Alzina Parsons-Stevens, A Biography

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Alzina Parsons-Stevens, labor and industrial worker and child welfare worker was born in Parsonfield, Maine in 1849, a town named after her paternal grandfather, Colonel Thomas Parsons, who received the land for his service in the American Revolution. Enoch Parsons, who served in the War of 1812, was a relatively prosperous farmer and small manufacturer. He and his wife, Louise (Page) Parsons, had seven children, of whom Alzina Parsons was the fourth daughter and the youngest child. Enoch Parsons died in 1862, leaving the family in difficult financial straits. With two sons fighting in the Civil War, Louise Parsons was forced to send her youngest daughter to work in a local textile mill. There she lost her right index finger in an industrial accident; the missing finger served as a perpetual stimulus and a reminder in her later struggles against child labor. An unfortunate early marriage soon ended in divorce, and though she kept her husband's last name, she refused to talk about him even to her closest friends, and no information about him survives. Pioneer's Contributions to the Social Profession At the age of eighteen, Azina Parsons Stevens left Maine and moved to Toledo, Ohio. There, motivated by her newly divorced status and the need to support herself, Stevens began to learn the printing trade. She soon became a proofreader and typesetter and ultimately an editor, making the newspaper business her life's work. After five years in Toledo, Stevens took her trade to Chicago, where she became one of the first women to join the Typographical Union No.16. She soon became active in the Chicago labor movement and in 1877 organized active in the Women's Union No.1. About 1882 she moved back to Toledo, Ohio, where she worked fo... ... middle of paper ... ...r children in society and gave them best possible education and safety as well to benefit their needs. This information I feel will not really affect my anticipated professional practice because it has helped me better understand what the needs of the children are. It's the great pioneers of the past that helped create these social policies we have today to protect the interest of the children and the society as whole. Works Cited Stevens, Alzina Parsons Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved September 18, 2004, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online. http://search.eb.com/eb/article?tocId=9069652 James,E.,James,J.,Boyer,P.(1971).Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary. Harvard: Harvard University Press. Biography from American Reformers (1985). New York: The H. W. Wilson Company

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