Jane Addams and the Successful Hull House Essay

Good Essays
Jane Addams and her colleague, Ellen Gates Starr, founded the most successful settlement house in the United States otherwise known as the Hull-House (“Settlement” 1). It was located in a city overrun by poverty, filth and gangsters, and it could not have come at a better time (Lundblad 663). The main purpose of settlement houses was to ease the transition into the American culture and labor force, and The Hull-House offered its residents an opportunity to help the community, was a safe haven for the city, and led the way through social reform for women and children.
Laura Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois on September 6, 1860. Addams lost her mother to childbirth at the age of two, and her father, John Addams, was a prominent
…show more content…
At first, Addams and Starr were only offering readings and painting slides, but the Hull-House took a turn when they realized the need for a safe child environment. A kindergarten was added to the house with 24 enrolled children and 70 on the waiting list, and a day-nursery followed soon after. But the Hull-House was not only for mothers and children. Starr offered sewing and cooking lessons for girls, while Addams ran a boy’s club. Lectures and classes on a wide range of subjects including English, citizenship and art were offered for free by social reformers, students and university teachers like Susan B. Anthony and Frank Lloyd Wright (“Hull House” 1).Soon after, Addams and Starr were joined by Julia Lathrop, a college friend and lawyer, and Florence Kelley, a member of the Socialist Labor Party. It was because of Kelley that the Hull-House became a center for social reform. She, along with Alzina Stevens and Mary Kenney, spear headed the research of the sweating trade in Chicago which lead to the passing of the Illinois Factory Act of 1893. As a result, Kelley, Stevens and Kenney were recruited by Senator John Altgeld as factory inspectors. Other working-class women interested in social reform also educated the middle-class of the Hull-House (“Hull House” 1). By 1907, the Hull-House had expanded to include 12 additional buildings, a gymnasium, a boarding school for
Get Access