University of Chicago Settlement House

4655 S McDowell Ave
Chicago, IL 60609, US

Category: Community

Used in the following map:

Labor Trail

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).