard work and pleasant recreations. For four years they lived in isolation, with no society except that furnished by a well-selected library. Just before the birth of their only child, Ruth, they moved to Woodland, Cal. There Mrs. Armstrong organized a Shakespeare Club, which has reached its eighth year of work with a large membership. She organized a lecture bureau and was its first president. She assisted in the organization of a literary society for the study of literature of all nations. She was the first woman ever elected to the office of trustee in the Congregational Church of Woodland, of which she was for many years a worthy member. She left that denomination in 1891 and united with the Christian Church. Desiring to aid in moral reform, she united with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and has given to that society her time and resources, organizing the county and several local unions. Her boundless enthusiasm and common-sense make her a leader and inspirer in that society. The department of heredity had its share of her attention. She began to plan for the education of women in maternity and other allied subjects. She RUTH ALICE ARMSTRONG. was made the superintendent of heredity for the town of Woodland, next for the county, and afterwards for the National Union From her pen go out over all the Nation leaflets and letters of instruction to aid in the development of the highest physical, mental, moral and spiritual interest of mankind. Her lectures on " Heredity" and "Motherhood" carry the conviction that, for the highest development of manhood and womanhood, parentage must be assumed as the highest, the holiest and most sacred responsibility entrusted to us by the Creator. At present she is helping to plan and put into execution a womans' building, to contain a printing office, lecture hall and a home for homeless women and girls. Mrs. Armstrong's helpfulness in the town, in the church, in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and in the world comes from her belief in the powers of the unit and from the fact that her education has been assimilated into her character, producing a culture which has ministry for its highest aim. Possessed of keen and critical acumen, she ever makes choice of both word and action, endeavoring to say and do what is true, honest and pure, holding herself responsible to God and God alone.