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Heritage from Chicago’s Early Settlement Houses (1967)

The Heritage from Chicago’s Early Settlement Houses

by Louise C. Wade, an article in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. Vol. 60, no. 4 (Winter, 1967).

Note: Louis C. Wade is the author of “Graham Taylor, Pioneer for Social Justice, 1851-1938″ (University of Chicago Press, 1964) and is currently doing full-time research for a history of Chicago’s Back of the Yards area. Mrs. Wade is a graduate of Wellesley College and received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Rochester. She has been a lecturer in American history at the latter institution as well as at the University of Chicago.

THE CONTRAST between progress and poverty in American life was obvious in the 1880s and glaring by the 1890s. Violent confrontations like the Haymarket riot and the Homestead and Pullman strikes served to illuminate the dangerous chasm, which separated the very rich from the very poor.

Thoughtful citizens were troubled, but their prescriptions varied widely. There were advocates of immigration restriction, civil service reform, municipal socialism, and trade unionism, while champions of the gospel of wealth countered the arguments of the social gospel movement. In 1891, for example, Andrew Carnegie estimated that less than one half of one percent of the population were paupers and they were “mainly aged and superannuated,” blind, idiotic, or deaf mutes, “one-third being foreigners…In a country where the millionaire exists, there is little excuse in proportion as a country is blessed in millionaires.”

But that same year the noted economist Richard T. Ely said five percent of the population was paupers and the best way to help them was through the growth of trade unions, “improved education,…better factory legislation,…playgrounds and parks,…and more highly-developed sanitary legislation and administration.” Almshouses, asylums, and charitable institutions, he said, “show that were are but half-Christians. As we progress in real Christianity, preventive measures will be more and more emphasized.” And he added, the “chief agency of reform” will be “the helpful cooperation of citizens with public authorities, particularly with those of the city. Private societies have made a failure of efforts to improve social conditions.”[1]

Deeply influenced by this ferment were the men and women who founded the American settlement houses. Most of them were well-educated middle-class citizens eager to find a way of bridging the chasm between the rich and the poor. Aware of the novel experimentation undertaken by Canon Samuel Barnett and his wife at Tonybee Hall in London, they concluded that residence in working-class urban neighborhoods would enable them to learn about the problems of the poor and communicate this information to more fortunate Americans. Most of them shared the broad goals of social Christianity, and the settlement house became the pulpit of their secular ministry of understanding.

A few of the settlement founders came to their chosen tasks by way of the ministry or religious studies. This was true of Graham Taylor of Chicago Commons, Charles Zueblin, the first head resident of Northwestern University Settlement, and Robert Woods of South End House in Boston. Many others, however, were attracted to the settlement because it provided an opportunity to bridge the sharp class cleavages, which they had observed in American or European cities. Lillian Wald founded a nurses’ settlement (later Henry Street Settlement) after ministering to the sick on the lower east side of New York.

Jane Addams’s route to the settlement way of life included an orthodox education at Rockford Seminary, a short period of medical study, wide reading and reflection, and two trips to Europe. Like many others in the 1880s, she struggled with doubts about traditional religious dogma. Yet she never abandoned the quest for a way to formulate her moral convictions and “reduce them to a plan for action.” It was her observations in the slums of East London and her visit to Tonybee Hall that ended her eight-year “snare of preparation.” The settlement house, she decided, was the best way “to share the race life…to right wrong and alleviate suffering.”[2] Thus, in 1889, at the age of twenty-nine, she and Ellen Gates Starr went to live on Halsted Street, the major thoroughfare of Chicago’s congested west side. The move to Hull House launched Jane Addams on a remarkable career, one that would test to the full her reserves of courage and compassion.

Three years later, she published an article in Forum analyzing the forces behind the settlement house movement. One was “a certain renaissance going forward in Christianity….the impulse to share the lives of the poor, the desire to make social service…express the spirit of Christ.” To learn about the life of the poor, the residents needed “scientific patience in the accumulation of facts.” They must “arouse and interpret the public opinion of their neighborhood…see the needs of their neighborhood as a whole…furnish data for legislation, and use their influence to secure it.” The settlements, she hoped, would be able to assist struggling neighbors and, at the same time, convey to more fortunate Americans a better understanding of the causes of poverty. The settlement ministry of understanding was aimed at broadening the scope of democracy to include social and economic problems as well as the traditional political ones. Jane Addams correctly predicted that the settlements would attract sensitive young men and women who wanted to coordinate “thought and action,” to “socialize their democracy,” and to “aid in the solution of…problems…engendered by the modern conditions of life in a great city.”[3]

This early statement outlined what in fact became the goal of the settlement movement. Close cooperation with neighborhood people, scientific studies of the causes of poverty and dependence, communication of the facts to the public, and persistent pressure for reforms that would “socialize democracy”—these were the objectives of the most vigorous American settlements. According to one worker, the three R’s of the movement were residence, research, and reform.

Very few of the four hundred settlements in existence by 1910 were as effective as Hull House. But the combined efforts of Hull House, Chicago Commons, University of Chicago Settlement; South End House in Boston; and University Settlement, College Settlement, Henry Street Settlement, Hudson Guild, and Greenwich House in New York, as well as a few elsewhere in the country, were an important force in the movement for social justice. Settlement residents helped inform the public about the consequences of unemployment, low wages, inadequate education, bad housing, shocking health and sanitary conditions, and exploitation by landlords and merchants to make the poor pay more. Through speeches, articles, and books the residents exposed the roots of poverty, advocated reforms, and lobbied relentlessly for middle-and upper-class support until action was taken. John Lovejoy Elliott of Hudson Guild thought of the settlements as the “yeast that starts the social rising.” More recently, historian Allen Davis has called them “spearheads for reform” in the progressive era.[4]

Of course, the long-range strategy was not clear in the minds of the early residents when they moved to crowded working-class immigrant neighborhoods. Indeed, their decision usually puzzled both their friends and their new neighbors. Soon after Graham Taylor and his family opened Chicago Commons in 1894, a close friend called on them and was surprised to find the area “all tenements, shabby little stores and saloons…a mere slum.” He decided that “missionaries in the heart of Africa would hardly present a greater contrast with their surroundings than did these cultured refined people in such a neighborhood.”[5]

