Addams Signature

Chronology: Page 2

June 21, 1891  Addams dedicates the Butler Art Gallery, located on Halsted Street just south of the original Hull mansion.  Donated by businessman Edward A. Butler and designed by the architectural firm of Pond & Pond, the building is the first new construction in what became the Hull-House complex of thirteen structures.


1891 Julia Lathrop and Edward L.  Burchard become residents at Hull-House.  Lathrop, a native of Rockford, Illinois, attended Rockford Female Seminary and graduated (1880) from Vassar.  In 1893, Governor John P. Altgeld appointed Lathrop to the Illinois State Board of Charities, a position that enabled her to investigate charitable institutions in Chicago and Cook County.  Burchard, an 1891 graduate of Beloit College, joins the settlement after hearing Addams speak about Toynbee Hall in the Freeport Presbyterian Church.


1891  Addams transfers her membership from the Cedarville Presbyterian Church to the Ewing Street Congregational Church, later known as Firman Congregational.


December 3, 1891  Addams’s seminal talk, “The Outgrowths of Toynbee Hall,” at the Chicago Woman’s Club, is the genesis for her essay, “The Subjective Necessity of Social Settlements,” published in Philanthropy and Social Progress (Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1893).


December 1891  Addams helps Florence Kelley find work as a special agent of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The single mother of three children, Kelley was a graduate of Cornell who had studied at the University of Zurich and translated into English Frederich Engels’s Conditions of the Working Class in England.  Her advocacy on behalf of sweatshop workers and the 8-hour-day deepened Hull-House’s commitment to social justice.


May 1, 1892  The Jane Club, named for Addams, opens in rented quarters at 253 [848] W. Ewing Street .  Mary Kenney, a bookbinder from the neighborhood, is president of the cooperative residence which provides pleasantly furnished parlors and bedrooms for young working women at a cost of $3 per week.


July 1892  In two addresses at the School of Applied Ethics in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Addams establishes herself as a leader of the emerging national settlement movement. Her career as an influential writer and thinker begins with the publication in the fall of 1892 of “Hull-House, Chicago: An Effort Toward Social Democracy,” and “A New Impulse to an Old Gospel” in the prestigious Forum magazine.


May—October 1893  The visibility of Addams—and Hull-House—increases dramatically as a result of her participation at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, particularly in the World’s Congress of Representative Women; the Social Settlement Congress; and the Labor Congress.  Among the thousands of visitors to Hull-House during the Fair are national and international labor leaders, journalists, religious leaders, and men and women closely associated with the developing social settlement movement.


May 1893  Addams adds to the settlement complex a two-story Pond & Pond-designed gymnasium and coffee house building, located at 240 [815] W. Polk Street.


June 1893  Addams joins Mary Kenney and Florence Kelley and successfully lobbies the Illinois Legislature to create an Office for the State Factory Inspector.  Governor John Peter Altgeld subsequently appoints Florence Kelley, who drafted the legislation, as chief factory inspector, and she opens an office at 247 [818] W. Polk Street, in rented space near the Hull-House complex.


August 23, 1893  Hull-House Kitchen, based on the pioneering work of Ellen G. Richards, provides New England-style cuisine to neighborhood residents.


May 5, 1894  The Hull-House Playground, considered the first of its kind in Chicago, opens for its second year at Polk and Mather streets on property donated by philanthropist William Kent.  Three houses were demolished to ready the site in 1893 and Addams spent several hundred dollars for sand and swings and a shelter for parents and children.  When the city assumes control of the playground in 1906, it is renamed after Chicago Fire Marshal Denis Swenie, and continues to operate until 1910 when Kent sold the property.


1894  Muckracking English journalist and clergyman William T. Stead highlights Hull-House as “the greatest social center of the city” in his book, If Christ Came to Chicago!


June 1894  Addams, a founding member and trustee of the Civic Federation of Chicago, is appointed to the organization’s six-member Arbitration Committee for the Pullman Strike and pays a personal visit to railroad George M. Pullman.  The railroad magnate had provided $500 to furnish the Hull-House Men’s Club in the gymnasium/coffee house building erected in 1893.  Addams testifies before the U.S. Strike Commission on August 18, 1894.


