Mary McDowell (1854 – 1936): Founder of the University of Chicago Settlement House and Co-Founder of the National Women’s Trade Union League
Editor’s Note: This entry is a composite of information about Mary McDowell. The name of the author is unknown; however, many of the quotes are attributed to individuals who knew her […]Continue Reading →
The United Service Organizations for National Defense, Inc. (USO) and the YWCA
Introduction: As the United States prepared to enter World War II, the general public and many leading social service agencies voiced the need for expanded social services in coordination with the U.S. military. In 1940, General George […]Continue Reading →
Perhaps the first outstanding instance of the Settlement’s service to the community, through Miss McDowell, was its successful petition to have a public bath-house erected in the area (12,000 persons used it in August, 1900). Another instance was the successful campaign to have the alleys and streets of the district cleaned, and trash and garbage hauled away. Efforts on the part of the Settlement resulted in a series of events which led to the present system of neighborhood playgrounds. The Settlement was instrumental in the establishment of summer schools or “vacation schools,” and vocational schools where classes in manual training, domestic science and vocational guidance were held.
…It sponsored nutrition and hygiene classes, provided a nursing clinic and visiting nurses and the services of cooperating doctors, all before these functions were recognized as a municipal responsibility. The Settlement even served as a hospital ward on two occasions, once during an epidemic of whooping cough, and again during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Miss McDowell led the campaign for the abolition of the great garbage dumps in the area and for the filling in of the notorious “Bubbly Creek”—a stagnant branch of the Chicago River into which was poured raw sewage.
The settlement crusade for social justice was firmly rooted in what the residents learned from neighborhood life. The reforms they proposed or promoted were realistic and practical, in part because many were tested in the neighborhood first. If a program proved worthwhile, the residents persuaded schools, labor unions, civic organizations, and the municipal, state, or federal government to take it over and expand it. But the point of origin was usually the neighborhood contact. The diversified program of the settlements put them in touch with a cross section of their communities. They sponsored day nurseries, kindergartens, and play schools; mothers’ clubs and women’s organizations; clubs and classes for children, teenagers, and young adults; discussion groups, educational classes, and civic reform organizations for the adults; free legal services, informal employment bureaus, dispensaries, and clinics.Continue Reading →
Robert E. Bondy (1895-1990) — Social Worker, Director of Disaster Relief for the American Red Cross, Volunteer Advocate and Director of the National Social Welfare Assembly
Researched and Transcribed by Ian Lewenstein
Editor’s Note: No complete biography of Robert E. Bondy has been located. This entry was developed using two separate […]Continue Reading →
Werner W. Boehm (1913 – 2011) — Social Work Educator, Scholar, and Author
Editor’s Note: At the bottom of this narrative is a resume for Dr. Boehm he prepared while teaching at the University of Minnesota. It includes details about his work history and publications.
Dr. Werner W. Boehm came to the United […]Continue Reading →
William Penn was for many months a prisoner in the Tower of London, and many thousands of Friends during that period were incarcerated; there being at one time more than three thousand of them imprisoned and scores of them died in jail, and many more after being released, from the abuse and the diseases contracted therein. These terrible experiences, both in England and Massachusetts, probably impressed very forcibly upon the Friends of that day, and upon their successors.Continue Reading →
In 1794 the Society succeeded in securing the abolition of the exaction of fees by the jailers as a condition of release, and a competent salary was authorized to be paid to the prison officials. About the same time it was decreed that capital punishment should be inflicted only for the crime of murder. Barbarous methods of punishment, such as the pillory, branding with hot irons, the whipping post, were soon dispensed with as reformatory measures.Continue Reading →
The complete works of Mr. Livingston, consisting of systems of penal law for the state of Louisiana and for the United States of America were published by the National Prison Association in 1873. Dr. K. C. Wines, in a prefatory note to that edition, says: “The Association is happy in being made the organ of giving to the country and the world a new edition of the writings of an American jurist and philanthropist who has done so much to illustrate and advance his age in one of the highest and noblest departments of civilization.”Continue Reading →