That same year, Mary McDowell eagerly traded the genteel setting of Evanston for the new University of Chicago Settlement in the stockyards district. In fact, she jumped at the “chance to work with the least skilled workers in our greatest industry; not for them as a missionary, but with them as a neighbor and seeker after truth.” The “immigrant from Evanston” found Back of the Yards a “strange new frontier country.” It was bounded on the east by stockyards and packinghouses, on the south by unelevated railroad tracks, on the west by brickyards and garbage dumps, and on the north by Bubbly Creek, “a cesspool for the sewage of the packing houses.” Few streets were paved. “Stagnant water stood so long in the ditches that a thick, green, leathery scum covered the surface. One little child walked out onto this seemingly solid stuff and was drowned in the ditch.” Worst of all were the smells from the packinghouses. “In the night we would be awakened by a choking sensation…The smoke and odors from the Yards…were so thick that they could be felt, and so impressive that even the children got them mixed with their religious ideas.” One day, she overheard two young boys outside the window. Said one, “‘Yes, He sees everything. He can see inside of you. Why, He can see down through the smoke, God can!’”[6]

So sharp was the contrast between the newcomers and their surroundings and so unusual was their move that neighbors were at first confused about the residents’ motives. Taylor’s landlord made him promise that he would not use the house as a dance hall or home for incurables. Mary McDowell was confronted by a suspicious German cattle butcher who asked, “Why should you come here? Why should the University want such a place? Does Mr. Rockefeller furnish the money?” If the appearance of settlements confused neighborhood people, it intrigued newspaper reporters, baffled many well-to-do Chicagoans, and irritated a few charity organization workers.[7]

Charity organizations correctly interpreted the settlements as a protest against their brand of scientific philanthropy. The charity organizations relied upon “friendly visitors” to distinguish between the worthy and the unworthy poor and dispensed aid only to the worthy, but settlement residents lived in the neighborhood, drew no distinctions among the poor, and were reluctant to engage in charity. Most charity workers looked for individual shortcomings and believed in spiritual uplift. Most settlement residents felt that the environmental causes of poverty were more important, and they pressed for social and economic reforms.

As a result, Hull House was well known, both in this country and abroad, before the National Conference of Charities and Correction permitted a settlement resident to speak at its convention. That speaker was Julia Lathrop, who lived at Hull House, but her most important credential, as far as the Conference was concerned, was membership on the Illinois State Board of Charities. When settlement residents were finally admitted to membership in the National Conference, Mary Richmond of the Baltimore Charity Organization Society welcomed them with these words: “Heretofore we have been like an arm with a cord tied tightly around the middle, preventing free circulation. This meeting has cut the cord.”[8]

By the early twentieth century, charity workers and settlement residents were cooperating on investigations and reforms. Taylor’s settlement magazine, The Commons, merged with Charities in 1905, and in 1909 that journal became The Survey, an important national forum for settlement residents, charity workers, and other reformers. That same year Jane Addams was elected president of the National Conference, the first woman and the first settlement person to hold the post.

Research and investigation into the causes of urban poverty did not originate with the American settlement houses. There had been earlier studies of tenement housing and health conditions in the United States, and most of the residents knew about Charles Booth’s monumental Life and Labour of the Peoples of London. Chicagoans, moreover, were familiar with William T. Stead’s If Christ Came to Chicago, an angry exposé of the black city that surrounded the White City in Jackson Park (White City was the name given the buildings of the Columbian Exposition). Yet factual investigation was an integral part of the settlement program from the very beginning. And the residents were more successful than earlier investigations—and many subsequent ones—in translating facts into social action.

Florence Kelly, for example, already knew a good deal about the child labor problem when she arrived at Hull House in 1891. But the widespread exploitation of women and children wage earners in the Chicago garment industry prompted her to take action. She persuaded the Illinois State Bureau of Labor to investigate the sweating trades. Her statistics, her suggestions in drafting the bill, and her strenuous lobbying helped secure passage of the Illinois Factory Act in 1893. This law prohibited the employment of children under fourteen and established an eight-hour day for women. Governor John Peter Altgeld chose Mrs. Kelley and Mrs. Alzina Stevens of Hull House as factory inspectors, and in this capacity they collected additional information. Other residents, meanwhile, were studying housing, wages, cost of living, schools, municipal services and health standards. Much of the material they compiled was published in 1895 in Hull House Maps and Papers. This volume encouraged Robert Woods to undertake a similar study of the area around South End House in Boston, and it also marked the first step along the road to the comprehensive Pittsburgh survey.[9]

In Chicago, the documentation on substandard housing by settlement residents led to constructive action. In 1897, Northwestern University Settlement sponsored a city-wide conference on tenements. Shortly thereafter, Jane Addams and Mrs. Emmons Blaine organized the City Homes Association and hired Robert Hunter, a charity worker living at Hull House, to make a thorough survey. While Hunter was preparing Tenement Conditions in Chicago, the reformers staged a much larger conference and exhibit at the Art Institute. This educational campaign, reinforced by Hunter’s statistics, shattered the complacent view that Chicago could avoid tenement congestion by expanding over the prairie. As a result, public pressure forced the city council to pass an effective housing ordinance in 1902.[10]

A number of problems uncovered by the settlements were studied in greater detail by the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. That institution had a first-rate research department, subsidized by the Russell Sage Foundation and run for many years by Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge. Among those lecturing at the school were Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, Julia Lathrop, and Graham Taylor, founder and director of the school. Abbott and Breckinridge collaborated on such publications as The Housing Problem in Chicago (1910-1915), The Delinquent Child and the Home (1912), and Truancy and Non-Attendance in Chicago School (1917).[11]

Chicago settlement residents were also responsible for several important government investigations. In 1910, Taylor and Dr. Alice Hamilton of Hull House persuaded the legislature, in special sessions, to create a commission to study occupational diseases. Dr. Hamilton’s report was so convincing that the next General Assembly, in 1911, passed a law providing compensation for industrial diseases. After the stockyards strike of 1904 and serial publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle during 1905, Mary McDowell took the lead in calling for a federal investigation of the packing industry. This investigation helped secure passage of the federal meat inspection act.

