Woman of the Century/Emily M. J. Cooley
EMILY M. J. COOLEY. COOLEY, Mrs. Emily M. J., religious and and temperance worker, born in Lima, N. Y., 1st November, 1831, Her maternal ancestry was of the French nobility who, for religion's sake, left title, fortune and home, and, casting their lot with the persecuted Huguenots, found in New Jersey, among the Quakers, a refuge and a home where they might worship according to their faith. Many of the descendants became distinguished soldiers during the national struggle. On her father's side she is descended from the Puritans of 1636. They settled in North Adams, Mass., and some of the eminent men of that State are of kindred blood Till the age of sixteen she attended the public schools, and then was a student for a year each in Buffalo, in Rochester and in Aurora Academy, now Wells College. She was for five years a teacher in Buffalo, and then became the wife of Rev. R. Cooley, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a graduate in Meadville, Pa. After that for one year she was preceptress of Cooperstown Seminary. They moved to Wisconsin in 1862, and she began her public work in the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society. She was for several years vice-president of the society in Wisconsin Conference and organized many auxiliaries. Her temperance work was begun in 1S69. When once awakened to the extent of the liquor evil, she became one of its most determined foes. Though grown white-haired in the service, she is still an indefatigable worker in the cause of prohibition. In 1880 her husband was transferred to the Nebraska Conference. She had resolved to enjoy home rest for a season after that change, but her fame preceded her in letters to the State officers from Miss Willard and others. She was made State organizer for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Nebraska, in her first year with that body. She served four years as State and three years as National organizer, speaking in every State of the Union. She has been for several years president of the second district Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Nebraska. Not alone in the temperance cause has Mrs. Cooley been known as a power for good. Though not an ordained minister of the M. E. Church, being a woman, she was known as an "exhorter," and she was twice appointed by the presiding elder to supply the pulpit of a church without a pastor. Each time her labors were successful and the membership greatly increased.