Woman of the Century/Sarah Doan La Fetra
SARAH DOAN LA FETNA. LA FETRA, Mrs. Sarah Doan, temperance worker, born in Sabina, Ohio, 11th June, 1843. She is the fourth daughter of Rev. Timothy and Mary Ann Custis Doan. Her mother was of the famous Virginia Custis family. In the formative period of life and character religious truths made a deep and lasting impression on her plastic mind, and at sixteen she was converted and became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She and her entire family are now members of the Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church of Washington When a girl. Mrs. La Fetra improved the opportunities for study in the public schools where she resided, and prepared herself for teaching in the normal school of Professor Holbrook in Lebanon, Ohio. She taught in a graded school in Fayette county, Ohio, for several years before she became the wife of George H. La Fetra, of Warren county, Ohio, in 1867. Mr. La Fetra had spent three years in the army, in the 39th Ohio Volunteers, and afterwards accepted a position under his cousin, Hon. James Harlan, then Secretary of the Interior Department. Three sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. La Fetra. The youngest died in infancy; the other two are young men of lofty Christian character, and both are prohibitionists and anti-tobacconists. Mrs. La Fetra was elected president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the District of Columbia in October, 1885, having been a member of the union since its origin, in 1876. Her mother and sister were among the leaders of the Ohio crusade. Under her leadership the Washington auxiliary has grown to be a recognized power. The work of the union is far-reaching in its influences and embraces various fields of Christian endeavor. It has one home under its patronage, the "Hope and Help Mission," for poor unfortunate women, inebriates, opium-eaters and incapables of all conditions. The society is on a safe financial basis and has an executive committee composed of over thirty leading women of the various denominations. Mrs. La Fetra is a practical business woman and has fought the rum traffic in a sure and substantial way, by successfully managing a temperance hotel and cafe in the very heart of the city of Washington for many years. Her efficient management of that house involves a principle and is a practical demonstration that liquors are not necessary' to make a hotel successful, financially and otherwise. She is a woman suffragist, although not identified with the organization.