Woman of the Century/Rhoda Anna Esmond

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ESMOND, Mrs. Rhoda Anna, philanthropist, born in Sempronius, N. Y., 22nd November, 1819. Her parents were Zadok Titus and Anna Hinkley Greenfield Titus, who were married in 1801. Zadok Titus was born in Stillwater, N. Y., and moved in 1795 to Sempronius, where he took up one-hundred-seventy-seven acres of wild land, which he converted into a beautiful farm, upon which he lived until his death, in 1836. Miss Titus' school-days, after leaving the district school, were spent for two years in Groton Academy and nearly a year in "Nine Partners Boarding School," Washington, N. Y. Here she met Joseph Esmond, a young Hicksite Friend, from Saratoga, N. Y., and became his wife 5th May, 1840. They resided in Saratoga two years and then went to Milan, Cayuga county, N. Y. In 1846 they moved to Fulton, and Mr. Esmond took up the study of law. What he read through the day was reviewed with Mrs. Esmond at night. That gave her much valuable legal knowledge and some acquaintance with the general rules of legal proceedings. In 1848 Mr. Esmond was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Fulton for twenty years. During those years Mrs. Esmond's health was very poor, but she was actively engaged in church work and often contributed articles to newspapers under the pen-name "Ruth." In 1872 Mr. Esmond moved with his family, consisting of his wife and three sons, to Syracuse, N. Y. When the influence of the Woman's Temperance Crus.de of the West reached Syracuse, she helped to organize a woman's temperance society of four-hundred members. She was made a delegate to the first State Woman's Christian Temperance Union convention, RHODA ANNA ESMOND..jpgRHODA ANNA ESMOND. held in Brooklyn, in February, 1875, with instructions to visit all of the coffee-houses and friendly inns in Brooklyn, New York and Poughkeepsie, to gather all the information possible for the purpose of formulating a plan for opening an inn in Syracuse. The inn was formally opened in July, 1875. As chairman of the inn committee she managed its affairs for nearly two years with remarkable success. Jealousies arose in the union, and Mrs. Esmond and thirty-two others resigned and formed a new union, called Syracuse Woman's Christian Temperance Union No. 2. Mrs. Esmond was elected president, but positively refused to act. In the first State Woman's Christian Temperance Union convention held in Brooklyn, in February, 1875, Mrs. Esmond was made chairman of the committee on resolutions and appointed one of a committee on "Memorial to the State Legislature." In the State's first annual convention held in Ilion, in October, 1875, she was made a member of the executive board. In its second annual convention in Syracuse, in 1876, she gave the address of welcome, was made chairman of the executive board, chosen a delegate to the National convention and made a member of the State committee on visitations. In 1877, in the State annual convention, she was made chairman of the finance committee and a member of the committee to revise the State constitution. In 1881 she was elected State superintendent of the department of unfermented wine. In 1887 she was elected a delegate to the National convention held in Nashville, but resigned. She was there appointed national superintendent of the department of unfermented wine. In 1888 she was delegate to the national convention, held in New York City. In 1889 she resigned the presidency of the local union, having held that office nearly six years. For the past four years her most earnest efforts and best thoughts have been given to the interest of her department work.