Woman of the Century/Lavantia Densmore Douglas
LAVANTIA DENSMORE DOUGLAS. DOUGLAS, Mrs. Lavantia Densmore, temperance worker, born in Rochester, N. Y., 1st March, 1827. She was one of seven children. Her parents, Joel and Sophia Densmore. were very poor in all the externals of life, but they were very rich in honor and integrity, in industry, in energy and in aspiration. When Lavantia was about nine years old, her parents removed to Crawford county, Pennsylvania, upon a farm. The father was unique in character, eccentric in person, in speech and in manners. The mother was of a bright, joyous, laughter-loving nature. Appreciating Keenly their own lack of education, both parents strove to give their children the best educational opportunities possible The sole luxury of their home was literature. They took the " Democratic Review," almost the only magazine then published in the United States, and such papers as the " National Era" and the "Boston investigator." In 1853, when she was twenty-six years of age, she became the wife of Joshua Douglas, then just entering the profession of the law, and removed to Meadville, Pa., where they have resided ever since. There her life was devoted to caring for her household, rearing her children and mingling somewhat in the social life of the place. In 1872 she made a visit to Europe. She arrived home from Europe on the 23rd of December, 1873. tne day of the great Woman's Temperance Crusade. Meadville was aroused by the great spiritual outpouring, and the following March a mass meeting was called and a temperance organization effected which, under one form or another, still exists. Mrs. Douglas very early identified herself with the movement, and has always been a most active and enthusiastic worker in the cause. She early became a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and for many years was president of the Meadville Union. Her ardent enthusiasm and untiring zeal have made her name in her own community a synonym for temperance. For a few years Mrs. Douglas has been obliged to retire from active efforts in the cause, owing to failing eye-sight. Cataracts formed on both her eyes, and during these later years she has walked in gathering darkness. The cataracts have been removed, but with only partial success.