Woman of the Century/Ellen A. Dayton Blair
BLAIR, Mrs. Ellen A. Dayton, temperance organizer, born near Vernon Center, Oneida county, N. Y., 27th December, 1827. She was graduated in the classical course from Fort Edward Institute, N. Y., in 1837, and in the same year accepted the position of preceptress in Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa. She remained in that institution one year, having charge of the art department. Soon after she was married to Emery H. Blair, of Iowa, at one time professor of mathematics ELLEN A. DAYTON BLAIR. in Clinton Liberal Institute, N. Y. Both were strong in anti-slavery and prohibition sentiments. During the Woman's Crusade Mrs. Blair discovered her ability as a temperance speaker. Loving the cause and zealous in its behalf, she has ever since been one of its faithful workers. She is the mother of five sons, three of whom are living. Young men were her special care during the Crusade and in Sunday-school work. Moving to Wisconsin in 1881, she began her illustrative talks to children, on the invitation of Mrs. Mary B. Willard, and later was made superintendent of the juvenile department for Wisconsin. In 1885 she was elected to her present position as national organizer and "chalk talker" of the juvenile department of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. In fulfillment of her duties she has visited nearly every State and Territory, as well as Canada and has been a member of nearly every national convention. Since she removed to Creighton, Neb., she has continued her work in the same field. During the prohibitory amendment campaign in that State she was one of the leaders. As superintendent of the Demurest medal contests, which has occupied much of her time and that of several assistants, under her care Nebraska leads the world in that line of temperance work. Mrs. Blair's greatest influence as a temperance worker lies in her illustrative talks, by which she interests young and old. In her hand the piece of chalk becomes a power. She is a natural artist and, when not engaged in public duties, devotes herself to teaching oil painting, drawing and crayon work.