Abbott, Edith, 1876-1957

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Edith Abbott received her Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1905 and was a resident of Hull House until 1920. She served as Associate Director of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy at the University of Chicago and also served as dean. She died in 1957. Grace Abbott received her Ph. M. from the University of Chicago in 1909 and studied law at the University of Chicago Law School. In 1915 she became the first director of the newly organized Immigrant's Protective League, and in 1917 was appointed to the Child Labor Division of the United States Children's Bureau. She as Edith both served as professors of Public Welfare at the University of Chicago. Grace died in 1939.

From the description of Edith and Grace Abbott papers, 1870-1967 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52250112

Edith Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1876, daughter of the state's first Lieutenant Governor, Othman A. Abbott. She received her A.B. from the University of Nebraska in 1901, her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1905, and spent the year 1906-1907 in post-graduate study at the University of London. Upon her return to Chicago in 1908, she became a resident of Hull House, where she remained until 1920. During this same period, 1908-1920, she served as Associate Director of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy at the University of Chicago. In 1913, Edith Abbott formally joined the University of Chicago faculty on which she remained until 1953. From 1924 until 1942 she was Dean of the School of Social Service Administration, and from 1942 until 1953, Dean Emeritus. She died in 1957.

Grace Abbott was born two years after her sister Edith, in 1878. She received her Ph.B. from Grand Island College in 1898, her Ph.M. from the University of Chicago in 1909, and studied law at the University of Chicago Law School. She taught intermittently during this period, at the secondary-school level. In 1908 she also moved into Hull House, and there her interests were turned increasingly toward social problems. In 1915 she became the first Director of the newly organized Immigrant's Protective League, and in 1917 she was appointed to a position in the Child Labor Division of the United States Children's Bureau. Upon the resignation of Julia Lathrop, first Chief of the Bureau in 1921, Grace Abbott was appointed to that position. She held it until 1934. From 1934 until her death in 1939 she joined her sister in Chicago as Professor of Public Welfare at the University of Chicago and Editor of Social Service Review.

This collection reflects the close association of the Abbott sisters throughout their careers, as well as the central position which they held in the formative period of social service in the United States. Their correspondence and interests encompassed local, state, national, and international aspects of social welfare. Among their regular correspondents were Julia Lathrop, Jane Addams, Florence Kelly, Julius Rosenwald, Julius Mack, Frances Perkins, Lillian Wald, and Felix Frankfurter. A few of the many organizations in which one or the other took an active interest were the American Association of Social Workers, American Child Health Association, Better Homes in America, Chicago Recreation Committee, Child Labor Committee of Illinois, National Civil Service Reform League, Hull House, Immigrant's Protective League, International Penal and Penitentiary Commission, National Conference on Social Work, Social Science Research Committee, Twentieth Century Fund, United States Children's Bureau, and others. Edith's interests were centered on the status of women in industry and the establishment of high professional standards in social work education. Grace Abbott's career was largely devoted to the conditions of child labor and to maternal and child health matters. The sisters shared an early interest in the problems of the immigrant, and later on in the relief and public assistance programs of the New Deal.

From the guide to the Abbott, Edith and Grace. Papers, 1870-1967, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Edith Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1876. She received her A.B. from the University of Nebraska in 1901 and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1905. From 1906 to 1908, she continued post-graduate studies in economics and political science at the University of London. In 1908, Edith returned to Chicago and became a resident of Hull House until 1920. Between 1908 and 1920, she served as Associate Director of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy at the University of Chicago. Edith was a member of the University of Chicago faculty from 1913 to 1953, Dean from 1924 to 1942 and Dean Emeritus from 1942 to 1957. She was the first female dean of any graduate school in the United States when appointed as the Dean of the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She pioneered college courses for social workers, which emphasized the importance of formal education in social work and the need to include field experience as part of that training. During her professional career, Edith published more than 100 articles and books on juvenile delinquents, women in industry, problems in the penal system, rights of children, child labor laws, and social workers' education. She spent her last years at the family home in Grand Island, Nebraska. Edith died of pneumonia on July 28, 1957.

Grace Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1878. She received ha degree from Grand Island College in 1890 and attended the University of Nebraska. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1909. Grace continued to study law while intermittently teaching secondary school. Like her sister Edith, she became a resident of Hull House and became involved with social issues. In 1915, she became the first director of the newly organized Immigrant's Protection League formed to protect immigrants from exploitation and to assist in their adjustment to American life. In 1917, she was appointed to a position in the Child Labor Division of the United States Children's Bureau and served as chief of the bureau from 1921 to 1934. Through the use of motion pictures and radio, she sought to inform mothers about the best methods of child care and to keep the public informed about state responsibility for child welfare. In 1929, in response to the depression, she became an advocate for federal aid and relief. Grace served as the official representative of the United States on the League of Nations' advisory committees on traffic in women and on child welfare. In 1931, Good Housekeeping magazine named her one of the twelve greatest living American women. She was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1976. Grace joined Edith at the University of Chicago and, from 1934 to 1939, served as Professor of Public Welfare and Editor of the Social Service Review. Until her death, Grace chaired international labor conferences and state committees dealing with child labor and remained involved in peace movements and women's rights. She died in Chicago on June 19, 1939 due to conditions relating to tuberculosis.