While the Bureau of Labor was still engaged in the stockyards study, Mary McDowell, Edith Abbott, and Sophonisba Breckinridge decided that the federal government should also investigate the condition of women wage earners throughout the country. Jane Addams presented the proposal to President Theodore Roosevelt, who endorsed it in a 1905 message to Congress but left it up to the Chicago gadflies to secure the necessary votes. They quickly rallied the support of settlements across the country, as well as that of the Women’s Trade Union League, the Nation Consumer’s League, and the National Child Labor Committee. Then they added to their coalition the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the American Federation of Labor, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

By 1907, they had congressional approval and funds for a federal investigation of wage-earning women and children. The nineteen-volume report of the investigation (published between 1910 and 1913) provided factual ammunition for the establishment of the Children’s Bureau and the Women’s Bureau, and for the passage of the federal child labor laws as well as of a number of state laws regulating working conditions for women and children.[12]

Settlement residents never lost sight of the fact that their statistics must lead to action. Even a rough count of bathtubs in a given area was translated into petitions to the city council demanding municipal bathhouses. Usually, however, action required an intermediate step, that of educating the public. Charles Henderson, a University of Chicago professor and close friend of the settlements, said in 1897, “We must study local conditions and place the result of investigation before the public. Light is a very effective moral disinfectant.”[13] Settlement people were skillful at this. They balanced factual evidence with sensible recommendations for action; their speeches and articles were alive with human interest but seldom marred by sensation or sentimentality. Taylor, Miss McDowell, and Miss Addams turned many of their speeches into articles, and Miss Addams got triple mileage by compiling the articles into books.

They forged close ties with the middle and upper classes through active participation in the Chicago Civic Federation, City Club, Chicago Woman’s Club, and Woman’s City Club. Settlement people launched such organizations as the City Homes Association, Juvenile Protective Association, Immigrant’s Protective League, and Public School Art Society. Moreover, Taylor served on the special park commission and the public library board; Jane Addams and Raymond Robins of Northwestern University Settlement were members of the school board; Mary McDowell was commissioner of public welfare in the 1920s. Membership in a wide variety of national organizations enabled them to reach even larger audiences.

The view from the settlement house left a deep impression upon many board members and friends, most of the residents, and even casual visitors. Chicago board members who helped interpret the settlement crusade for social justice included Mrs. Emmons Blaine, Mrs. Francis Dummer, Mrs. Joseph T. Bowen, William Kent, Victor Lawson of the Daily News, businessmen Edward L. Ryerson, Charles Crane, and Julius Rosenwald; University of Chicago professors Charles Henderson, Shailer Mathews, and John Dewey; as well as Henry Demarest Lloyd and, later, Harold L. Ickes. Typical of their reaction was Mrs. Bowen’s observation: “My whole acquaintance with Hull-House opened for me a new door into life.”

Though many residents stayed only a few years, the exposure was often important. Frances Perkins spent part of the summer of 1906 at Chicago Commons and later said that this experience “really clinched my decision to become a professional social worker.” Among the frequent visitors were John R. Commons and Richard T. Ely of the University of Wisconsin. Ray Stannard Baker covered the Hull House political campaigns in the 1890s, and a few years later socialists Ernest Poole and Upton Sinclair took their meals—free—at the University of Chicago Settlement while roaming around Packingtown. Sinclair used the opportunity, he said, to “check my data” with the residents. The Topeka minister Charles M. Sheldon spent a week at Chicago Commons and later said, “My first thought of the character of the ‘Bishop’ in In His Steps was suggested to me there.”[14]

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.

The campaign for neighborhood playgrounds and parks had top priority, for the early residents were invariably shocked by the congestion and density of Chicago’s west side. Said one of the contributors to Hull-House Maps and Papers, “Little idea can be given…of the numbers of children filling every nook, working and playing in every room, eating and sleeping in every windowsill, pouring in and out of every door, and seeming literally to pave every scrap of ‘yard.’” The settlements converted their backyards and vacant lots into playgrounds, and they took children and adults to the lake front parks. Chicago’s first public playground was established in 1893 on land owned by William Kent and his father, whom Florence Kelley had called slum landlords. Stung by the charge, William Kent called on Mrs. Kelley and Jane Addams and accepted their suggestion that he tear down the miserable houses and create a public playground.

Settlement house pressure helped secure a special park commission in 1899, and that agency soon established “breathing spaces” throughout the west side. Agitation for playgrounds attached to the public schools bore fruit when Jane Addams and Raymond Robins were appointed by Mayor Edward Dunne to the board of education. Moreover, it was the settlement house lobby that persuaded the city to pioneer in 1905 with field houses in the larger parks and recreation leaders at the field houses. The Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy offered special courses for playground supervisors, and when that school was taken over by the University of Chicago in 1920, the program was continued at Hull House as the Recreation Training School.[15]

Jane Addams thought of the settlements as “a protest against a restricted view of education,” and she meant adult education as well as the public schools. Many of her neighbors lived “without leisure or energy for anything but the gain of subsistence….Their ideas and resources are cramped….They have no share in the traditions and social energy which make for progress.” Following the lead of Tonybee Hall, many American settlements experimented in the 1890s with ambitious college-level classes. But the baffling variety of languages and long working hours of most neighborhood adults soon brought these “winter night colleges” to a standstill. Fortunately, the spread of university extension enabled the settlements to place their most promising students in these programs.

Already the settlement residents had devised more realistic and far more effective programs of adult education. A network of clubs, classes, and discussion groups encouraged interest in arts and crafts, music and drama, history and literature, current events and politics. Chicago Commons and Hull House sponsored lively forums where all sorts of ideas, no matter how unpopular, could be aired by all sorts of people, no matter how obscure. From time to time Taylor and Miss Addams were accused of aiding and abetting radicals, but their defense of the principle of free speech demonstrated to the neighborhood, and reminded the rest of the community, that the poor had as much right to express their opinions as businessmen, civic leaders, and newspaper editors.[16]

Just as important were the settlement classes in English and citizenship. Once adult immigrants were located in a Bohemian, Italian, or Polish neighborhood and had found jobs that required no knowledge of English, with a nationality grocery store nearby, and Bohemian, Italian, or Polish newspapers available, a surprising number of them had to be convinced of the utility of learning English. Settlement residents showed them how it would help them find better jobs, aid them in making purchases, and improve communications with their children who were picking up English in the schools. Bilingual neighbors helped teach these classes, and the hours were tailored to fit the needs of the adult students. From the 1890s until World War I, the most effective teaching of English and citizenship was done in the American settlement houses.