July 6, 1894  Following the death of her sister, Mary Catherine Addams Linn, Addams is appointed legal guardian of the two youngest Linn children, Esther, age 14, and Stanley Ross, age 11. Stanley comes to live for a time at Hull-House with his Aunt Jane.


1895-1898  Addams supports the Hull-House Men’s Club in its unsuccessful campaigns to unseat John Powers as alderman of the Nineteenth Ward.  On December 7, 1897, she delivers a powerful speech on “Ethical Survivals in City Immorality,” to the New York City Social Reform Club.  Addams receives widespread coverage for her talk to the Chicago Ethical Society on January 23, 1898, and it is published in April by the Outlook as “Why the Ward Boss Rules.”  Another version, titled “Ethical Survivals in Municipal Corruption,” appears in the April 1898 issue of the International Journal of Ethics.


April 24, 1895  Addams becomes Chicago’s first female garbage inspector in the Nineteenth Ward.


May 1, 1895  Helen Culver, Charles Hull’s niece and business manager, grants Addams a 25-year lease rent free, in return for incorporating the settlement as the Hull-House Association. Addams serves as president and treasurer; Mary H. Wilmarth as vice president; Allen B.  Pond as secretary; William H. Colvin as auditor; and Gertrude Barnum as assistant treasurer.  Culver is also named a board member.


May 3, 1895  During a speech on settlements in New York City, Addams compares railroad magnate George Pullman to King Lear.  Although her essay version of the speech  is rejected by several periodicals, she continues to speak about the bitter Pullman railroad strike.  Not until 1912 is “A Modern Lear” published by the Survey.


September 1895  Hull-House Maps and Papers, written by Jane Addams, Ellen Gates Starr, Florence Kelley, Julia Lathrop, and other settlement residents, is published and establishes Hull-House’s reputation for pioneering social science research.  In addition to contributing an essay on “The Settlement as a Factor in the Labor Movement,” Addams edited the volume with Kelley.


December 17, 1895  The Children’s Building at Hull-House opens.  Financed by Mary Rozet Smith’s father, Charles Mather Smith, the four-story structure includes space for children’s clubs, day nurseries, kindergarten classes, and music rooms. Mrs. Nancy Foster provides financing to add a third story to the Charles J. Hull home.


May 6—September 18, 1896  Addams visits London, where she is entertained by settlement and labor leaders, and then travels to Russia with Mary Rozet Smith.  In a meeting with Leo Tolstoy, she attempts to explain the pioneering social settlement on Halsted Street.  The Russian novelist, dressed in peasant clothes, admonishes Addams that the sleeve of her black outfit contained enough material “to make a frock for a little girl.”


 October 1897  Dr. Alice Hamilton begins her long residency at Hull-House.  She conducts pioneering investigations in the neighborhood, including a typhoid epidemic in 1902; a house-to-house tuberculosis survey in 1905; and a study correlating high infant mortality rates with high birth rates in 1909.  In 1919, she is appointed assistant professor of industrial medicine at Harvard Medical School and becomes the nation’s leading expert on industrial toxicology and an early advocate against the dangers of lead and radium poisoning.


Fall 1898  Addams hires Pond & Pond to design a permanent home for the Jane Club.  The three story brick building at 223 [814] W. Ewing Street, financed by Mary Rozet Smith and her aunt Sarah Porter Smith, provides bedrooms for more than thirty working women and parlors for socializing.


April, 30, 1899  Addams presents her first public anti-war speech,  “Democracy and Militarism” at the Chicago Liberty meeting held under the auspices of the Central Anti-Imperialist League.  She argues that warfare uses precious resources that have better use in “beneficent development of national life,” and that it is time for the peace ideal for prevail.


May 1, 1899  Florence Kelley moves to New York following her appointment as secretary of the National Consumers’ League.  Under her leadership, the organization achieves national recognition for its efforts on behalf of protective legislation for women and children.


May 15—17, 1899  Addams welcomes delegates from more than eighty social settlements to the first national convention held at Hull-House.


July—August, 1899  Kelley returns to Chicago and joins Addams in presenting a series of twelve lectures at the University of Chicago.  Addams’s are published in March 1902 as Democracy and Social Ethics.


