Woman of the Century/S. L. Vickers Oberholtzer
OBERHOLTZER, Mrs. Sara Louisa Vickers, poet and economist, born in Uwchland, Pa., 20th May, 1841. She is a daughter of Paxson and Ann T. Vickers, cultured Quakers of the time, and her early educational opportunities were good. The family were active abolitionists. Besides the hundreds of fugitives assisted on their way to Canada, the home entertained such guests as John G. Whittier, Lucretia Mott, William Lloyd Garrison and Bayard Taylor. Sara's ancestors were public-spirited. SARA LOUISA OBERHOLZER. She naturally came, to the front early, taking a prominent part in literary and organization work from childhood. Her education was received in Thomas' boarding-school and in the Millersville State Normal School. She began to write for newspapers and magazines at the age of eighteen. She was at that time active president of a soldier's aid society, which rendered efficient assistance to the Boys in Blue during the Civil War. Ill health interfered with a medical course of study, for which she had prepared. In 1862 she became the wife of John Oberholtzer, a worthy and able man. They resided in Chester county until 1883, since which time their winter home is in Norristown, Fa., and their summer residence in Longport, N. J. Their children are Ellis Fax son and Vickers, the former already somewhat known in the world of letters as editor and economist. Mrs Oberholtzer is a person of various talents. Her published books are "Violet Lee and Other Poems" (Philadelphia, 1873); "Come for Arbutus and Other Wild Bloom" (Philadelphia, 1882); "Hope's Heart Bells" (Philadelphia, 1883); "Daisies of Verse" (Philadelphia, 1886), and " Souvenirs of Occasions" (Philadelphia, 1892), consisting mainly of poems read by the author on public occasions. A number of poems have been set to music by different composers. Among those best known are " The Bayard Taylor Burial Ode," sung as Pennsylvania's tribute to her dead poet at his funeral service in Longwood, 15th March, 1889, and " Under the Flowers," a Decoration ode. She has written extensively for periodicals and magazines on economic subjects, biography, travel, ornithology and other topics, and has done considerable local reporting She is the author of numerous dialogues and charades. She is listed in catalogues of naturalists and has one of the finest private collections of Australian bird skins and eggs in the United States. Interested in the uplifting of humanity, she has always given her close attention to the introduction of school savings-banks into the public schools since 1889. She made an address on the subject in the first meeting of the Women's Council, in Washington, in February, 1891, which is printed in their "Transactions." Her address on school savings-banks before the American Academy of Political and Social Science, in Philadelphia, in May, 1892, and printed in pamphlet form by the Academy, is popularly known. Her "How to Institute School Savings-Banks," "A Plea for Economic Teaching " and other leaflet literature on the subject have broad circulation. She has been widely instrumental in establishing school savings-banks in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Sandwich Islands. She has recently been elected world's and national superintendent of that work for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, which enlarges its channels. She has aided in instituting the university extension movement, and delights in every opportunity that leads to educational and moral progress, being through all most distinctively and happily a poet.