Woman of the Century/Eliza B. Burnz

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ELIZA B. BURNZ.jpgELIZA B. BURNZ. BURNZ, Mrs. Eliza B., educator and spelling reformer, born in Rayne, County of Essex, England, 31st October, 1823. From London she came to this country at the age of thirteen, and three years later took up, with her own hands, the battle for bread, a battle she has since maintained unceasingly, and, for the most part, alone and unaided. As an instructor in shorthand she has been successful, and her career as a laborer in her chosen field is a history to which none may point save with pride and commendation. Through the instrumentality of her classes in phonic shorthand in the Burnz School of Shorthand, and in Cooper Institute and the Young Women's Christian Association, in New York City, at least one-thousand young men and women have gone forth to the world well equipped for the positions which they are creditably filling. In addition to these, through the large sales of her text-book, which for many years has been extensively advertised and sold for self-instruction, probably as many more have entered the ranks of the shorthand army as "Burnz" writers. Mrs. Burnz is a member of the New York State Stenographers' Association, and has been its librarian since that body began its collection of stenographic publications. Her popularity among shorthand writers of all schools was shown by her receiving, with the exception of Ed. F. Underhill, the largest number of votes as one of the committee to prepare the Isaac Pitman medal. Aside from her success as a shorthand author and teacher, Mrs. Burnz has for many years been prominently identified with the "spelling reform" movement, having been one of the organizers of the Spelling Reform Association in Philadelphia during the Centennial, in 1876, and for several years a vice-president of that body. Aside from the fact that she has probably published more books and pamphlets in the interest of spelling reform than any other publisher in this country, she has, by her steadfast advocacy of the movement, both in private and public, and by her deep interest at all times in its welfare and advancement, proved herself to be one of the strongest pillars the movement has known. Mrs. Burnz is not only a theoretical, but a practical, spelling reformer, as can be certified by her numerous correspondents. She advocates what is known as the Anglo-American alphabet, which was arranged during the formation of the Spelling Reform Association in Philadelphia, in 1876, by Mrs. Burnz and E. Jones of Liverpool, England. Believing in the old adage, "Never too old to learn," she is now devoting her leisure to the study of Volapük. Although not a strict vegetarian, she is a thorough hygienist. It is to her method of living she attributes the fact that, though puny when a child, she is in good health now. In character she is high-minded, generous to the faults and shortcomings of those with whom she is brought in contact, very strict in her ideas of right and strong in her convictions, not the least important in her eyes being a belief in woman suffrage and equality before the law. She is a stockholder in the Mount Olivet Crematory, located in Freshpond, L. I., and thoroughly believes in that method of disposing of the body after death. Still a very hard worker, even at her advanced age, she attends to a large amount of teaching, as in years gone by. In her own school she superintends the instruction. She gives class lessons daily for two hours in the Young Women's Christian Association, and, until recently, when her text-book on shorthand was selected for use in the evening schools of the City of New York, she conducted the free evening class in shorthand in Cooper Union. Mrs. Hurnz has been twice married, has had four children, and is the grandmother of eight.