Woman of the Century/Ada Miser Kepley
ADA MISER KEPLEY. KEPLEY, Mrs. Ada Miser, attorney-at-law, temperance agitator and minister, born in Somerset, Ohio, 11th February, 1847. She is of Scotch-Irish and German ancestry. Among her ancestors was William Temple Coles, who came to the Colonies in the ship that brought General Braddock. Mr. Coles had been educated for the English Church, but, instead of taking holy orders, he turned his face towards the land of promise. He settled near Salisbury, in North Carolina. His only son, William Temple Coles, jr., was a captain in the Revolutionary War. His only daughter, Henrietta, was one of the pioneer Methodists of America, and settled in Bedford, Pa. She was known as "Mother Fishburn." She collected the money and secured the site for the first Methodist Episcopal Church in that town, and in the new structure now occupying the site is a stained-glass window commemorating her and her daughter, Elizabeth Fishburn. The Temples trace their lineage directly to Sir William Temple. The family were intense haters of the institution of slavery. William Temple Coles, sr., even refused to have a slave in his house, and brought over white servants from England. In Mrs. Kepley this intense hatred of slavery has taken the form of hatred for the bodily slavery of alcoholic drink. She is best known for her work for the abolition of alcoholic drinking and of the laws that perpetuate the evil habit. In 1867 she became the wife of Henry B. Kepley, a well-known attorney, of Effingham, III. She became interested in law and began the study of the profession in her husband's office. She studied during 1868 and 1869, and was graduated in the Union College of Law, in Chicago, in 1870. She is a member of the bar. She has been identified with the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and also with the Illinois State branch of that organization. She is the editor of the "Friend of Home," a flourishing monthly established seven years ago. In its pages she expounds the law, demands its enforcement, declares for new laws and suggests ways to secure them. Her work has been positive and well directed. She has made a specialty of exposing the hidden roots of the liquor traffic in her town and county, and the readers of the "Friend of Home" know who are the grantors, grantees, petitioners and bondmen for dram-shops. She has made a specialty of children's and young people's work in her county, and achieved a high position in that line in 1890. She and her husband erected and support "The Temple," in Effingham, a beautiful building, which is headquarters for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, prohibition and general reform work. Mrs. Kepley's ancestors were Episcopalians, Catholics and Methodists in religion, from which combination she is, by a natural process, a Unitarian in belief, and 24th July, 1892, she was ordained a minister of that denomination in Shelbyville. Ill.