Woman of the Century/C. Faunt Le Roy Runcie

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RUNCIE, Mrs. Constance Faunt Le Roy, poet, pianist and musical composer, born in Indianapolis, Ind., 15th January, 1836. She is a daughter of Robert Henry Faunt Le Roy and Jane Dale Owen Faunt Le Roy. On the maternal side she is a granddaughter of Robert Owen, the great advocate of cooperative associations. Her maternal great-grandfather was David Dale, Lord-Provost of Glasgow, Scotland. Her father was a member of the well-known Faunt Le Roy family of eastern Virginia. Her mother was born in Scotland and educated in London, where she received, in addition to her scientific and literary attainments, a thorough training on piano and harp and acquired facility in drawing and painting. Her father died while attending to his coast survey duties, in the Gulf of Mexico, during the winter of 1849. CONSTANCE FAUNT LE ROY RUNCIE A woman of the century (page 635 crop).jpgCONSTANCE FAUNT LE ROY RUNCIE. In 1852 Mrs. Faunt Le Roy, in order to develop still further the talents of her children by giving them the advantages of modern languages, German literature and art, took them to Germany and remained there six years. Miss Faunt Le Roy's environment was highly favorable. Her home was in New Harmony, Ind., the winter quarters of the officers connected with several geological surveys, and the town possessed an extensive public library and had occasional lectures, besides being the residence of her four uncles, all devoted to science or literature. On 9th April, 1861, she became the wife of Rev. James Runcie, D. D., a prominent clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church. They lived in Madison from 1861 to 1871, and then went to St. Joseph, Mo., where Mr. Runcie has since served as rector of Christ Church. Their family consists of two sons and two daughters. Mrs. Runcie has been a prolific author, she has published a number of volumes, among which are "Divinely Led," in which she portrays the religious struggles through which she passed in her early years; "Poems, Dramatic and Lyric," "Woman's Work," "Felix Mendelssohn," "Children's Stories and Fables" and "A Burning Question." Besides her literary work she has done much in music. She is a talented pianist and ranks among the foremost performers on the piano. As a composer she as done notable work. Acting on a suggestion by Annie Louise Cary, she published a number of songs, which at once became popular. Among those are: "Hear Us, O, Hear Us," "Round the Throne," "Silence of the Sea," "Merry Life," "Tone Poems." "Take My Soul, O Lord," "I Never Told Him," "Dove of Peace," "I Hold My Heart So Still," " My Spirit Rests" and others. Mrs. Runcie edited a church paper for six years. She served as vice-president 01 the Social Science Club of Kansas and Western Missouri, organized the now oldest literary woman's club in Indiana, and also served on the committee to draft the constitution for the present nourishing woman's club, of San Francisco, Cal. She has lectured successfully on subjects connected with general culture among women. She is chairman of the committee on music and the drama to represent St. Joseph in the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. She writes concerted pieces. Some of her music is orchestrated. She has written also for the violin. She has been for thirty-four years a successful Sunday-school teacher, illustrating her lessons with free-hand drawings on the blackboard. Her two most dramatic poems, "Anselmo the Priest" and "Zaira, a Tale of Siberia," are used constantly in the field of elocution. In a concert tendered her in Kansas City, every number on the programme was her own musical or poetical composition.