The residents usually found the public schools of the 1890s badly overcrowded, rigid in their curricula, and staffed by teachers who were indifferent to immigrant students. The residents experimented with children’s’ classes in art, music, and drama, manual training, and cooking and sewing. They established settlement reading rooms and libraries; some even secured branches of the public library. Mary McDowell and the Chicago Woman’s Club operated one of Chicago’s first “vacation schools” in the summer of 1897; at the request of neighborhood parents, Seward School continued the manual training classes in the fall. Eight years later, Miss McDowell and the club members demonstrated the utility of stationing a settlement resident in Hamline School to help teachers cope with problem children and their immigrant parents.

Over the years residents kept untold numbers of children in school by providing encouragement, carfare, lunch money, or clothing, and sometimes wangling scholarships so that the brightest could go on to college. A newspaper reporter once thanked Jane Addams for the children’s reading at Hull House, which he had used as a boy. The settlement, he said, “was the first house I had ever been in where books and magazines just lay around as if there were plenty of them in the world….To have people regard reading as a reasonable occupation changed the whole aspect of life to me and I began to have confidence in what I could do.” Felix Adler was quite right when he called the settlements “talent-saving stations.”[17]

The educational innovations at the settlements worked so well and met with such enthusiastic neighborhood response that Miss Addams and others urged the public schools to try them. John Dewey watched the Hull House experiments unfold in the 1890s. He applied what he saw at the settlement to his own laboratory school and explained many of the concepts in The School and Society. In 1902, he told the National Education Association, “I suppose whenever we are framing our ideals of the school as a social center, what we think of is particularly the better class of social settlements. What we want is to see the school, every public school, doing something of the same sort of work that is now done by a settlement or two scattered at wide distances thru the city.” In time the settlement people, community allies, and academic supporters managed to bring about sweeping changes in the public schools. The curriculum was revised, guidance counselors and social workers were added, school playgrounds were utilized the year around, and school buildings became community centers. In fact, the settlements sold so many programs to the public schools that several people predicted that community-oriented schools would render settlements unnecessary.[18]

Advising children to stay in school was futile as long as employers would hire them and their families needed the extra income. Curbing the abuse of child labor was therefore one of the settlements’ foremost crusades. As early as 1895 Florence Kelley and Alzina Stevens examined the question of wage-earning children and made four suggestions: a state law banning employment of children under sixteen; compulsory school attendance until the age of sixteen; the use of factory inspectors and truant officers to enforce those laws; and state subsidies to orphans, half-orphans, and children of the unemployed in order to keep them in school.[19] Years later the country caught up with all four suggestions, even subsidies to children of needy families.

It required a long fight, however, and settlement residents, particularly Florence Kelley, commanded the troops. The Illinois Factory Act was declared unconstitutional in 1895, and immediately Florence Kelley, Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, and Henry Demarest Lloyd, among others, launched a massive educational campaign in Illinois. A new measure, passed in 1897, forbade the employment of children under fourteen in stores, offices, and factories, and prohibited the employment of children under sixteen in hazardous occupations. An important amendment in 1903 tightened enforcement procedures and closed loopholes in the law. In 1911, Illinois became the first state to pay stipends to the children of widows or women whose husbands were incapacitated or imprisoned. Meantime, the indomitable Florence Kelley had joined Lillian Wald at Henry Street Settlement, and Robert Hunter had moved to University Settlement. These three pumped new life into the campaign to curb child labor in New York, and they, along with Jane Addams, were instrumental in forming the National Child Labor Committee in 1904.[20]

The women of Hull House were the first to call attention to the plight of children who tangled with the law. Julia Lathrop and Jane Addams, with the assistance of Mrs. Lucy Flower, the Chicago Woman’s Club, and the Chicago Bar Association, secured the country’s first juvenile court, authorized by the Illinois General Assembly in 1899. It was located across the street from Hull House, and included a detention home and a special school. Probation officers were drawn from settlement staffs. Julia Lathrop’s interest in mental health led her to suggest a special clinic attached to the Juvenile Court. Mrs. Francis Dummer agreed to finance the project for five years, and the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute opened in 1909, the first in the country. The real hero of this experiment, however, was Dr. William Healy, who demonstrated the value of careful diagnosis, psychological treatment, and investigation of family background. From this program stemmed the child guidance clinics of the 1920s.[21]

Low wages, another cause of poverty and dependence, could best be countered by union organization, according to many residents. Jane Addams assumed that “organization for working-people was a necessity,” and Taylor said that “a settlement with no relation to the industrial movement is trying to play Hamlet by leaving Hamlet out.” So strong was the interest in trade unionism that Alice Hamilton later remarked, “At Hull-House one got into the labor movement as a matter of course, without realizing how or when.” Residents encouraged neighbors to form new unions, invited labor leaders to hold their meetings at the settlement, and befriended organizers like Sidney Hillman of the garment workers and Michael Donnelly of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen. Mary McDowell helped form a women’s local for Donnelly, and the University of Chicago Settlement staunchly supported the bitter stockyards strike in 1904. Only the personal intervention of Miss McDowell and Miss Addams with J. Ogden Armour salvaged union recognition when the strike collapsed.

The women of Hull House often joined picket lines. When gentle Ellen Gates Starr was arrested for demonstrating with striking waitresses, Harold L. Ickes won acquittal for her in court. The angry employers, however, sent a resolution to Jane Addams demanding that she “withdraw Ellen Gates Starr from further participation in this conspiracy.” Few businessmen were as tolerant as Julius Rosenwald, who made generous contributions to Hull House even though he disagreed with the residents about trade unionism. He once instructed his chauffeur to deliver Grace Abbott to a garment workers’ strike meeting despite the fact that his own shops were involved in the controversy.[22]

