Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mary Loise Edes Alfred, 1853-1899
By Natasha Leveille and Neve Browne, undergraduate students, Saint Anselm College, Goffstown, NH
Chair, Finance Committee, Vermont Woman Suffrage Association
Mary Loise Edes was born on May 2, 1853, in Charleston, Massachusetts, to Priscilla Rice and Robert Ball Edes, a prominent merchant. Loise Edes had two sisters, Helen and Emma Dora. Loise Edes graduated from Newton High School. On June 10, 1879, Loise Edes married Frank E. Alfred in Newton, and they lived in Newport, Vermont. Frank Alfred was the son of Samuel D. and Polly Alfred of Fairfax, Vermont, and he had nine other siblings. He studied law at Harvard College and settled in Newport, where he was partner in the firm of Crane & Alfred. In 1878, he was admitted as a member of the State Supreme Court and, in 1879, a member of the United States Circuit Court. Frank Alfred was elected State's Attorney for Orleans County in 1886 and 1888. He also became the Judge of Probate for the Orleans District and was a member of many societies, including the Society of the American Revolution. The couple did not have children. After marriage, Loise Alfred typically used her middle name, Loise E. (Edes) Alfred.
As the wife of a well-known attorney and judge, Loise Alfred was known for her "prominent social life" and her "sunny and genial nature." She was a member of the American Woman's Suffrage Association (AWSA) and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Her social activism was most prominent in the years of 1891 to 1894: she was a delegate and superintendent for Vermont in the WCTU; she was the chairman of finance and an elected officer for the Vermont Woman Suffrage Association. She also gave a reports during national conventions for both groups. She was a charter member of the Daughters of Rebekah and served as District Deputy Grand Matron in 1895. An obituary in the St. Albans Daily Messenger noted that she "filled every official chair in the lodge after its establishment in Ludlow." She helped to create the Newport University Extension Club, serving in various executive positions.
On July 27, 1899, Mary Loise Edes Alfred died at age 46 in Newport from cerebral meningitis and was buried in East Main Street Cemetery. Frank Alfred remarried, to Clara Ives, in 1906. In Loise Alfred's obituary, she was remembered for being an active woman in her community. She loved entertaining young people and arranging and organizing parties. She was earnest and kind, ready to give a helping hand to charity at all times.
Albert, Loise E. "Woman's Rights." St. Albans (VT) Daily Messenger. February 25, 1893. Newspapers.com.
Carlton, Hiram, ed. "Frank Edward Alfred." In Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont, vol. 2, 353-55. New York: Lewis Publishing, 1903. Internet Archive.
"The finance committee..." St. Johnsbury Caledonian, March 16, 1893. Newspapers.com.
Find a Grave. Mary Loise Edes Alfred. Posted September 7, 2016. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/169531836/mary-louise-alfred.
"The installation of officers..." Orleans County (VT) Monitor. January 7, 1895. Newspapers.com.
"The Late Mrs. Loise E. Alfred." St. Albans (VT) Daily Messenger. August 4, 1899. Newspapers.com.
Massachusetts Marriage Records, 1840-1915. Mary L. Edes, June 10, 1879, Newton, MA. Ancestry Library.
Moore, Laura. "Vermont." In Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association Held in Washington, D.C., January 16, 17, 18, 19, 1893, 149. Washington, D.C: Stormont and Jackson Printers, 1893. Google Books.
"Newport." Express and Standard (Newport, VT). June 17, 1879. Newspaper.com.
"Newport." Orleans County (VT) Monitor. August 7, 1899. Newspapers.com.
Seventeenth Annual Report of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Vermont Held at St. Johnsbury, October 7, 8, 9, 1891. Brattleboro, VT: C.P. Spencer and Co., 1891.
Tomlinson, Mary D. "Parlor Meetings." In Minutes of National Woman's Christian Temperance Union at the Twenty-First Annual Meeting Held in Doan Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, November 16-21, 1894, 317-24. Chicago: Woman's Temperance Publishing Association, 1894. Google Books.
United States Census 1880, s.v. "Mary Alfred, Newport, Orleans, VT." Ancestry Library.