well and caring for the wants of the sick, can never be
rightly estimateJ or told. They worked untiringly and
ungrudgingly to supply the wants of any and all sol-
diers who needed rest, food, or shelter; and as the
number of these constantly and rapidly increased,
demanding more time, more strength, more constant
effort, the demand was met with increased consecra-
tion, fidelity and self-sacrifice.
Gradually, women from abroad joined the women
of Chicago, as co-workers. In September, an Hon-
orary Board of Directors, including all these, some of
whom were residents of Wisconsin, some of Michigan,
was formed, and during the same month Mrs. J. K.
Botsford was elected a member of the Chicago Board.
In the latter part of 1863, wounded soldiers from
the battle-fields of Chickamauga and Mission Ridge,
paroled prisoners, and recruits on their way to help fill
the thinned ranks of the army, filled the Home to over-
flowing, and even by entertaining regiments, as they
arrived, in the basement of Bryan Hall, it was seen
that the old building could no longer answer the pur-
pose for which it was hired. On November 20, the
ladies held a meeting and resolved to establish a
CHICAGO SOLDIERS HOME.
HISTORY OF CHICAGO.
" Permanent Soldiers' Home" for the use of disabled
soldiers. A building to serve as a rest for regiments
or single soldiers passing through the city, and requir-
ing temporary accommodations, was erected by the
post quartermaster on the lake shore, near Dearborn
Park, the Rest to be under the management of the
ladies of the Soldiers* Home, and being really a part of
the establishment, forming an extra dining-room, kitchen
and sleeping apartments.
Up to this time the Home had been supported by
voluntary contributions, and it had required careful
financiering to keep the resources of the establishment
equal to the constant and increasing demand. At the
Sanitary Fair held in October, 1863, Mr. Bryan, the
president and liberal benefactor of the Home, had
purchased the original draft of Abraham Lincoln's
Emancipation Proclamation, for the* sum of $3,000,
which amount was appropriated to the Home by the
Executive Committee of the Fair. This precious docu-
ment was donated by Mr. Bryan to the Home, to be
held in trust, and used for the benefit of disabled
soldiers. From it the Home realized, directly and
indirectly, inclusive of the proceeds of the original
sale, over $10,000, which amount was invested in the
purchase of grounds and buildings for a Permanent
Soldiers' Home. The purchase was made in March,
1864, and included several buildings and two lots,
known as the " Baldwin property," at Fair View. This
property was soon after sold, and the Langley estate at
Cottage Grove, on the lake shore, near the projected
Douglas monument, was secured. Upon this, a plain
brick structure, designed as the wing of a more imposing
edifice was erected at a cost of about $15,000, and was
opened as a Permanent Home on May 13, 1864.
In the meantime, the " Soldiers' Rest " was com-
pleted and opened on January 22, 1864. The building
was two hundred feet long by fifty wide, divided into
four large rooms â€” one dining-room, and three sleeping
apartments fitted up with rows of bunks. At the north
end of the Rest was a large kitchen, furnished with
cooking apparatus. The dining-room contained twenty
tables, each capable of seating twenty men, and here
many regiments were fed, until the end of the war
At a meeting held December 4, Mr. Bryan was
elected president of the Permanent Home, and J. H.
Wadsworth treasurer. Otherwise, the business and
management of both Home and Rest were entrusted
entirely to the Board of Managers, consisting exclu-
sively of ladies. A monthly committee from the Board
was appointed for the Home, under whose general
direction the superintendent and matron controlled its
internal affairs, and the Rest was personally superin-
tended by a committee from the Board, appointed from
week to week. To add to the fund for the erection of
the new Home, dollar subscriptions were solicited, the
work being commenced immediately after the meeting of
December 4, 1863, when the enterprise was undertaken.
A committee for districting the city was appointed,
with headquarters in the South Division at the house of
Mrs. J. C. Shepley ; North Division, Mrs. E. Wadsworth;
West Idvision, Mrs. E. B. Tuttle. The work being laid
out, ladies were assigned to limited districts, and armed
with their little subscription books, countersigned by
President liryan, and stamped with the seal of the Sol-
diers' Home ; also armed with determination, zeal and
energy â€” they s.rt out on their task. Among the most
active and persevering of these ladies were Mesdames
Henry .Sayrs, C. <i. Fargo, J. < :. Shepley, Myra Brad-
well, H. C. Bristol, C. P. Dickinson, Thomas M< â– ( 'alia,
D. A. Jones, J. M. Van Osdell, Ambrose Foster, J. M.
Tuttle, J. M. Loomis, J. Long, C. \V. Andrews, L.