It is significant that the two organizations which did most for women wage earners during those years were Florence Kelley’s National Consumers’ League and the National Women’s Trade Union League. Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, Mrs. Raymond Robins, and Agnes Nestor of the glovemakers’ union were active in the Chicago Women’s Trade Union League, and they spearheaded the long battle to reenact the “lost eight-hour law” of 1893. They made little headway, however, until an Oregon ten-hour law was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1908. Mueller v. Oregon was in large part a tribute to Florence Kelley and Josephine Goldmark of the National Consumers’ League, for they persuaded Louis Brandeis to defend the Oregon statute and they provided the raw material for the novel brief. The next year the Illinois legislature passed a ten-hour law “to safeguard the health” of female factory employees. Challenged by the same employer who had killed the 1893 measure, the 1909 law was saved by another “Brandeis brief,” thanks to the efforts of the Women’s Trade Union League.[23]

Settlement people, were, however, by no means uncritical allies of organized labor. Jane Addams once remarked to Henry Demarest Lloyd, “It is only occasionally that I get a glimpse of the chivalry of labor, so much of the time it seems so sordid.” They vigorously condemned union corruption and violence and nagged the American Federation of Labor to organize semiskilled immigrant workers. Settlement insistence upon arbitration of industrial disputes frequently irritated both management and union officials. Taylor used his weekly column in the Chicago Daily News to point out that the public was a third party to all disputes. It was no accident that the country’s first permanent arbitration board was established by Hart, Schaffner and Marx and Sidney Hillman’s garment workers’ union or that one of the arbitrators was James Mullenbach, a former student of Taylor’s and a former resident at Chicago Commons.[24]

The struggle to improve health and sanitary conditions in settlement neighborhoods was waged on many fronts. Early residents were appalled by “the filthy and rotten tenements, the dingy courts and tumble-down sheds, the foul stables and dilapidated outhouses, the broken sewer-pipers, the piles of garbage fairly alive with diseased odors.” In addition, there were the sale of adulterated milk and impure food, lax dietary and housekeeping standards in many homes, and the high incidence of disease and accidents. “The policy of the public authorities of never taking the initiative and always waiting to be urged to do their duty is fatal in a ward where there is no initiative among the citizens,” noted Jane Addams. “The older and richer inhabitants seem anxious to move away as rapidly as they can afford it. They make room for newly arrived immigrants who are densely ignorant of civic duties.”[25]

The settlements organized their neighbors into civic improvement leagues and carefully checked each bloc for violations of the municipal ordinances concerning street cleaning, garbage collection, and housing. During two months of 1892 the Hull House groups filed more than one thousand complaints with city hall. But garbage collection remained so erratic that Jane Addams put in a bid for the contract. Thwarted by her alderman, she nevertheless got so much publicity that the mayor appointed her garbage inspector for the Nineteenth Ward. In this exalted capacity she rose at the crack of dawn and followed the wagons on their appointed routes.

Settlement residents managed to present information about child care and balanced diets in many of the women’s social groups. Usually they acquired a tenement flat, which they furnished with neighborhood purchases and used as a classroom to teach women and teenage girls the techniques of urban housekeeping. When the kindergarten teacher at Hull House found that Italian youngsters were eating bread soaked in wine for breakfast, Jane Addams arranged a series of Sunday morning parties to introduce the kindergarten families to oatmeal. By distributing free pasteurized milk to their neighbors, the settlements helped force the city to regulate the sale of milk.[26]

Mary McDowell and Dr. Caroline Hedger found that improper diets and adulterated milk were not the only causes of disease and infant mortality Back of the Yards. Dried manure and hair from the drying fields contaminated the air. The stockyards as well as the garbage dumps bred swarms of flies. Women and children systematically combed the dumps looking for food or household articles, unaware that these items might have come from homes where there was contagious disease. Complaints to the alderman were useless, for, as Mary McDowell soon found out, he owned the land, and the “city government added to his wealth by paying him twenty-five cents a load for the garbage that came from the other sides of the city.” Nearby was Bubbly Creek, covered with a scum so thick…that cats and gulls were seen to walk over it in safety”[27]

Armed with stereopticon slides and health statistics, Mary McDowell crisscrossed the city and suburbs with the plea that “we who insist upon eating meat must somehow have some sense of obligation to the people who prepare the meat for us.” Usually she wound up with the charge that a city which “permitted one ward to suffer from garbage dumps as a means of relief to other wards of the city; that permitted a great industry to pollute the air of the whole city, and never considered Bubbly Creek a disgrace until the whole nation was talking about it, is surely a city without…civic pride or a sense of social obligation.”

On one occasion a judge who lived near the University of Chicago was so moved by her presentation that he granted a temporary injunction against dumping city garbage Back of the Yards. But as the debris began to pile up in Hyde Park and elsewhere in the city, he beat a quick retreat.

The glare of publicity that followed publication of The Jungle finally shamed the aldermen and the businessmen into draining and filling Bubbly Creek to create a manufacturing district. Then Mary McDowell and the Woman’s City Club made a thorough study of European methods of garbage disposal and recommended a combination of incinerators and reduction plants for Chicago. They wisely linked this campaign with their 1913 victory in the state legislature—a presidential and municipal franchise measure for the women of Illinois. Frightened by a potential “backlash” vote, the city council finally gave way and appropriated funds to construct garbage disposal facilities. Mary McDowell emerged from the long struggle with two affectionate nicknames, “The Duchess of Bubbly Creek” and “The Garbage Lady.”[28]

These skirmishes led some of the settlement residents into political reform. Alderman Johnny Powers of the Nineteenth Ward not only had blocked Jane Addams’s bid for the garbage contract but was opposed to public school expansion in the ward. Twice in the 1890s the Hull House group tried to unseat him. Both campaigns were well publicized and roundly cheered by municipal reformers. But the voters decided that Powers’s favors for constituents, his patronage in city and jobs and control over licensing, and his gifts to Catholic charities entitled him to reelection. Jane Addams wrote a penetrating analysis of Nineteenth Ward Politics, but after the second defeat in 1898 she withdrew from this arena. Disheartened by the Hull House experience, Mary McDowell urged neighborhood men to register and vote, but she did not mastermind any campaigns against the alderman who profited from the garbage dumps.[29]