October 25, 1899  Addams and Starr celebrate the tenth anniversary of Hull-House by opening a new building on Polk Street which contains a spacious auditorium/theater on the second floor and expanded quarters for the Coffee House on the first floor.  Among their early supporters who return for the event are Helen Culver, who donated the Polk Street property, and Dr. Frank Gunsaulus, pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church and president of Armour Institute in Chicago..


May—August 1900  Addams travels to Europe with Julia Lathrop and serves as vice-president of the Jury of International Awards, Universal Exposition, Paris.


Fall 1901  Addams works with Northwestern University Settlement director Raymond Robins to free Jewish immigrant Abraham Isaaks from prison where he has been incarcerated on charges of disseminating “radical and dangerous literature” as editor of Free Society.


1901—1907  The Hull-House complex takes permanent shape with the addition of a third story to the original gymnasium and Coffee House (1901); Residents’ Apartments on Ewing Street (1902); Men’s Club Building on Halsted Street (1903); Woman’s Club Building on Polk Street (1905); Music School (1905); Boys’ Club on Polk Street (1906); Mary Crane Nursery on Ewing Street (1907); and Residents’ Dining Hall (1907).  The imposing brick buildings are all designed by the prominent architectural firm of Pond & Pond.


March 1902  Addams’s first book, Democracy and Social Ethics, published by Macmillan, introduces the American public to the life of the settlement and its engagement with democracy.  In her final chapter, Addams recounts her unsuccessful struggle to unseat Johnny Powers as alderman of the Nineteenth Ward.


Fall 1903  Addams is elected vice president of the National Women’s Trade Union League, organized in Boston through the efforts of former Hull-House resident Mary Kenney O’Sullivan.  The Chicago branch of the W.T.U.L. is formed at Hull-House on January 4, 1904 with former settlement residents Mary McDowell as president and Gertrude Barnum as secretary.


June 9, 1904  Addams receives a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Wisconsin, her first honorary degree.


December 20, 1904  Addams becomes the first woman to deliver a convocation address at the University of Chicago.  Her speech, “Recent Immigration: A Field Neglected by the Scholar,” challenges the idea that continued immigration threatens American institutions. Despite Addams’s reputation as a pioneering sociologist, the University of Chicago does not grant her an honorary doctorate until 1930.


March 15, 1905  Hull-House benefactor Louise de Koven Bowen presents Addams with the key to the new Woman’s Club on Polk Street, just west of the gymnasium.  Bowen expresses her hope that the elegant building will bring together the rich and poor for dancing classes as well as lectures on “right living and good citizenship.”  The club’s anthem, “A House Stands on a Busy Street” features lyrics by Addams and music by Eleanor Smith.  Participating in the ceremony is Mary McDowell, head of the University of Chicago Settlement, who served as first president of the Hull-House Woman’s Club in 1892.


March 20, 1905  Addams’s stepbrother and brother-in-law, Dr. Henry Haldeman, dies in his home in Girard, Kansas, after years as an alcoholic.  He disapproved of Addams’s work, believing she had neglected her family responsibilities


July 1905—July 1908  Addams serves as a member of the Chicago Board of Education. As chairman of the School Management Committee she angers Chicago Teachers Federation President Margaret Haley when she votes for a compromise decision to keep a promotional exam for teachers.


March, April, May 1906  The Ladies’ Home Journal publishes Addams’s “own story of her work” at Hull-House.


November 1906  Addams is named “the best woman in Chicago,” following a telephone poll of 421 club women.


January 1907  Addams’s book, Newer Ideals of Peace, is published by Macmillan. Harvard philosopher Henry James praises Addams and her views on peace, but President Theodore Roosevelt, who fought during the Spanish-American war, criticizes her as “Foolish Jane.”


January 12, 1907  Addams accepts keys to the new Boys’ Club from Hull-House trustee Louise de Koven Bowen, who financed the building.  Helen Culver, who donated the property at 248 [825] West Polk Street and provided a yearly endowment of $2,000, speaks about the legacy of Charles Hull and his interest in children.


August 7, 1907  Addams officiates at the dedication of Chicago’s Juvenile Court at 771 West Ewing Street, the first juvenile court building in the world.  Addams helped organize the Children’s Court in 1899 and Hull-House resident Alzina Stevens served as first probation officer.  In 1909, the Juvenile Court Committee changed its name to the Juvenile Protective Association of Chicago.


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