Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Women Sociologists


Diana Belais
Active worker in the reform concerning the treatment and care of disabled and overworked animals. Finding the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals did not entirely accomplish the work she desired, was not far-reaching enough, she framed the bill and caused it to be presented to the legislature at Albany, New York, and for two years she struggled for the passage of this bill and ultimately was successful in her efforts, and today the agents of the society are invested with full police power and have brought about a wonderful change in the humane treatment of animals and the sanitary conditions for them. But the greatest of Mrs. Belais' municipal achievements lies in her splendid crusade against the horrors of vivisection, and she is now engaged in trying to accomplish her ideas through legislative measures and ordinances in the cities.

Ida Whipple Benham 1849 ~
Mrs. Benham was born near Ledyard, Connecticut, on the 8th of January, 1849 and was the daughter of Timothy and Lucy Ann Geer Whipple. The 14th of April, 1869, she married Elijah B. Benham, of Groton, Connecticut. She inherited from her Quaker father and mother a desire for peace, and lectured on this and the subject of temperance. Is a director in the American Peace Society, and a member of the Universal Peace Union, and has always taken a conspicuous part in all peace conventions. Has contributed poems to the New York Independent, Youths Companion, St Nicholas, and other prominent periodicals.

Corinne Stubbs Brown 1849 ~
Born in Chicago, 1849. Teacher in the public schools of Chicago and married Frank E. Brown. Is a student of social problems and socialist of some prominence. President of the Illinois Women's Alliance for the purpose of obtaining the enactment and enforcement of factory ordinances and compulsory educational laws. An active worker in the study of economic and social questions among the clubs.

Mrs. Robert Cartwright
Chairman of the public safety committee of the city of New York. Originated and caused to be placed the electric signs at elevated railway stations indicating the next stop; also the signs in the cars of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, giving the names of the subway lines and their destination. It is believed that these have prevented thousands of accidents and hundreds of thousands of tourists from boarding the wrong trains.

Helena Stuart Dudley 1858 ~
Born in Nebraska, in 1858. Daughter of Judson H. and Caroline Bates Dudley. Teacher of biology and chemistry in the Packer Collegiate Institute at one time. Became head worker of the college settlement work in Philadelphia; also of the Denison House College settlement in Boston since 1893.

Laura B. Hertz 1869 ~
Chairman of the Civic Committee of California's Women's Clubs. Mrs. Hertz was born in San Francisco, November, 1869, and received a high school education in Santa Barbara. She married Louis Hertz in March, 1891, after having taught school for several years. Mrs. Hertz's work and activities are for the betterment of all civic conditions, moral, physical and educational. Especially is she interested in work for the young. She was elected president of the Council of Jewish Women, serving in this position for two years, after which she was elected a delegate to the triennial council, which met in Chicago in 1905. For two years past, she has been chairman of the Sabbath school committee, and inaugurated an international union Thanksgiving service conducted by the children of all the Jewish Sunday-schools of San Francisco. Mrs. Hertz is at present the chairman of the Department of School Patrons of the National Education Association, and is at the head of the entertainment for the Jewish Chautauqua Assembly, meeting in San Francisco.

Mrs. Archibald Hopkins 1859 ~
Mrs. Archibald Hopkins, president of the District of Columbia Association of the Civic Federation, was Charlotte Everett Wise, born June 7, 1857 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Captain Henry A. Wise, United States Navy, and Charlotte Brooks Wise, the granddaughter of Edward Everett and Charlotte G. Everett, of Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Hopkins has always been active in the charitable and philanthropic work of Washington. She is one of the original members of the Civic Federation and as president of the local organization of the city of Washington has done some splendid work in the effort to ameliorate the condition of the employees of the government Many surprisingly unsanitary and unwholesome conditions have existed and the local organization has gained the attention of the chiefs of the various departments and Congress for the betterment of surroundings and the rectifying of injustices.

Clarissa Caldwell Lathrof ~ 1892
Miss Clarissa Caldwell Lathrop was born in Rochester, New York, and died September, 1892 in Saratoga, New York. She was the daughter of the late General William E. Lee Lathrop. Her prominence came from her remarkable experience. She was confined and unlawfully imprisoned in the Utica State Asylum for twenty-six months through a plot of a secret enemy to put her out of existence. She managed at last to communicate with James B. Silkman, of New York, a lawyer who, like herself, was confined in the same asylum under similar circumstances. He succeeded in obtaining a writ of habeas corpus in December, 1882. Judge Barnard of the Supreme Court pronounced her sane and unlawfully incarcerated. Miss Lathrop felt she owed it to her own sex to take her case before the legislature of New York State, and demand reform in this direction, but she was unsuccessful in two efforts and found herself penniless and facing the necessity of her own support After several efforts in most humble capacity, she became a court stenographer and ten years after her release wrote her book, the story of her own prison experiences, entitled "A Secret Institution." This book led to the formation of the Lunacy Law Reform League, in 1889, a national organization with headquarters in New York City, of which Miss Lathrop became the secretary and was the national organizer.

