1-20 of 66 results  for:

  • Social welfare and reform x
  • lifestyle and morality x
  • Sex: Female x
Clear all

Article

Atwater, Helen Woodard (29 May 1876–26 June 1947), home economist, was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, the daughter of Wilbur Olin Atwater, an agricultural and food chemistry pioneer and expert in physiology and scientific administration, and Marcia Woodard. She grew up in Middletown, Connecticut, where her father was a professor at Wesleyan University. Beginning when she was six, her family lived in Europe several times. Her father had done postdoctoral work in chemistry at Leipzig and Berlin, and he returned in the 1880s to carry on research in nutrition and calorimetry (the energy-producing values of foods). While in Europe, Atwater attended school, becoming fluent in both German and French; she entered Smith College in 1894 and was keenly interested in studies and experiments in human nutrition. She graduated from Smith in 1897 with a bachelor’s degree in literature....

Article

Austin, Harriet N. (1825–1891), hydropathic physician and health and dress reformer, was born in Connecticut but raised in Moravia, New York. Little is known about her parentage or early life. At age twenty-six she enrolled in the first class of the coeducational American Hydropathic Institute operated by ...

Article

Bloomer, Amelia Jenks (27 May 1818–30 December 1894), temperance and women's rights reformer and editor, temperance and women’s rights reformer and editor, was born in Homer, New York, the daughter of Ananias Jenks, a clothier, and Lucy Webb. She received a basic education in Homer’s district schools and by the age of seventeen was teaching in Clyde, New York. After a year of teaching, Bloomer became a governess and tutor for a Waterloo, New York, family....

Article

Bolton, Sarah Knowles (15 September 1841–20 February 1916), writer and reform activist, was born in Farmington, Connecticut, the daughter of John Segar Knowles and Elizabeth Miller, farmers. Bolton was a descendant, on her father’s side, of Joseph Jenckes, a governor of Rhode Island (1772–1732), and on her mother’s side, a descendant of Nathaniel Stanley, a treasurer of the Connecticut Colony....

Image

Ella A. Boole. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-107372).

Article

Boole, Ella Alexander (26 July 1858–13 March 1952), temperance reformer, was born in Van Wert, Ohio, the daughter of Isaac Newton Alexander, a lawyer, and Rebecca Alban. Both parents were born in Ohio and were committed Presbyterians and social reformers. Ella attended the Van Wert public schools and the College of Wooster, where she received A.B. and A.M. degrees in classics. She graduated second in her class and taught in the local high school for five years after college. On 3 July 1883 she married William H. Boole, a twice-widowed, prominent Methodist minister and cofounder of the Prohibition party. After her marriage she joined the Methodist church and moved to her husband’s pastorate in Brooklyn, New York. There she had one daughter and raised two stepdaughters from her husband’s previous marriages....

Article

Burger, Nelle Gilham Lemon (27 July 1869–24 December 1957), temperance leader, was born Nelle Gilham Lemons in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Charles J. Lemons and Irene C. Jacobs. Their occupations are unknown. When Nelle was ten the family moved to Roodhouse, Illinois, where she began attending public schools and graduated from high school with honors. She then began teaching in area public schools. Two years later, on 1 September 1886, she married Charles A. Burger, an engineer....

Image

Mary S. Calderone Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Article

Calderone, Mary S. (01 July 1904–24 October 1998), physician and educator, was born Mary Steichen in New York City to Edward Steichen, a photographer, and Clara Smith Steichen. While Mary and her younger sister were growing up, living in both New York and France, their father emerged as one of the most acclaimed photographers in the world, and Mary Steichen later said that her father's ability to portray “human life and the human condition” made a deep impression on her at an early age. Her parents separated when she was ten, and Mary went to live with her father; she remained alienated from her mother for many decades, not restoring their relationship until Mary herself was in her sixties....

Article

Campbell, Helen Stuart (04 July 1839–22 July 1918), author and home economist, was born in Lockport, New York, to Jane E. Campbell and Homer H. Stuart, a banker and lawyer. She attended New York public schools and two private schools, the Gammell School in Warren, Rhode Island, and Mrs. Cook’s Seminary in Bloomfield, New Jersey....

Article

Campbell, Loraine Leeson (12 May 1905–10 February 1982), birth control movement leader, was born in Newton Center, Massachusetts, the daughter of Robert Ainsworth Leeson, a corporate executive, and Mildred Dix. She enjoyed a privileged childhood as a member of a socially prominent Boston family, excelled in academics and sports at the Winsor School, where she was student body president, and spent a year “coming out” as a debutante before entering Vassar College in 1924. She majored in psychology, shocked her parents by joining pickets at strikes, and was elected Phi Beta Kappa and student body president. She turned down job offers to conduct child development research after her mother died in the spring of her senior year, and her father urged her to return to Boston to help rear three younger siblings....