Far more successful in ward politics were Graham Taylor of Chicago Commons and Raymond Robins of Northwestern University Settlement. Since both were voters in the Seventeenth Ward, they found it easier to appeal to the independents. Their reform group started out by asking both the Republican and Democratic bosses to name “blue ribbon” candidates. But the bosses rudely dismissed them, and they ran their own independent candidate in 1897. He was counted out by a brazen manipulation of ballots. Taylor took the case to court, and the independent was seated while a Democratic judge and a Republican clerk of elections went to jail. Thereafter, the bosses were more receptive to the reformers’ suggestions. Taylor and Robbins managed to swing the ward for a reform Democrat one year and a reform Republican the next. This remarkable record was sustained until 1917. One young man whom they persuaded to run for alderman in 1901 was working in a tannery by day and attending law school at night. He was William Dever, who not only won that election but went on to become mayor of Chicago in 1923.[30]

“Opportunity is what the foreigner in our city needs,” wrote Charles Zueblin in Hull-House Maps and Papers. Opportunity is what the settlements tried to provide—economic, educational, political, as well as social opportunity. Alice Hamilton caught the essence of social opportunity when she wrote of Jane Addams as one who knew “that political equality meant little in comparison with social equality;…the social ostracism of the ‘Dargo,’ ‘Polack,’ ‘Hunky,’ ‘Greaser,’ Negro, was harder to bear than political corruption and rotten city government…” “Contempt,” she said, “is the greatest crime against one’s fellow man.” Settlement residents saw educated immigrants held in contempt by other Americans because they could not surmount the language barrier or transfer their job skills. They saw immigrant parents held in contempt by their Americanized offspring. They witnessed the strain in families where the husband, because of accident, ill health, or economic depression, was no longer the breadwinner. They knew that the most recent immigrants were discriminated against by those who had managed to secure a toehold on the lowest rung of the economic ladder. The settlement house programs, therefore, were designed to bolster the self-respect of immigrant neighbors, avert misunderstanding, and soften hostility. John Dewey believed that the settlement was primarily “a social clearing-house,” a place for “bringing people together,” and “doing away with barriers of caste, or class, or race, or type of experience that keep people from real communion with each other.”[31]

The settlement ministry of understanding started in the neighborhood but invariably spread even beyond the city. To promote their reforms, the residents sought and found staunch allies among the very poor, the very rich, and those of middle income. They worked successfully with public schools, labor unions, civic organizations, and city, state, and federal governments. Such settlement leaders as Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, Julia Lathrop, Graham Taylor, and Mary McDowell played an important role in broadening the scope of American democracy in the progressive era. Sometimes the lessons learned in the settlement neighborhood led even farther afield. The involvement of Jane Addams and others in the peace movement stemmed from the realization that men and women of different backgrounds could get along together in America. As a result, they felt that the United States should take the lead in seeking international cooperation to end war, starvation, and suffering.

In the 1920s, the members of the first generation of settlement residents were often lonely figures. They fought in vain for ratification of the child labor amendment, for a federal program of social insurance, and for public housing projects in the slums. The public, for the most part, was uninterested, and many social workers were only lukewarm. Jane Addams’s role in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom brought charges of radicalism and worse still in the eyes of her critics, “internationalism.” Toward the end of the decade she sadly observed, “Any proposed change was suspect, even those efforts that had been considered praiseworthy before the war. To advance new ideas was to be radical, or even a Bolshevik.” Social workers responded to “this fear of change, this tendency to play safe…and with a kind of protective instinct carefully avoided any identification with the phraseology of social reform.”[32]

The social workers’ retreat from reform was tied in with their strong desire to win professional status. Even before World War I the trend toward specialization, technique, and administrative skills was clearly discernible. In 1915, Dr. Abraham Flexner had irritated the National Conference of Charities and Correction by saying that social work was not a professional because it did not have a special technique. Two years later, Mary Richmond published Social Diagnosis, a textbook of social casework. Overnight, casework became the technique, the badge of professionalism. Even Mary Richmond was surprised by the stampede. “I have spent twenty-five years of my life in an attempt to get social casework accepted as a valid process…Now I shall spend the rest of my life trying to demonstrate…that there is more to social work than social casework.”[33]

She need not have worried, for the Freudian frenzy soon set in. Few social workers were trained in psychotherapy, but many believed that the new insights would enable the profession to cure the obstinate problems of poverty and dependence. By 1940, one enthusiast could pity the “social workers of pre-Freudian days, who were confined by their limited understanding of relief giving and environmental manipulation…We see now how sterile our work was before Freud and how fertile it has become through his genius…Ours is an effective profession today because he lived and worked.” In this atmosphere, Jane Addams was described as a “social worker of the pre-efficiency period.”[34]

There were, of course, dissenters. Paul Kellogg, editor of The Survey, tartly remarked in 1930 that the “drama of people’s insides rather than the pageantry of their group contacts and common needs” dominated the profession. Many social workers and settlement people, firmly rooted in the prewar tradition of social reform, flocked to Washington to join the New Deal. Few of them ever returned to social work. Throughout the 1930s, some settlement residents steadfastly refused to scuttle the formula of residence, research, and reform. One was Lea Taylor, Graham Taylor’s daughter and successor at Chicago Commons. She gained national prominence as a social action advocate within the ranks of social workers, but she stood out as one of the few who still had “the faith of the old guard.”[35]

Younger men and women holding graduate degrees from the professional schools of social work put their stamp on the programs of many settlement houses. Those settlements which went overboard for art, music, and drama were ridiculed by Sinclair Lewis in Ann Vickers as “cultural comfort stations…upholding a standard of tight-smiling prissiness.” Increasingly, the staff members, “thinking of themselves as professional men and women, rendering a specific service…rather than as ‘neighbors’ or ‘social explorers’,” chose to live outside the settlement neighborhood. The new breed preferred to talk to their professional colleagues rather than to neighborhood leaders, union organizers, spokesmen for the Negroes and Latin Americans moving to the cities, or even to civic leaders or officeholders who determined welfare policy.

