Woman of the Century/Mary Cunningham Logan
LOGAN, Mrs. Mary Cunningham, editor, born in Petersburg, (now Sturgeon) Mo., 15th August, 1838. The family moved to Illinois when she was a child. She was educated in St. Vincent, a Catholic academy in Morganfield, Ky. Her father was a captain of volunteers in the Mexican War, and John A. Logan was in the same regiment. He and the captain became warm friends, and their friendship continued through life. Mrs. Logan was the oldest of thirteen children, and the large family, with the modest circumstances of her father, compelled her early acquaintance with the cares and responsibilities of fife. Her father was appointed land register during President Pierce's administration, and his daughter Mary acted as his clerk. It was then she and John A. Logan met and formed an attachment which resulted in marriage. He was thirteen years her senior. It was a union that proved to be mutually helpful and happy. Mr. Logan was then an ambitious young lawyer, the prosecuting attorney for the third judicial circuit of Illinois, residing in the town of Benton. Mrs. Logan identified her interests with those of her husband and in many ways she contributed to his many successes in the political world. While treading the paths of obscurity and comparative poverty with him cheerfully, she acted as his confidential adviser and amanuensis. Even when the war broke out, she did not hold him back, but entered with enthusiasm into his career and bore the brunt of calumny for his sake, with the burden of family life devolving upon her, for he organized his regiment in a hostile community. She followed him to many a well-fought field and endured the privations of camp life, as thousands of other patriotic women did, without murmur, only too glad to share her husband's perils or to minister to the sick and wounded of his regiment for the sake of being near him. When the war was over, Gen. Logan was elected to Congress, and later to the United States Senate. In the political and social life of Washington. Mrs. Logan's talent for filling high positions with ease MARY CUNNINGHAM LOGAN. and grace made her famous. General Logan owed much of his success in life to this devoted, tactful and talented woman, who steadily grew in honor in the estimation of the public, as did her husband. It was a terrible blow when the strong man, of whom she was so proud, was struck down with disease, and the mortal put on the immortal. To a woman of Mrs. Logan's ambitions, to say nothing of her strong affection for her husband and her activity, that stroke was appalling, and she nearly sank under it, but for the sake of the son and daughter left she rallied, and recovered her health and power to live, through change of scene and a trip to Europe, chaperoning the Misses Pullman. On her return Mrs. Logan received the offer of the position of editor of the "Home Magazine," published in Washington, which position she has continued to fill acceptably ever since. The family residence, "Calumet Place," Washington, in which Gen. Logan died, was then a new and long-desired home, but unpaid for. Friends of the General in Chicago voluntarily raised a handsome fund and put it at Mrs. Logan's disposal. The first thing she did was to secure the homestead, and in it devoted what was once the studio of an artist and former owner to a "Memorial Hall," where now all the General's books, army uniforms, portraits, busts, presents and souvenirs of life are gathered. They form a most interesting collection. During the past few years honors seem to have been showered upon Mrs. Logan in full measure. During the Templar Triennial Conclave in the capital city, in October, 1889, the Knights Templar carried out a programme planned by the General, who was one of their number. They were received in Mrs. Logan's home, where thousands paid their respects, leaving bushels of cards and miles of badges, mementoes of the visit. President Harrison appointed Mrs. Logan one of the women commissioners of the District of Columbia to the Columbian Exposition, to be held in Chicago in 1893, a business that has occupied much of her attention and her peculiar executive ability since, both as to work and with her pen. She has found time to carry out successfully the plans of the greatest charity in Washington, the Garfield Hospital, having been president of the board nine years, during which time the charitable people associated with her have built up one of the best hospitals east of the Alleghanies. There is no woman of to-day with more personal influence on the public than Mrs. Logan. Other women may be more brilliant, of broader culture, of greater ability in many lines, but she possesses the qualities that take hold of the popular heart. As wife and mother no name shines with brighter luster, especially with the men and women who compose the Grand Army of the Republic and the Woman's Relief Corps, in which order she is regarded as the one whom all delight to honor, both for the name she bears as Gen. Logan's wife, and for her own sake. The honors conferred upon her in Minneapolis in many respects have never been equaled in this or any other country.