Dagenhardt, M. A. Burnham, Reuben Ludlam, and
Miss Ada Bradwell. Soon after the organization of
the Permanent Home, Mrs. Henry Sayrs, Mrs. J. M.
Loomis, Mrs. Myra Bradwell, Mrs. J. W. Steele, Mrs.
N. H. Parker, Miss Ada Bradwell, and Miss Julia Hamill
were elected members of the Board of Directors â€” to all
of whom, and in an especial manner to Mrs. Sayrs and
Mrs. Bradwell, the Home was indebted for the success-
ful prosecution and accomplishment of its work.
At the first annual meeting, June 17, 1864, sixty-two
Chicago ladies were engaged in the work of the Home
and Rest, and about twenty from abroad were honorary
members of the Board. During the year there had
been 46,384 arrivals, 96,909 meals and 16,481 lodgings
provided, and 2,557 patients medically treated â€” the
money value of the outlay being estimated at $47,162.
Besides entertaining regiments at all hours of day or
night, whenever they happened to arrive, and caring
for the sick and disabled at the Home, the ladies had
also attended to the wants of sick soldiers at private
dwellings, and sent convalescent, as well as deceased,
soldiers to their respective homes and friends. The
officers elected in June, 1864, were:
President, Hon. T. B. Bryan ; First Vice-President, Mrs. O.
E. Hosmer; Second Vice-President, Mrs. C. P. Dickinson; Secre-
tary, Mrs. Henry Sayrs (Mrs. J. O. Brayman elected secretary in
place of Mrs. Sayrs, resigned); Treasurer, Carl F. W. Junge; As-
sistant Treasurer, Mrs. E. H. Cushing; Auditing Committee,
Miss Elizabeth Blakie, Mrs. J. M. Loomis, Mrs. Shackford.
Early in 1864, it was determined to hold a fair in
connection with the Sanitary Commission â€” the time
first appointed being from February 22, to March 4.
In consequence of the magnitude of the preparations,
the time of opening was postponed to the 31st of May,
at which date the fair commenced, and continued three
weeks. * To the untiring labors of the managers of
the Soldiers' Home, the success of the undertaking was
largely due, and its outcome was an addition to their
treasury of $83,500. Of this amount, $10,000 was ap-
propriated to pay the debts due at the close of the fiscal
year ending June, 1865; some $5,000 reserved for cur-
rent expenses; and the remainder invested in Govern-
ment securities, as a fund for the erection of the main
portion of the Soldiers' Home building.
At the annual meeting, held during the progress of
the fair, and when the labors of the ladies at the Rest
were drawing toward a close, Mr. Bryan paid the follow-
ing richly merited tribute to the faithfulness of their
work in the past:
"Never in any city or in any clime have more earnest, unin-
termitting or untiring labors in behalf of the soldiers been perform-
ed than those which it has been the pleasure and the pride of the
ladies of this institution to render. Ladies, many of them in afflu-
ent circumstances, have persistently, for two years, worked with
their own hands in the hospital, the dining-room, and even in the
kitchen of the Soldiers' Home and Rest, performing an amount of
actual drudgery at which their own hired domestics at home would
have rebelled. Nor have these arduous labors been confined to
the daytime, to fair weather, or to occasions of public or conspic-
uous display. On the contrary, they have embraced all kinds â€” the
intensest heat of summer and the most inclement winter weather;
and I can, of my own knowledge, bear testimony to the fact of
entire nights being spent by them in entertaining regiments â€” all
the rest of the city asleep, while these self-sacrificing and devoted
women were industriously employed in feeding the soldiers and
cheering them on their march to, and return from, the war."
The following officers were elected at this meetingâ€”
the last "war officers" of the Home:
President, Thomas B. Bryan ; First Vice-President, Mrs. E.
F. Dickinson; Second Vice-President, Mrs. Henry Sayrs; Secre-
tary, Mrs. J. O. Brayman; Treasurer, Carl F. W. Junge; Assist-
ant Treasurer, Miss E. Blakie; Auditing Committee, Mrs. J. C.