By the 1950s, many social workers were binding the wounds of discrimination and segregation, yet few considered it part of their job to communicate this information to the public. Almost unnoticed, The Survey, folded in 1953. The changing orientation of social work was quickly detected in the neighborhoods. Just three years after Mary McDowell’s death, the Back of the Yards Journal paid her its “greatest tribute” by saying that “she was always looked on as a friend and not as a social worker.”[36]

In 1953, the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago sponsored a symposium on “Pioneers and Professionals—Chicago’s Contribution to Social Service.” Tribute was paid to Jane Addams, Graham Taylor, Mary McDowell, Sophonisba Breckinridge, the Abbott sisters, and the judges of the Juvenile Court. One speaker, Marion Craine, singled out “that quality in the pioneers that I have come to regard as perhaps our greatest heritage—the ability to relate the individual case to basic problems and then to seek remedies to them.” “Social action was still a new idea,” the speaker continued, “and these early social workers may have become too enamored of it.” But “the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction,” and “today many of us have become so immersed in the individual that we neither see nor feel any particular responsibility for basic causes or their remedies.” She pleaded for “imaginative thinking and a willingness to experiment with ideas…[We] are much too timid about this sort of thing. We are forever fearful that someone will label us ‘unprofessional.’”[37]

Yet it took the War on Poverty, launched under other auspices, to convince many social workers that they had isolated themselves from the mainstream of American reform. Already the government program has strengthened the hand of social action advocates within the profession, and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America, the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps) is breathing new life into the settlement goals of residence, research, and reform. The professionals may yet discover the distinguished heritage left by the pioneers. For there is as much need today as there was in the 1890s for the people who know at first hand the problems of low-income neighborhoods, who can devise workable solutions and communicate their ideas to the public. The old-fashioned settlement ministry of understanding deserves a new lease on life.


[1] Andrew Carnegie, “The Advantages of Poverty,” Nineteenth Century: A Monthly Review, XXIX (March 1891): 369, 370; Richard T. Ely, “Pauperism in the United States,” North American Review, CLII (April, 1891): 397, 406, 409

[2] Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House (New York, 1910), 64, and chap. 4; Jane Addams, “A New Impulse to an Old Gospel,” Forum, XIV (Nov., 1892): 350, 351.

[3] Addams, “A New Impulse,” 353, 356, 357, 348.

[4] Clarke A. Chambers, Seedtime of Reform: American Social Service and Social Action, 1918-1933 (Minneapolis, 1963), 122; Robert A. Woods and Albert J. Kennedy, The Settlement Horizon: A National Estimate (New York, 1922), 373; Allen F. Davis, Spearheads for Reform: The Social Settlements and the Progressive Movement, 1890-1914 (New York, 1967).

[5] Alexander Johnson, Adventures in Social Welfare: Being Reminiscences of Things, Thoughts and Folks during Forty Years of Social Work (Fort Wayne, 1923), 380.

[6] Mary E. McDowell, “Beginnings,” Foreword, 1, 2, 3, 4, Mary McDowell Papers, Chicago Historical Society.

[7] Louise C. Wade, Graham Taylor: Pioneer for Social Justice, 1851-1938 (Chicago, 1964), 118; McDowell, “Beginnings,” 41.

[8] National Conference of Charities and Correction, Proceedings, 1897, 474. See also Mary E. McDowell, “The Settlement and Organized Charity,” National Conference of Charities and Correction, Proceedings, 1896, 123-127.

[9] Dorothy Rose Blumberg, Florence Kelley: The Making of a Social Pioneer (New York, 1966), chaps. 9-14; Josephine Goldmark, Impatient Crusader: Florence Kelley’s Life Story (Urbana, 1953), 33-48; Addams, Twenty Years, 153, 198-207.

[10] “Tenement House Conference,” Commons, I (Jan., 1897): 1; Robert Hunter, Tenement Conditions in Chicago: Report by the Investigating Committee of the City Homes Association (Chicago, 1901), 3-4; Jane Addams, “The Housing Problem in Chicago,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, XX (July, 1902): 99-103.

[11] Wade, Graham Taylor, 168-171.

[12] Alice Hamilton, Exploring the Dangerous Trades (Boston, 1943), 11, and chap. 7; Addams, Twenty Years, 304-5; Howard E. Wilson, Mary McDowell, Neighbor (Chicago, 1928), 124-30; Mary E. McDowell, “The Need for a National Investigation into Women’s Work,” Charities and the Commons, XVII (Jan. 5, 1907): 634-36.

[13] Charles Richmond Henderson, The Social Spirit in America (New York, 1897), 62.

[14] Louise de Koven Bowen, Growing Up with a City (New York, 1926), 92; Wade, Graham Taylor, 153; Upton Sinclair, The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair (New York, 1962), 109.

[15] Agnes Sinclair Holbrook, “Map Notes and Comments,” Hull-House Maps and Papers (New York, 1895), 5; Elizabeth T. Kent, “William Kent, Independent: A Biography” (typescripts, Chicago Historical Society, 1950), 95-96; Mary E. McDowell, “Field Houses of Chicago and Their Possibilities,” Charities and the Commons, XVIII (Aug. 3, 1907): 535-38; Wade, Graham Taylor, 170, 177.

[16] Addams, “A New Impulse,” 350, 346, 347; Addams, Twenty Years, 428-29; 403-8; Wade, Graham Taylor, 124-25, 127-28, 134-5.

[17] McDowell, “Beginnings,” 25-28; O.J. Milliken, “Chicago Vacation Schools,” American Journal of Sociology, IV (Nov., 1898): 289-308; Sadie American, “The Movement for Vacation Schools,” American Journal of Sociology, IV (Nov., 1898): 309-25; Louise Montgomery, “Social Work in the Hamline School,” Elementary School Teacher, VIII (Nov., 1907): 113-21; Woods and Kennedy, Settlement Horizon, 293, 280, 274; Addams, Twenty Years, 346.

[18] John Dewey, “The School as Social Center,” National Education Association, Proceedings, 1902, 381; Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School (New York, 1961), chap. 3; Clarence A. Perry, Wider Use of the School Plant (New York, 1910); Edward T. Devine, “Will Neighborhood Responsibility Aroused through the Schools as a Community Centre Do More for Families than Settlements and Relief Agencies?” New York City Conference of Charities and Correction, Proceedings, 1917, 30-38.

[19] Florence Kelley and Alzina Stevens, “Wage-Earning Children,” Hull-House Maps and Papers, 75.

[20] Florence Kelley, “The Working Child,” National Conference of Charities and Correction, Proceedings, 1896, 161-65; Jane Addams, “Child Labor Legislation, A Requisite for Industrial Efficiency,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, XXV (May, 1905): 542-50; Ernst Freund, “The Status of Child Welfare Legislation in Illinois,” The Social Service Review, II (Dec., 1928): 547, 550; Woods and Kennedy, Settlement Horizon, 196; Jeremy P. Felt, Hostages of Fortune: Child Labor Reform in New York State (Syracuse, 1965), 42-45.

