Woman of the Century/Martha B. O'Donnell
O'DONNELL, Mrs. Martha B., temperance worker, born in Virgil, Cortland county, N. Y., 5th February, 1837. Her maiden name was received by adoption into the family of Zalmon P. Barnum, her mother having died when she was four years of age. MARTHA B. O'DONNELL. She was educated in New York Central College, McGrawville. N. Y., a college founded by Gerrit Smith, which recognized the same right of education for women and colored people that belonged to men. At the age of nineteen years Martha Barnum became the wife of Charles F. Dickinson, editor of the Olean, N. Y., "Times." Their family consisted of two daughters and one son. The son died in infancy. Having long been identified with the Independent Order of Good Templars, she began in 1868 the publication of the "Golden Rule," a monthly magazine, in the interest of the order. In 1869 she was elected one of the board of managers of the grand lodge of the State of New York. In 1870 she was elected grand vice-templar, and was reelected in 1871. Her husband died in June, 1871. For two years she edited the two publications which fell to her charge, but declining health and overwork compelled her to dispose of them At her first attendance in the right worthy grand lodge of the nation she was elected right grand vice-templar. Interested deeply in the children, she was the moving spirit in securing the adoption of the "Triple Pledge" for the children's society connected with the order. Upon the adoption of the ritual containing that pledge she was elected chief superintendent of that department of work by the right worthy grand lodge. She had charge of introducing the juvenile work in all the known world. During the first year she succeeded in securing the introduction and adoption of the ritual in Africa, India, Australia, England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and also in every State in the Union. She was re-elected four successive years. In 1873 she became the wife of Hon. John O'Donnell, one of the leading temperance men of the State. Her activity in temperance work has led her to visit Europe, as well as many parts of the United States, and always with success. She is now grand vice-templar of the order of Good Templars and president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of her county. Her home is in Lowville, N. Y.