Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Jane Addams 1860 ~ 1935


Jane Addams

Miss Addams was born at Cedarville, Illinois, September, 1860. She is the daughter of the late Hon. John H. and Sarah Weber Addams. Studied abroad for two years and later in Philadelphia. Opened a social settlement department known as Hull House, in Chicago, in 1889, in connection with Miss Ellen Gates Star and of this she has since been the head. Was inspector of streets and alleys for three years in the neighborhood of Hull House. Has done a wonderful work in sociology and is today recognized as one of the foremost women in this country in her line of work. She has written and lectured on social and political reform.

Miss Addams has been ranked the foremost living woman in America today, as having done the most for womankind and, for that matter, for human kind. This modest, unassuming little woman has proven a power in Chicago, which political corruption and vicious ignorance could not withstand. She has matched kindness with kindness, craftiness with craftiness until ward bossism fell before her, A lifelong sufferer from spinal trouble, she has already accomplished a work in Chicago and sent forth a worldwide influence for social and industrial betterment which many a strong man might be proud to call his life work.

What Miss Addams has accomplished in Chicago cannot be told briefly, but here are a few of the things she has done: Through Hull House she has provided a place where nine thousand men, women and children go to take sewing, millinery and dancing lessons; drink coffee; paint pictures; to mold clay; a place where they have free access to library, club rooms, day nursery, kindergarten, children's playgrounds, labor bureau, medical dispensary, ideal bakery, diet kitchen, visiting nurses, social, educational and industrial clubs for all ages and purposes.

She has cleaned up one of the filthiest and most corrupt districts in Chicago. She has replaced in the heart of this district an ill-kept and filthy stable with an art gallery and a children's playground; she has done this for about two thousand children whose only playground was the street. She has made a long and vigorous fight against druggists who sold cocaine to children; against the spread of typhoid fever by personal inspection of four thousand tenements; against tuberculosis among the rear-tenement dwellers; for new factory laws, and in all of these cases she has won out. She has co-operated with the Juvenile Courts. She has established public baths, free reading rooms, better public and home sanitation and cleaner streets. She has established a model apartment house with twelve model apartments. She maintains a visiting kindergarten by means of which children too crippled to attend school are visited in their homes and instructed by trained kindergarten teachers, and yet the half has not been told.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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