Woman of the Century/Sue A. Pike Sanders
SANDERS, Mrs. Sue A. Pike, national president of the Woman's Relief Corps, born in Casco, Maine, 25th March, 1842. She is descended from families on both sides that were prominent in colonial times and the Revolutionary War. From both sides of her family about twenty enlisted in the late Civil War. Her father was a lineal descendant of John Pike, who came from England to America in the middle of the sixteenth century and settled in New England. Her father, Harrison W. Pike, went west with his wife and seven children, in 1854, and settled in Bloomington, Ill., where he died in 1887. Like most men who went west in those days, he accumulated wealth. Mrs. Sanders, with her brothers and sisters, was educated in the State Normal University, of Normal, Ill. SUE A. PIKE SANDERS. She was a teacher in the public schools of Bloomington, Ill., up to the time of her marriage, but the most noted of her schools was that which she taught during the war in the country near her home It was there she taught children, whose parents were what were then known as "Copperheads," sympathizers with the secessionists. Notwithstanding the sentiment that surrounded her, she kept a little Stars and Stripes hanging over her desk. One day she returned to her school-room to find it broken from its staff and lying upon the floor. She gathered it up and nailed it to the wall. It hung there the rest of the term. That was the first flag-raising in a public school. Ever since that day she has advocated the placing of an American flag in every school-house and church of the land, and her idea has been made popular all over the country. She further advocates that the Bible, ballot-box and American flag should accompany one another at the polls. She was secretary of the Soldier's Aid Society of Bloomington, Ill., during the war, and corresponding secretary for the sanitary commission branch of that city. She became the wife of James T. Sanders, of Jacksonville, Ill., in 1867. She is the mother of three children. Since her marriage she has lived in Delavan, Ill., where she has been prominent in all charities and social circles. She became a member of the Order of Good Templars when fifteen years of age, and took an active part in advancing its principles. When eighteen years old, she was elected to the highest office in that order for women in her State. She became a member of the Woman's Relief Corps in December, 1885, and became the first president of her corps. In February, 1886, she represented the corps in department convention of Illinois, where she was elected department treasurer of the order and delegate-at-large to the California convention, where she went in August On her return she published a journal of her travels. In February, 1887, she was elected department president of her State, and ruled with an economy and dignity that placed the order foremost among the States of the Union. In February, 1888, she was made department counselor of the Illinois Woman's Relief Corps and a member of the national pension committee, in which she served two years. In the Milwaukee convention she presented the recommendation for the adoption of the present site of the National Woman's Relief Corps louse in Madison, Ohio. She recommended the certificate of service for the army nurses of the late war, and was afterward appointed by the national president to prepare a design for the same, which was adopted and issued by the national order. She was one of the board of incorporators of the National Woman's Relief Corps Home. In 1890 and 1891 she served as national instituting and installing officer. In the national convention in Detroit, Mich., in August, 1891, she was elected, national president of the Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, the largest charitable organization on earth.