Article

Cannon, Cornelia James (17 November 1876–01 December 1969), novelist and birth control activist, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of Henry Clay James and Frances Haynes. While her father practiced law and speculated in land, her mother helped out the family fortunes by painting; some of her watercolors are now at the Minnesota Historical Society. Cannon grew up in St. Paul and Newport. At Radcliffe College Cannon studied philosophy with ...

Article

Carse, Matilda Bradley (19 November 1835–03 June 1917), temperance worker, editor, and entrepreneur, was born near Belfast, Ireland, the daughter of John Bradley and Catherine Cleland, Scottish merchants whose ancestors had migrated to Ireland in the seventeenth century. Educated in Ireland, Carse emigrated in 1858 to Chicago. In 1861 she married Thomas Carse, a railroad manager with whom she had three sons. After her husband’s death in 1870, her youngest son was killed by a drunken drayman, propelling Carse into the temperance cause just as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was organizing. She devoted much of the rest of her life to business and volunteer activities related to that organization....

Article

Chapin, Sarah Flournoy Moore (14 March 1830?–19 April 1896), reformer and temperance worker, known by the nickname Sallie, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the daughter of George Washington Moore, a wealthy Methodist minister, and Elizabeth Martha (Vigneron) Simons, who was of Rhode Island Huguenot ancestry. Sallie spent her childhood in Cokesbury, South Carolina, where she was educated at the Cokesbury Academy. In 1847 she married Leonard Chapin, a prominent Charleston businessman and philanthropist who was instrumental in founding the Charleston Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). They had one adopted child....

Article

Comstock, Elizabeth Leslie Rous Wright (30 October 1815–03 August 1891), Quaker minister and reformer, was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, the daughter of William Rous, a shopkeeper, and Mary Kekwick. Her parents were Quakers with family ties to the Society of Friends going back to the seventeenth century. They reared her in a strict Quaker atmosphere, an upbringing reinforced by education in Quaker schools at Islington and Croyden. In 1839 Elizabeth Rous returned to Croyden as a teacher; in 1842 she joined the staff of the Friends school at Ackworth. She remained there until her marriage in 1848 to Leslie Wright, a Quaker market gardener of Walthamstow in Essex. They had one child. After her husband’s death in 1851, Elizabeth Wright kept a shop for a time at Bakewell in Devonshire. In 1854 she immigrated with her daughter and an unmarried sister to Belleville, Ontario. Four years later she married John T. Comstock, a prosperous Quaker farmer of Rollin, Michigan, where Elizabeth Comstock and her daughter moved....

Article

Dennett, Mary Coffin Ware (04 April 1872–25 July 1947), birth control and sex education reformer and pacifist, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the daughter of George Whitefield, a wool merchant, and Livonia Coffin Ware. When Dennett was ten her father died and the family moved to Boston, where she attended public schools and went on to Miss Capen’s School for Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts. Dennett then studied at the school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where she displayed a great talent for tapestry and leather design. From 1894 to 1897 she headed the Department of Design and Decoration at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. After a trip to Europe with her sister, during which they collected gilded Cordovan leather wall hangings, the sisters opened a handicraft shop in Boston. Dennett helped organize the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts in 1897. She served on the council of the society until 1905, when her interest in politics and social welfare began to supersede her interest in the arts. In 1900 she married William Hartley Dennett, a Boston architect with whom she had two sons. The marriage ended in divorce in 1913 with Dennett receiving custody of their children....

Image

Judith Ellen Foster. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-102556).

Article

Foster, Judith Ellen Horton Avery (03 November 1840–11 August 1910), lawyer, temperance activist, and Republican party leader, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jotham Horton, a blacksmith and a Methodist minister, and Judith Delano. Both parents died when she was young, and Judith moved to Boston to live with her older married sister. She then lived with a relative in Lima, New York, where she attended the Genessee Wesleyan Seminary. After graduation she taught school until her first marriage to Addison Avery in 1860. They had two children, one of whom died in childhood. The marriage ended about 1866, and she moved to Chicago, supporting herself and her child by teaching music in a mission school. In Chicago she met Elijah Caleb Foster, a native of Canada and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. After their marriage in 1869, they moved to Clinton, Iowa. They had two children; one died at the age of five....

Article

Frederick, Christine (06 February 1883–06 April 1970), home efficiency expert, advertising consultant, and consumer advocate, was born Christine Isobel Campbell in Boston, Massachusetts, to William Campbell, a clergyman, and Mimie Scott of St. Louis, Missouri. Soon after Christine’s birth, Mimie fled this unhappy union and took the child to St. Louis, where they spent two years with her family. From the age of two until she was five, Christine lived in czarist Russia, where Mimie served as a governess. Upon their return, a nasty divorce and custody battle in a Massachusetts court awarded custody to William while a separate Missouri ruling awarded custody to her mother; Christine remained in St. Louis. When she was eleven years old her mother married Wyatt MacGaffey, whose name Christine took when the family moved to Chicago. The memory of her untrained mother fleeing an unhappy marriage and trying to support herself had a profound influence on Christine’s life choices....

Image

Frances Gage Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92766).