Mary Augusta Wood-Allen (October 19, 1841 – January 21, 1908) was a doctor, social reformer, and writer of books on health and self-improvement for women and children. Through her lectures and writings she was a voice for the social purity movement.
Wood was born in Delta, Ohio . She attended Ohio Wesleyan Female College, graduating in 1862. After teaching for a time at the Battleground Collegiate Institute in Battle Ground, Indiana, she married Dr. Chilion Brown Allen on April 15, 1863. After three years studying in Europe she earned a medical degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1875. She went into practice in Newark, New Jersey. In 1883 she was appointed "Lecturer of Heredity and Hygeine" for the National Women's Christian Temperance Union at the suggestion of Frances Willard; in 1892 she became Superintendent of the Purity Department, and in 1897 she became Superintendent of Purity for the World WCTU.
In 1895 Wood-Allen started a series of monthly leaflets titled "Mother's Friend"; this was expanded into the monthly magazine "The American Mother", later "American Motherhood", which continued publication until 1919. Wood-Allen published the magazine herself with the assistance of her son and daughter. She also published a number of books: "Teaching Truth" (1892), "The Man Wonderful: The Marvels of Our Bodily Dwelling" (1895), "What a Young Woman Ought to Know" (1899), "Marriage: Its Duties and Privileges" (1901), "Child-confidence Rewarded" (1903), "What a Young Girl Ought to Know" (1905), "Almost a Man" (1907), "Almost a Woman" (1907), and "Making the Best of Our Children" (2 volumes, 1909).
Wood-Allen and her husband had separated by 1880. Wood-Allen's children were Mario Chilion Wood-Allen (1870-1936) and Rose Wood-Allen Chapman (1875-1923). Rose continued to write articles and books of advice on child-rearing and in 1907 took her mother's place as the National Superintendent of Purity for the WCTU.
She died in District of Columbia in 1908.
- Sympathy & Science: Women Physicians in American Medicine, Regina Markell Morantz-Sanchez, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000, p. 218
- American Women: Fifteen Hundred Biographies, ed. Frances Willard and Mary Livermore, New York: Mast, Crowell, & Kirkpatrick, revised 1897, p. 20-1
- The Character Builder, November 1902, p. 211-2