In the press, Edith and Grace where known as the Abbott Sisters from Nebraska. They had two brothers, Othman A. Abbott, Jr. and Arthur O. Abbott. Their father, Othman A. Abbott, was a Civil War veteran officer who became the state's first Lieutenant Governor as well as a member of the Nebraska State Senate. Their mother, Elizabeth Griffin Abbott, was an early leader of the Nebraska Women's Suffrage Movement and helped to establish the Grand Island Public Library system.

From the guide to the Edith and Grace Abbott, Papers, 1905-1976

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Edith and Grace Abbott, Papers, 1905-1976 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
creatorOf Edith and Grace Abbott collection, 1909-1951. University of Illinois at Chicago Library, UIC
referencedIn Blaine, Anita McCormick. Correspondence and papers, 1828-1958. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. Letter : Red Cloud, Neb., to Edith Abbott, Chicago, [ca. 1920 June 20]. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Bondfield, Margaret, 1873-1953. Margaret Grace Bondfield papers, 1854-1951, 1898-1951 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Katharine F. Lenroot Papers, 1909-1974. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Edith and Grace Abbott papers 1897-1954. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
referencedIn Filbey, Emery Thomas. Emery T. Filbey papers, 1931-1959. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Winslow, Mary N. (Mary Nelson). Papers, 1923-1951 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn University of Chicago. School of Social Service Administration. Office of the Dean. Leon Carroll Marshall, Edith Abbott, and Helen R. Wright. Records, 1909-1956, bulk 1920-1956 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Remembering Indiana in the Twentieth Century, 1995-1996 Indiana University, Bloomington. Center for the Study of History and Memory
referencedIn Lenroot, Katharine F. (Katharine Fredrica), 1891-1982. Katharine F. Lenroot papers, 1909-1974. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Merriam, Charles Edward, 1874-1953. Papers, 1893-1957 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. Papers, 1870-1978 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson). Papers of Clara Mortenson Beyer, 1911-1974 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Austin, Ruth, 1884-1990. Papers, 1929-1986. University of Illinois at Chicago Library, UIC
referencedIn Bondfield, Margaret Grace, 1873-1953. Papers, 1854-1951, 1898-1951 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. Letter : New York, to Edith Abbott, New York, 1921 Dec. 28. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. Letter : Red Cloud, Neb., to Edith Abbott, Chicago, [ca. 1920 June 20]. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Talbot, Marion. Papers, 1854-1948 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Merriam, Charles E. Papers, 1893-1957 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Talbot, Marion, 1858-1948. Papers, 1854-1948 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Edward A Ross papers Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. Letter : New York, to Edith Abbott, New York, 1921 Dec. 28. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Winslow, Mary N. (Mary Nelson), 1887-1952. Papers, 1923-1951 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1990. Papers, 1916-1972 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Abbott, Edith, 1876-1957. Edith and Grace Abbott papers, 1870-1967 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Filbey, Emery T. Papers, 1931-1959 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Abbott, Edith and Grace. Papers, 1870-1967 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Papers, 1898-1975 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958. Papers, 1935-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Grace person
associatedWith Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939. person
associatedWith Addams, Jane, 1860-1935. person
associatedWith Austin, Ruth, 1884-1990. person
associatedWith Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson) person
associatedWith Blaine, Anita McCormick. person
associatedWith Bondfield, Margaret, 1873-1953. person
associatedWith Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston, 1866-1948. person
associatedWith Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. person
associatedWith Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. corporateBody
associatedWith Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. Records corporateBody
associatedWith Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. person
associatedWith Filbey, Emery Thomas person
associatedWith Filbey, Emery Thomas. person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965. person
associatedWith Glueck, Sheldon, 1896- person
associatedWith Hull House (Chicago, IL) corporateBody
associatedWith Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory corporateBody
associatedWith Kelly, Florence person
associatedWith Kelly, Florence Finch, 1858-1939. person
associatedWith Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932. person
associatedWith Lenroot, Katharine F. (Katharine Fredrica), 1891-1982. person
associatedWith Mack, Julian person
associatedWith Mack, Julian. person
associatedWith MARTHA MAY ELIOT, 1891-1978 person
associatedWith Mary (Ritter) Beard, 1876-1958 person
associatedWith Merriam, Charles Edward, 1874-1953. person
associatedWith Perkins, Frances, 1882-1965. person
associatedWith Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946. person
associatedWith Pinchott, Gifford person
associatedWith Ratcliffe, Samuel Kerkham, 1868- person
associatedWith Rosenwald, Julius, 1862-1932. person
associatedWith Ross, Edward Alsworth, 1866-1951. person
associatedWith Talbot, Marion, 1858-1948. person
associatedWith United States. Children's Bureau. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Graduate School of Social Service Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. School of Social Service Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Nebraska corporateBody
associatedWith Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940. person
associatedWith Winslow, Mary N. (Mary Nelson) person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Illinois--Chicago
United States
Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.)
Subject
Social work education
Social reformers--United States
Child labor--Law and legislation
Immigrations--Law and Legislation
Social service--History
Social reformers
Women social reformers
Women social reformers--United States
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1876-09-26

Death 1957-07-28

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Ark ID: w6w09mfk

SNAC ID: 30708365