Jane Addams

Laura Jane Addams (1860 - 1935)

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Laura Jane (Jane) Addams
Born in Cedarville, Stephenson, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United Statesmap
Profile manager: aj miller private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 27 Oct 2009
This page has been accessed 10,144 times.

Categories: American Notables | Women's History | Chicago History | Cedarville Cemetery, Cedarville, Illinois | Nobel Laureates of the 20th Century | United States National Women's Hall of Fame.


Jane Addams is notable.
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Addams is most famous and the co-founder of the Hull House in Chicago, the first settlement house in the United States. Jane Addams is remembered primarily as a founder of the Settlement House Movement. She and her friend Ellen Starr founded Hull House in the slums of Chicago in 1889. She is also remembered as the first American Woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jane is portrayed as the selfless giver of ministrations to the poor, but few realize that she was a mover and shaker in the areas of labor reform (laws that governed working conditions for children and women), and was a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Jane grew up in the small community of Cedarville, Illinois. She was the daughter of a very well-to-do gentleman; her mother was a kind and gracious lady. Jane had five brothers and sisters at the time of her mother's death, when Jane was two. Her father remarried and her new stepmother brought two new step-brothers to the already large family.

Jane attended the Rockford Seminary for young ladies and excelled in her studies. She also developed strong leadership traits. Her classmates admired her and followed her examples. Jane decided that she wished to pursue a degree in medicine when she completed her studies at Rockford.

Just by chance, while in England, she was introduced to the founders and the workings of Toynbee Hall, a settlement house in the slums of London. It took some time after returning to the United States before she and her traveling companion, Ellen Starr, committed themselves to the idea of starting a settlement house in Chicago. Once committed, there was no stopping these young women, especially Jane. Jane was a fireball. She was the creator, the innovator, and the leader. People flocked to her. Most everything she needed she was able to procure with the generosity of patrons. Money poured in. Within a few years, Hull House offered medical care, child care and legal aid. It also provided classes for immigrants to learn English, vocational skills, music, art and drama.

In 1893 a severe depression rocked the country. Hull House was serving over two thousand people a week. As charitable efforts increased, so too did political ones. Jane realized that there would be no end to poverty and need if laws were not changed. She directed her efforts at the root causes of poverty. The workers joined Jane to lobby the state of Illinois to examine laws governing child labor, the factory inspection system, and the juvenile justice system. They worked for legislation to protect immigrants from exploitation, limit the working hours of women, mandate schooling for children, recognize labor unions, and provide for industrial safety.

All this led to the right to vote for women. Addams worked for Chicago municipal suffrage and became first vice-president of the National American Women Suffrage Association in 1911. She campaigned nationwide for Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party in 1912.

Her first book was published in 1910 and others followed biennially. Her biggest success in writing came with the release of the book, Twenty Years at Hull House. It became her autobiography and brought her wealth.

She was expelled from the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it did not slow her down. In 1919 she was elected first president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a position she held until her death. She was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She was a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), having answered the "call" in 1909 that led to the organization's formation. These positions earned her even more criticism than her pacifism. She was accused of being a socialist, an anarchist and a communist.

Hull House, however, continued to be successful. When the depression of the 1930's struck, Addams saw many of the things that she had advocated and fought for become policies under President Franklin Roosevelt. She received numerous awards during this time including, in 1931, the Nobel Peace Prize.

That year her health began to fail but she continued her work until her death in 1935. Thousands of people came to her funeral at Hull House before she was taken to Cedarville to be buried.


1870: Buckeye, Stephenson, Illinois [1]

  • John H. Addams age 48, 60k/80k, Milling, PA
  • Anna Addams age 42, Keeping House, PA
  • Mary C. Addams age 25, At home, IL
  • John W. Addams age 18, At School, PA
  • Alice S. Addams age 17, At School, PA
  • Laura J Addams age 10, At School, PA

1880: Cedarville, Stephenson, Pennsylvania [2]

  • John Addams age 57, Miller, PA
  • Anna H. age 51, Keeping House, PA
  • Jennie age 19, daughter, Student, IL
  • George Haldenilan age 19, stepson, Student, IL
  • Mary Snyder age 20, servant, domestic servant, IL

1900: Chicago Ward 19, Cook, Illinois [3]

  • Jane Addams age 40, Sep 1859, IL; Halstead St, Hull House, Manager, IL/PA/PA
  • (several other unrelated residents listed)

1910: Chicago Ward 19, Cook, Illinois [4]

  • Jane Addams age 49, IL, Hull House, Warden, IL/IL/IL
  • (several other unrelated residents listed)

1920: Chicago Ward 19, Cook, Illinois [5]

  • Jane Addams age 59, IL, Own Account, Pres Social Settlement
  • (5 other unrelated residents listed)

1930: Chicago, Ward 19, Cook, Illinois [6]

  • Jane Addams age 59, IL, Own Account, Pres Social Settlement
  • (5 other unrelated residents listed)


  1. Year: 1870; Census Place: Buckeye, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M593_275; Page: 16A; Image: 243161; Family History Library Film: 545774
  2. Year: 1880; Census Place: Cedarville, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: 252; Family History Film: 1254252; Page: 16C; Enumeration District: 169; Image: 0407
  3. Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 19, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 269; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0603; FHL microfilm: 1240269
  4. Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 19, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_261; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 0845; FHL microfilm: 1374274
  5. Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 19, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_330; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1085; Image: 250
  6. Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 19, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_330; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1085; Image: 250

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Images: 2
Portrait of Jane Addams
Portrait of Jane Addams

Jane Addams 10 Cents US Postage
Jane Addams 10 Cents US Postage


On 12 Oct 2018 at 11:32 GMT Joelle (Colville) Colville-Hanson wrote:

Adams-37971 is a duplicate. Sorry. I was looking for Jane or Sarah Jane (I was looking at wrong census) and didn't see this. Thought it was odd there was no profile ...

On 16 Nov 2016 at 20:56 GMT Kristin Merritt wrote:

Add this category to her profile:

Category:United States National Women's Hall of Fame

She was inducted in 1973. See: https://www.womenofthehall.org/inductee/jane-addams/

On 17 Feb 2016 at 01:36 GMT Keith McDonald wrote:


you could add to profile

Category: Nobel Laureates of the 20th Century

On 7 Feb 2015 at 06:18 GMT Maryann (Thompson) Hurt wrote:


I see you haven't made any contributions since 2009. I'd really like to look after her profile and connect her to her family.

Would you please add me as a manager or to the trusted list,



On 7 Sep 2014 at 16:33 GMT K E wrote:

Her father is Addams-35. Please connect their profiles! Thanks

On 6 Sep 2014 at 03:14 GMT Bob Fields wrote:

Jane Addams is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables
, also add the Category for Nobel Peace Prize winners. Today in History May 21 and September 6 also. Thanks.

On 14 Nov 2013 at 21:57 GMT Cathy Carpentier-Alting wrote:

Could you add this category to the profile? Also might want to mention that she was the first American woman to receive the prize.

On 9 Nov 2013 at 21:49 GMT Philip Smith wrote:

This category can be added:

Jane is 18 degrees from George Bush, 20 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 22 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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