Woman of the Century/Ellen M. Gould
ELLEN M. GOULD. GOULD, Miss Ellen M., philanthropist, born at The Hope, near Providence, R. I., 7th January, 1848. Her father, Daniel Gould, was born in Middletown, R. I., where his ancestors settled in 1637. Her mother, an Earle, descended from the Chases, who were the earliest settlers of Nantucket, was born in Providence. Both parents are of unmixed English lineage, and both are by birth and education Quakers. The father of Ellen is the eighth in the direct line of descent who has borne the name of Daniel Gould. In 1852 the family removed to Providence, where they remained till 1857, when they made a final remove to Davenport, Iowa. During the stormy decades in the middle of the century, Mr. and Mrs. Gould took an active part in the progressive movements of the time, especially the abolition of slavery. Their three daughters have inherited a like interest in the philanthropic efforts of the present. This has been especially the case with Ellen. Although naturally of a strong literary bent, a systematic training in that direction was rendered impossible by delicate health in early youth and by the imperative nature of home duties. Yet, so eager has been her thirst for knowledge and so persistent her efforts in making the most of every opportunity for self improvement offered, that no one but herself can discover any deficiency. She has contributed short stories to children's magazines, and has also contributed able papers to the various societies of which she is a member. Her sympathies were enlisted during the Civil War in a Soldier's Aid Society. She was the only young girl member, and she was sent as a delegate to one of the large sanitary fairs. She has been a member of the Unitarian Church of Davenport from its first organization and at a critical period in its history did much to restore its prosperity. Always an advocate of woman suffrage, she has done all in her power to promote its interests. With the help of a friend she organized the first and only suffrage association in Davenport. She has been for many years a member of the Library Association and also of the Academy of Science, but circumstances have hindered her from taking an active part in the work of either. She organized a literary club for young women, which had a very successful course for six years. It was called the Bric-a-Brac Society, and it aided in a very substantial way several important enterprises. She has been a most energetic member of the Ladies' Benevolent Society, and also of the Association for the Advancement of Women, and of the Ramabai Association. For six years she was directress of an industrial school for poor children, having worked as a teacher for two years. After a careful personal examination of the working of such schools in the East, she was able, with the aid of others, to systematize and give to the school such plans that few changes have since been necessary. In 1887, with the aid of a generous friend, she organized a cooking school, which proved so successful that in the following year it was incorporated into the public school system. To the two last mentioned enterprises she has given much time and strength gratuitously. Circumstances in her home have obliged her of late to give up all public work with the exception of that connected with the church, called the Post-Office Mission, the duties of which can be performed quietly at home. In this mission she has been a pioneer worker.