Lathrop, Julia Clifford

Lathrop, Julia Clifford,

1858–1932, American social worker and administrator, b. Rockford, Ill., grad. Vassar, 1880. Associated with Jane AddamsAddams, Jane,
1860–1935, American social worker, b. Cedarville, Ill., grad. Rockford College, 1881. In 1889, with Ellen Gates Starr, she founded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first social settlements in the United States (see settlement house).
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 at Hull House in Chicago, she was active in civic work, aiding in founding (1899) the country's first juvenile court. From 1912 to 1921 she was head of the U.S. Children's Bureau.


See biography by J. Addams (1935).

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Lathrop, Julia Clifford

(1858–1932) social worker; born in Rockford, Ill. Daughter of affluent but reform-minded parents, she graduated from Vassar College (B.A. 1880) and then worked for some ten years in her father's law office. In 1890 she joined Jane Addams at the newly founded Hull House in Chicago and stayed there until 1909; her main work was not at the Chicago house itself but in visiting social welfare institutions throughout Illinois and in promoting reforms in the treatment of people in public institutions for the insane, indigent, delinquent, and children. She especially pioneered in more humane treatment of the mentally ill, and in 1899 she helped establish the first juvenile court in the U.S.A. From 1903 to 1904 she also helped organize the courses in social work that became the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. After a world tour (1910–11), she was appointed the first head of the federal Childrens' Bureau (1912–21) and she made major reforms in legislation and general treatment of children. Retiring to Rockford, Ill., with her sister, she remained engaged as president of the Illinois League of Women Voters (1922–24) and served as U.S. commissioner to the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations (1925–31).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.