Woman of the Century/Mary Alderson Chandler
CHANDLER, Mrs. Mary Alderson, educator, born near Le Raysville, Pa., 16th April, 1849. Her birth place was twenty miles from any town of importance, the only connection with which was the rumbling stage-coach. When other children of her age were profiting by the railroad, the telegraph, music, art, literature and other facilities for unconscious growth and education, she, benightedly, was looking through the little windows of the stone house, dreaming of another world beyond the hills. Her parents were plain English people, whose wealth, they used to say, lay chiefly in their children, of whom there were eight boys and three girls. Her education was begun in the district school, and afterwards she spent two years in the State Normal School, Mansfield, Pa., graduating with the honors of her class in the spring of 1868. She then began her work as a teacher. The first three years of public-school service were spent in western Pennsylvania, the following nine in California. She was everywhere successful. Being largely endowed with enthusiasm, she invariably left in her wake the spirit of progress. Deciding to become a specialist, she went to Philadelphia as a student. While there she met Willard M. Chandler, whose wife and co-worker she became, and whom she accompanied to Boston, her present home. Mr. Chandler was a gentleman of refinement, intelligence, breadth of thought and unusual power as an orator. Their lives were full of promise, but in a short time he died of consumption. Necessity, a strong commander, decided that stenography, which she had learned more as an aid to her husband than otherwise, should then become her vocation. Summoning courage, she threw herself into that educational work and turned out stenographers of so rare a quality as to attract general attention. That led to the publication of her "Graded Lessons" (Boston, 1889), for which her penetrating mind had discovered the greatest need. Foreseeing the time when shorthand would become a part of a common-school education, she devoted herself to the problem of preparing a work specially adapted to that end, and which she published, MARY ALDERSON CHANDLER. "Practical Shorthand for Schools and Collages" (Boston, 1891). By her strictly logical development she has brought that complicated subject within the ready comprehension of all.