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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.

  
 

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Mrs. Drusilla Allen Stoddard

Drusilla Allen Stoddard, missionary and college professor, was known for thirty years to the boys and girls of Central College, Pella, as "Mother" Stoddard.  She was born near Batavia, N. Y., in 1821.  She was a graduate of the Emma Willard school at Troy, N. Y., 1815 (?? - that's what is in the book).  She taught in a Quaker mission school among the Seneca Indians in western New York.  In 1847 she was married to Ira Joy Stoddard, a young Baptist minister, accepting the faith of that denomination.  For their wedding journey they sailed to India as missionaries.  Here they worked for nine years and here their three children were born.  In 1856 they were forced to return to America because of ill health.  In 1866 they returned to India, but again because of ill health returned to this country.  A third time they started for India but the mission board would not consent to their sailing, knowing that it would mean death to them.  In 1858 she went to Central College, Pella, as a member of the faculty with her husband.  She was a woman of excellent scholarship, of great tact, and with a heart that mothered the boys and girls of the school.  In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, one hundred and twenty pupils and teachers enlisted from Central College, only Mrs. Stoddard and President Searff were left to keep the school;  twenty-five of the boys who went out never came back, but were left on the battle fields of the South.  Those were trying days for the school.  "Mother" Stoddard sacrificed everything to keep the boys and girls in school, --- there being little money for tuition.  Thus the college was kept open and its future assured.  She was held in highest honor by the college until her death, in June, 1913, at the age of 92 years.

 

 

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