Women of Valor


Public Welfare

Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, 1858 - 1942

"Now, as I think back, I am dismayed to remember how ill-equipped we women were for some of the work we did! ....Yet so it must have been, for surely Miss Vittum spoke the truth when she said, 'And there...[touring] of one of the city's most unsavory dumps, was our Mrs. Solomon, clad in a trailing gown of white cotton lace and clutching in her white-gloved hands a matching parasol!'"

Despite the limiting fashions of the day, Solomon was indefatigable in her active civic involvement. Her many positions included serving as President of the Illinois Industrial School for Girls, a role that affected her "more deeply than that [of any other]." This institution for wards of the state had fallen into disrepair due to a lack of funds. As president, Solomon liquidated the school's large debt in one year. She quickly improved care for the girls, and began developing a farm in Chicago's suburbs into a new, model campus for the school.

Solomon's concern for children's rights also encompassed the problems of juvenile delinquency. She saw that crimes against children were "not punished severely enough," and that "Dependents were often lodged in poor-houses; minors were confined for slight misdemeanors, and placed in police stations and jails, in the company of hardened criminals." In response, Solomon worked to institute Chicago's first Juvenile Court, and to improve the city's laws concerning children.

  1. On Solomon and the Women's City Club and as chairman of City Waste, see Fabric 167-8.
  2. For Solomon's quote, "Now, as I think back, I am..." see Fabric 168.
  3. For Solomon's work with the Illinois Industrial School for Girls and the quote, "No project ever affected me more deeply than...," see Fabric 151.
  4. On Solomon and her work on the problems of juvenile delinquency, see Fabric 155-8.
  5. "Crimes against children were not punished severely enough..." quote from Fabric 156.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Hannah Greenebaum Solomon - Public Welfare." (Viewed on April 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/solomon/public-welfare>.