Page:Women of distinction.djvu/64

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Flora Batson was born in Washington, D. C., in 1865. While but a babe her father died from wounds received in the war. When three years of age, with her mother, she went to Providence, R. I., where she attended school and also studied music till she was thirteen. At this very early age she entered upon her professional career, traveling extensively and singing two years for Stoerer's College at Harper's Ferry, W. Va.; three years for the People's Church of Boston; one year in Redpath's Lecture and Lyceum Bureau of Boston; two years in the temperance work under the management of Thomas Doutney. It was at this time, during a great temperance revival in New York, that Miss Batson sang "Six Feet of Earth Make Us All One Size" ninety successive nights in the great hall of the Masonic Temple. Thousands whom argument and eloquence failed to reach were transfixed and moved to tears (signing the pledge) by the magic sweetness and the irresistible pathos with which she clothed sermons in song. Manager J. G. Bergen, of Star Concert fame, went to hear her and was at once infatuated with her voice. The result was that one year later he succeeded in engaging her services for one year. At the expiration of that year admiration for a great voice had grown into love for a noble woman, and Miss Flora Batson was married to Mr. J. G. Bergen, at the Sumner House in New York,