University of Chicago Settlement House
In 1894, Mary McDowell opened the University of Chicago Settlement House in her apartment located here in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The goal of the University of Chicago Settlement, like most settlement houses, was to help immigrants assimilate. The Settlement offered classes in English, nutrition, and hygiene. Club meetings, lectures, and concerts also took place there. The Settlement eventually expanded from the single apartment to a complex encompassing a school and gymnasium. Numerous different European immigrants utilized the services of the Settlement including Poles, Irish, Germans, Bohemians, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Finns, Welsh, and Scotch. The Settlement also served as a center for Mexicans during the late 1920's/early 1930's. Several Mexican Societies had headquarters there. McDowell worked personally with Mexican immigrants in promoting interethnic cooperation, and she trained Mexican women to take leadership roles (i.e. the Mexican Mothers' Club).
4655 S McDowell Ave
The Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies (CCWCS) is proud to present the Interactive Labor Trail, made possible by a generous grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. This on-line history resource builds on “The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle,” a map of 140 significant locations in the history of labor, migration, and working-class culture in Chicago and Illinois. The Labor Trail is the product of a joint effort to showcase the many generations of dramatic struggles and working-class life in the Chicago area's rich and turbulent past. The Trail's neighborhood tours invite you to get acquainted with the events, places, and people -- often unsung -- who have made the city what it is today. In addition, the statewide map is just a starting point for further exploration of Illinois' labor heritage. This Interactive Labor Trail expands the number of locations and provides a greater depth of information, while giving map users the chance to add their knowledge of locations and events in the Chicago area’s working-class history.
We invite all individuals, groups, and institutions interested in the labor and working-class history of Chicago, Cook County, the Calumet Region, and Illinois to contribute to the map. Users can add new sites, edit or build upon existing entries with additional text, photographs, primary sources, audio and video files, as well as links to related websites.
Easy-to-use instructions for adding to the on-line version of the map are available at www.labortrail.org.
More information on the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies is available at: www.workingclassstudies.org
The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle
Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago
Tobias Higbie, Newberry Library
Lisa Oppenheim, Chicago Metro History Education Center
Liesl Miller Orenic, Dominican University
Jeffrey Helgeson, University of Illinois at Chicago
Aaron Max Berkowitz, University of Illinois at Chicago; John H. Flores, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Gellman, Northwestern University; Dan Harper, University of Illinois at Chicago; Emily LaBarbera-Twarog, University of Illinois at Chicago
William Atwood and Melissa Palmer