Anna Byford Leonard 1843 ~
Mrs. Anna Byford Leonard was born July 31, 1843. She was the daughter of a well-known physician and surgeon of Chicago, Illinois, who was the founder and president of the Womans Medical College of Chicago, and devoted his life and his work to the cause and diseases of women. In 1889 Mrs. Leonard was appointed sanitary inspector, the first woman to be appointed to that position. Through her efforts and those of five other women, who were aiding her in this splendid work, the eight-hour day was enforced, which provides that children under fourteen years of age shall not work more than eight hours a day. Through Mrs. Leonard's efforts seats were placed in stores and factories for the relief of girls employed in these places; and through her efforts, also, schools have been established in some of the stores to give the children employed two hours of schooling a day. Many of these girls whose first labors were those of cash girls were unable to write their own names. In 1891 Mrs. Leonard was made president of the Women's Canning and Preserving Company, which she brought to great success. She is entitled to a place among the distinguished business women of this country as well as among cultured and prominent social leaders and representative American women.

Margaret Smyth McKissick 1870 ~ 1948
Mrs. Margaret Smyth McKissick was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and is proud of her Maryland, Virginia, as well as South Carolina, colonial and revolutionary ancestry. She has one son, about nineteen years old, and it has been largely her interest in him that has led to her interest in the industrial schools of South Carolina
She has been vice-president for two years, president for two years of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, and for the last four years has been chairman of the Department of Forestry and Civics.
Mrs. McKissick oversees the educational system, carries baskets to the families at the Christmas season and generally guards the welfare of employees and their families in some of the mill villages of South Carolina. Mrs. McKissick follows in her work the methods inaugurated by her father. Captain Ellison A. Smyth, at Pelzer, South Carolina.

Gabrielle Mulliner
Lawyer and social reformer of New York. Is using her efforts to procure separate trials for women.

Mrs. A. M. Palmer
President of what is known as the Rainy Day Club and organizations to rectify the short weights and false measurements. It was said that the city of New York, according to authorized statements, lost one million dollars yearly on short-weighted package goods. All devices for fraud resorted to by merchants and dealers were to be brought to account She has been joined in this work by Mrs. William Grant Brown, of New York.

Margaret Dreier Robbins 1868 ~ 1945
Born in Brooklyn. The daughter of Theodore and Dorothea Dreier. She is the founder of the Woman's Municipal League of New York; president of the New York Association for Household Research; president of the New York Woman's Trade Union League in 1905; member executive board of Chicago Federation of Labor since 1906; member of committee on industrial education, American Federation of Labor; member of executive committee, Illinois section, American Association for Labor Legislation, and prominent in all labor and social organizations for many years.

Martha Parmelee Rose 1834 ~
Mrs. Rose was born March 5, 1834, in Norton, Ohio. Her father, Theodore Hudson Parmelee, was one of the founders of the Western Reserve College, and went with the early colony to Ohio, in 1813. He was educated under Lyman Beecher and accepted the views of Oberlin, which opened its doors to women and the Negro. Here Miss Parmelee obtained her education, graduating in 1855. While teaching in a seminary in Pennsylvania, she became the wife of William G. Rose, a member of the legislature of that state; an editor and lawyer. In 1864 Mr. and Mrs. Rose removed to Cleveland, Ohio, where Mr. Rose was later the mayor of the city. Mrs. Rose became intensely interested in the poor and destitute, especially the sufferings of the poor sewing women as a result of the frauds and extortions practiced upon them. Through lectures and reports of the Royal Commission of England on the training schools of that country and the manual training schools of France and Sweden, she succeeded in arousing the press and business men of the city to the necessity for the establishment of a training school in Cleveland, which was accomplished. She has written a book entitled, "Story of a Life of Pauperism in America,' many articles on the labor question and kindred topics. She reviewed Mrs. Field's "How to Help the Poor;" many of her suggestions were accepted by the associated charities of Cleveland. She helped to form the Woman's Employment Society, which gave out garments to be made at reasonable prices and sold to home missions. She was at one time president of the Cleveland Sorosis, aiding materially the success of this woman's club. She is known as a patron of art.

Mary Appleton Shute Thayer
Mrs. Thayer is the present head of the college settlement in New York. Before her marriage, in 1904, she was Miss Mary Appleton Shute. Mrs. Thayer is a graduate of Smith College.
Among other women prominently connected with settlement work and social investigation may be mentioned Mrs. C. B. Spahr, of Princeton, New Jersey; Miss Jean Gurney Fine, Miss Elizabeth Williams, Miss Maud Miner and Miss Mary R Sayles, who are all graduates of Smith College.

Eleanor M. Whaley
Interested in the cleansing of cities under the Municipal Woman's League.


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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