Woman of the Century/Mary Hopkins Goodrich

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GOODRICH, Mrs. Mary Hopkins, originator of village improvement associations, born in Stockbridge, Mass., in 1814. Her maiden name was Hopkins. She inherited the same intellectual qualities which marked her cousin, President Mark Hopkins, of Williamstown, with others of the name hardly less distinguished. She was born with a love of nature and a humanitarian spirit She was left an orphan when barely two years old, and was brought up by older sisters. From the planting of a tree, when she was five years old, dates practically the beginning of the Village Improvement Association which has made of Stockbridge, Mass., the most perfectly kept village in the United States. After an absence of many years in the South, she returned to find the village cemetery in a neglected state, and she resolved to attempt to remedy that and other unnecessary evils, and, as far as possible, by the aid of children. To interest them she had a tree planted for every child in town, to care for themselves, and that secured their interest in what was projected and begun for the rest of the village. MARY HOPKINS GOODRICH.jpgMARY HOPKINS GOODRICH. A wretched street known as Poverty Lane. where some of them were then living, was thus gradually transformed her desire to assist in educating young women. For the last fifteen years Mrs. Goodwin has been intimately associated with the educational work of Wellesley College. She is an active member of its board of trustees and of its executive committee, and has also written and read to the students of Wellesley many essays on art, the studies for which were made in the great art centers of Europe, where she traveled in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Her first novel was "Madge" (New York, 1864), and was favorably received. Mrs. Goodwin regards it as the least worthy of her books, though it was written with as high an aim and as serious a purpose as any of its successors. Her second book, "Sherbrooke" (New York, 1866). is a story of New England life. The success of that story was instantaneous. Her third book, "Dr. Howell's Family" (Boston, 1869), was written during months of great physical pain, and many readers regard it as the author's strongest work. After the publication of that book Mrs. Goodwin was for several years an invalid and employed her been only in writing short stories and sketches and letters from Europe to religious newspapers. "One Among Many" (Boston. 1884) added to the well earned success of its author and gave new evidence of her ability to represent real life. Another of her well-known stories is "Christine's Fortune " (Boston), a picture of German life. "Our Party of Four" (Boston, 18871, describes a tour in Spain Perhaps to "Dorothy Gray" the highest praise is awarded by critics and literary friends. Mrs. Goodwin's extensive reading, her knowledge of art and her acquaintance with foreign cities have given her pen a rare facility. Culture, refinement into one of the prettiest streets in the village. Her health was always extremely delicate, but the out-of-door life necessitated by her interest in the work of the association, which soon became incorporated, and enlisted all Stockbridge. was of great benefit. A constitution was adopted on 5th September, 1853, and amended and enlarged in scope in 1878. Miss Hopkins became the wife of Hon. T. Z. Goodrich, whose interest in the work had been hardly less than her own, and who till his death never lost it. Mrs Goodrich is not only the mother of every village improvement society in the United States, but the unwearying helper of every one who seeks to kindle this love in children, or to rouse interest in their elders. Though owing much to wealth, she has always contended that much the same results are possible for the poor, and even in her advanced age, she is in constant correspondence with innumerable inquirers who are interested in her methods.