Woman of the Century/Blanche Bagley
BAGLEY, Mrs. Blanche Pentecost. Unitarian minister, born in Torquay. England, 19th January, 1858. Her father is the Rev. R. T. Pentecost, a Unitarian minister, now of Salem, Mass. Miss Pentecost received her early education partly in private schools in London, England, where her family then resided, and partly in a French college in Avenches, Canton Valid, Switzerland, from which she w as graduated. In 1882 die family came to this country and made their home in Chicago, where three of her brothers, architects, still BLANCHE PENTECOST BAGLEY. reside. Blanche Pentecost, like the rest of her family, was brought up in the Established Church of England, but she became a Unitarian while visiting a sister, whose husband, the Rev. F. B. Mott, was then studying for the Unitarian ministry. By them she was induced to enter the Meadville Theological School, from which institution she was graduated in 1889. She had first met her future husband, the Rev. James E. Bagtey, in Meadville, where they had entered and left school together. Her first experience of preaching, outside of the college chapel, was in Vermont, in the little town of Middlesex, where she spent the summer of 1887. After her graduation she took up work as a minister in Reedsburg, Wis. There she continued until her marriage, on 4th September, 1889, when she accompanied her husband to All Souls Church, Sioux Falls, S. D., to which he had received a call. Mr. and Mrs. Bagley were ordained and installed together there as joint pastors on 17th November, the same year, the ceremony being the first of that kind in the history of the world. It was. however, only returning to the New Testament custom of sending the disciples out two by two. During their residence in South Dakota Airs. Bagley took an active interest in all public questions and moral reforms in that State. She usually conducted the evening services in the church and occasionally assisted in the morning service. She was also assistant superintendent of the Sunday-school, chairman of the executive board of the Unity Club a literary organization, a charter member of the board of directors of the Woman's Benevolent Association, a member of the Minister's Association, and with her husband, joint chairman of the executive committer of the Equal Suffrage Association. She was a member of the Relief Corps, of which, a short time before she left the city, she became chaplain. While in Sioux Falls she made the acquaintance of Susan B. Anthony, and the Rev. Anna Shaw, and had the honor of introducing both of these speakers to Sioux Falls audiences. During the first year of her married life she took part in the ordination of two other woman ministers, the Rev. Helene Putnam and the Rev. Lila Frost Sprague, both of whom had been college friends. Her home is now in Haverhill, Mass., where her husband in 1890 was installed pastor of the First Parish Church. They have two children, and Mrs. Bagley is naturally much occupied, as she feels that home duties have the first claim upon her. but she finds time for some outside work, occasionally taking her husband’s pulpit and conducting the afternoon Service at a little church in the outskirts of the city. She is also local superintendent of the department of scientific temperance instruction in connection with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Mrs. Baglcv is an accomplished pianist and has an inherited gift for painting which she has found time to cultivate. She has a vigorous constitution and an unusually strong, clear contralto voice, with a distinct articulation, which makes it easy for her to be heard by the largest audiences.