Mary Augusta Wood-Allen (October 19, 1841 – January 21, 1908) was a doctor, social reformer, lecturer, 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.
After three years studying in Vienna, Austria, Wood-Allen 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 Hygiene" for the National Women's Christian Temperance Union at the suggestion of Frances Willard and lectured widely on these subjects. In 1892 she became superintendent of the WCTU's 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. Her poem entitled "Motherhood" was well known in its day.
Wood-Allen and Chillon Brown Allen married on April 15, 1863, and had separated by 1880. Wood-Allen's children were Mario Chillon Wood-Allen (1870-1936) and Rose Wood-Allen Chapman (1875-1923). Rose wrote 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.
Wood-Allen died in Washington, D.C. in 1908.
- "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)
- "Making the Best of Our Children" (2 vols, 1909)
- Morantz-Sanchez, Regina Markell. Sympathy & Science: Women Physicians in American Medicine. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000, p. 218.
- Willard, Frances, and Mary Livermore, eds. A Woman of the Century. New York: Moulton, 1893, pp. 20-21.
- Willard, Frances, and Mary Livermore, eds. American Women: Fifteen Hundred Biographies. New York: Mast, Crowell, & Kirkpatrick, revised 1897, pp. 20-21.
- Frye, Maude J. "In Memoriam". The Woman's Medical Journal 18:4 (April 1908), p. 89.
- The Character Builder, November 1902, pp. 211-12.
- Herringshaw, Thomas William. Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century, p. 36
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mary Wood-Allen.|