[21] Jane Addams, My Friend, Julia Lathrop (New York, 1935), 132-44; Ray Ginger, Altgeld’s America: The Lincoln Ideal Versus Changing Realities (New York, 1958), 221-30; Bowen, Growing Up, chap. 6; Roy Lubove, The Professional Altruist: The Emergence of Social Work as a Career, 1880-1930 (Cambridge, Mass., 1965), 64-66, 89-93.

[22] Jane Addams, “The Settlement as a Factor in the Labor Movement,” Hull-House Maps and Papers, 184; Graham Taylor, “Whither the Settlement Movement Tends,” Charities and the Commons, XV (March 3, 1906): 842; Hamilton, Exploring the Dangerous Trades, 80; Mary E. McDowell, “A Quarter of a Century in the Stockyards District,” McDowell Papers; Wilson, McDowell, 91-115; Agnes Nestor, Woman’s Labor Leader: An Autobiography of Agnes Nestor (Rockford, Ill., 1954), 159; Edith Abbott, “Grace Abbott and Hull House, 1908-1921,” The Social Service Review, XXIV (Sept. and Dec., 1950): 393-94, 499.

[23] Allen F. Davis, “The Women’s Trade Union League: Origins and Organization,” Labor History, V (Winter, 1964): 3-17; Nestor, Woman’s Labor Leader, chaps. 6, 8; Goldmark, Impatient Crusader, chaps. 5, 13; Edith Abbott, “Grace Abbott and Hull House,” 390-92.

[24] Davis, Spearheads for Reform, 104; Wade, Graham Taylor, 202-4; Matthew Josephson, Sidney Hillman: Statesman of American Labor (New York, 1952), 51-71.

[25] Holbrook, “Map Notes,” Hull-House Maps and Papers, 5; Jane Addams, “Hull-House, Chicago: An Effort toward Social Democracy,” Forum, XIV (Oct., 1892): 227.

[26] Addams, Twenty Years, 281-89; Wade, Graham Taylor, 123-4, 146.

[27] McDowell, “Beginnings,” 2, 3.

[28] McDowell, “Beginnings,” 36; Mary E. McDowell, “Significance to the City of Its Local Community Life,” National Conference of Social Work, Proceedings, 1917, 458-62; Mary E. McDowell, “City Waste,” Mary McDowell and Municipal Housekeeping: A Symposium (Chicago, [1938]), 1-10; Edith Abbott, “Grace Abbott, “Grace Abbott and Hull House,” 500-506; Grace Wilbur Trout, “Sidelights on Illinois Suffrage History,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, XIII (July, 1920): 150-66.

[29] Ray Stannard Baker, “Hull House and the Ward Boss,” Outlook, LVIII (March 26, 1898): 769-71; Allen F. Davis, “Jane Addams vs. the Ward Boss,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, LIII (Autumn, 1960): 247-65; Anne Firor Scott, “Saint Jane and the Ward Boss,” American Heritage, XII (Dec., 1960): 12-17, 94-99. Jane Addams’s observations on Nineteenth Ward politics provide an illustration of triple mileage. In Jan., 1898, she spoke on this subject at the University of Michigan and again, in Chicago, before the Ethical Culture Society. In April, the speech was published under the title “Ethical Survivals” in the International Journal of Ethics, and large portions of it appeared the same month as “Why the Ward Boss Rules,” in Outlook. In a slightly different version, it was published as chap. 7, “Political Reform,” in Democracy and Social Ethics (New York, 1902).

[30] Wade, Graham Taylor, 128-33.

[31] Charles Zueblin, “The Chicago Ghetto,” Hull-House Maps and Papers, 96; Hamilton, Exploring the Dangerous Trades, 59; Dewey, “The School as Social Center,” 381.

[32] Jane Addams, The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House (New York, 1930), 173, 154, 155.

[33] Quoted in Frank J. Bruno, Trends in Social Work, 1874-1956: A History Based on the Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work (New York, 1957), 186-87. On changes in the field of social work, see also Lubove, Professional Altruist, chaps. 2-7, and Chambers, Seedtime of Reform, chaps. 4-6.

[34] Ethel L. Ginsburg, “Freud’s Contribution to the Philosophy and Practice of Social Work,” The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, X (1940): 877, 879; quoted in Alex Elson, “First Principles of Jane Addams,” The Social Service Review, XXVII (March, 1954): 7-8.

[35] Mary Ross and Paul U. Kellogg, “New Beacons in Boston: The Fifty-seventh National Conference of Social Work,” The Survey, LXIV (July 15, 1930): 341; Gaynell Hawkins, Educational Experiments in Social Settlements (New York, 1937), 39. Hawkins’s sympathies were with the new personal adjustment trend in social work. He felt that “the settlement’s attempt to consider with sympathy and not too much specialized skill the total personalities of its clients has become almost as much outmoded as the old family doctor who is surrounded by an ever increasing crowd of buzzing young specialists.” Hawkins, Educational Experiments, 3. For Lea Taylor’s very different point of view, see her analysis of “The Future of the Settlement,” Social Action (Feb. 15, 1939), reprinted in Loren M. Pacey, Readings in the Development of Settlement Work (New York, 1950), 245-60.

[36] Sinclair Lewis, Ann Vickers (New York), 1932), 224; quoted in Chambers, Seedtime of Reform, 123; Town of Lake Journal, golden jubilee edition, Sept. 14, 1939. Surveying the Chicago settlement scene in 1945, Lucy P. Carner urged the houses to forge closer ties with neighborhood leaders, with Negro and Latin American newcomers to the city, and with that, organized labor. “I don’t know why settlement people should feel more at home in seeking out a local Kiwanis Club or Chamber of Commerce than the local of a workers organization,” she said, “but most of you do.” Lucy P. Carner, “Why New Settlements?” in Pacey, Readings in the Development of Settlement Work, 272-81.

[37] Marion K. Craine, “Heritage and Prospects: Social Service in Chicago,” The Social Service Review, XXVIII (March, 1954): 59, 63.

Source:  University of Chicago. Service League. Records, [Box 59, Folder2], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.


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