Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Ada Rodgers Mundorff, 1859-1941
By Brianna Coltrane, undergraduate, Rosemont College
Miss Ada Rodgers was born on February 25, 1859, to Mark Rodgers and Rebecca Corbett Rodgers in Corsica, Pennsylvania. In 1870 she lived in Brookville, Pennsylvania, where she was raised in a big household consisting of six girls and four boys ranging from ages two to nineteen years old. Her family was wealthy due to her father's occupation as a physician who also established R.A. Rodgers and Company, a mercantile selling dry goods and clothing. In 1883 Ada married Henry W. Mundorff, eleven years her senior, a lawyer and politician from Punxsutawney.
The couple lived in Punxsutawney in 1900 and 1910. They had no children, but a German-born servant lived in their household in 1900. Henry passed away in 1914 and Ada moved into Pittsburgh, where the 1920 census recorded her employed as a social worker in a children's home.
On March 3, 1917, Mundorff was elected literature secretary of the Jefferson County Women's Suffrage Party and was one of the officers in charge of their party's annual convention as literature chairman. The goal of involving literature in the suffrage movement was to let the people know what goes on throughout the movement and also to encourage others to join. Mundorff mailed pamphlets consisting of information on the suffrage movement as well as others forms of literature such as journals and posters.
Mundorff was a prominent civic woman due to her husband's political influence. Prior to her involvement in the suffrage movement, she helped to compile a state report for the1893 World's Fair. She was also active in World War I through the Irving Club, named after Washington Irving, which she founded in 1895 and served as president. The Club is known to be one of the oldest recorded literary societies for women in Western Pennsylvania and focuses on contributing to the community, such as war bond drives during World War 1.
Following suffrage movement, Mundorff became involved in child welfare. From 1920 to 1930, she was the superintendent of the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Home for the Friendless, a private charity established in 1861 to care for children whose parents could not care for them. In 1969, the home combined with the Protestant Home for Children to form Pressley Ridge School. Mundorff remained there until her retirement in 1930. She moved to Altamonte Springs in Seminole County, Florida, where two of her sisters lived. Mrs. Ada Rogers Mundorff worked as a florist until her death at the age of 82 on March 5, 1941.
Federal Manuscript Censuses, Pennsylvania, 1870-1920. Accessed via Ancestry Library Edition.
"3 Mar 1917, Page 1 - The Daily Notes at Newspapers.com." 2017. Newspapers.com. Accessed April 5. http://www.newspapers.com/image/53298930/.
"8 Oct 1931, 1 - The Jeffersonian-Democrat at Newspapers.com." 2017. Newspapers.com. Accessed April 27. http://www.newspapers.com/image/278462003/?terms=%22Ada%2BR.%2BMundorff%22.
"3 Mar 1917, Page 1 - The Daily Notes at Newspapers.com." Newspapers.com. Accessed April 5, 2017.http://www.newspapers.com/image/53298930/.
"About Us and Our Building." 2017. Marocco and Spindler's Yoga on Main. Accessed April 26. http://www.brookvilleyom.com/about-us-and-our-building.html.
"Pittsburgh and Allegheny Home for the Friendless." 2017. Accessed April 26. http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/ark:/99166/w68h5c6m.