*Sce Sanitary Fair.
CHICAGO SOLDIERS' HOME.
Shepley, Mrs. Dr. Ingals, Mrs. C. W. Andrews. Mrs. Myra
Bradwell was elected assistant treasurer on June 23, in place of
Miss Elizabeth Blakie, resigned.
The arrivals at the Rest during the past year were
reported as 60,100; meals prepared, 167,253. At the
Home, five hundred and seventy-seven sick and dis-
abled soldiers had been cared for. The receipts had
been $33,081; expenditures, $35,850.
During 1865 and the early months of 1866, the
main building of the Soldiers' Home was erected, at a
cost of about $30,000. It was of the same height as the
wing previously erected â€” four stories â€” with a frontage
of sixty-five feet on Douglas Place, the location being
where is now the junction of Thirty-fifth Street and Lake
Avenue. Its depth was sixty-five feet, and the building,
when completed, could accommodate about one hundred
and twenty-five soldiers. At the opening of the new
building, May 10, 1S66, there were ninety-nine inmates;
of whom fifteen were blind veterans; twenty, disabled
soldiers, who were studying at the Commercial College,
to fit themselves for positions wherein they could earn
a living; and the rest crippled or otherwise disabled.
Among the directresses of the Soldiers' Home were :
MesdamesC. W. Andrews, E. Higgins, R. S. Ball, Dr. Ingals,
E. S. Brackett, A. E. Kent, H. L.Bristol, J. M. Loomis, W. D.
Blain, J. Long, Thomas Church, J. H. Moore, L. Dagenhardt,
W. L. Myrick, Ambrose Foster, J. Medill, N. H. Parker, J. S.
Fuller, J. L. Patterson, C. Follansbee, J. D. Quinlan, J. M. "Har-
vey, O. D. Ranney, J. G. Hamilton, F. W. Robinson, Df.
Hamill, C. W. Sanford, Ambrose Burnam, S. Shackford, O. E.
Hosmer, C. H. Stoughton, Isaac R. Hitt, George Schneider, J. C.
Shipley, A. Snyder, S. Tinkham, W. Wheeler, T. Button, J. H.
Woodworth, C. B. Sawyer, S. C. Sayrs, Myra Bradwell, E. W.
Brayman, G. F. Dickinson, S. S. Williamson, M. Whittier and the
Misses M. L. Sayrs and Elizabeth Blakie.
Advisory Committee, 1865-66, J. H. Dunham, B. F. Jacobs,
J. Y. Scammon, J. B. Bradwell, Van H. Higgins.
The Soldiers' Home was incorporated as a chari-
table institution, by act of the General Assembly of the
State of Illinois, approved February 28, 1867, the sum
of $24,000 being appropriated for its benefit by the
same act, Judge and Mrs. Bradwell having been
appointed a special committee to go to Springfield to
obtain an appropriation.
In June, 1867, at the first annual meeting held after
the passage of this act, the following were elected
officers of the corporation :
President, Hon. J. B. Bradwell; First Vice-President, Mrs. O.
D. Ranney; Second Vice-President, Mrs. C. W. Andrews; Secre-
tary, Mrs. E. W. Brayman; Treasurer, C. R. Field, Assistant
Treasurer. Mrs. Myra Bradwell; Auditing Committee, Mrs. J. M.
Harvey and Mrs. C. M. Clark ; Committee on Appeals, Mrs.
C. B. Sawyer, Mrs. H. L. Bristol, Mrs. J. M. Loomis, Mrs. J. C.
Shipley, Mrs. Henry Sayrs; Superintendent, Dr. F. L. Flanders.
The appropriation was received by the corporation
in 1869. The expenses of the Home for that year
being $10,875, and the number of inmates but forty-
one, preparations were made for closing the institution,
in accordance with recommendations of a joint resolu-
tion of the Senate and House of Representatives,
passed March 10, 1869, transferring the inmates to the
National Homes established by Congress. A part of
the disabled soldiers at the Home were thus transferred
during the year, but many being unqualified to enter
there under the provisions of the act, the corporation
was unable to close the Home at that time. To reduce
expenses, it sold, on June 3, 1870, the building and
grounds on Douglas Place, for $50,000 in cash. The
buildings are now (1885) owned and occupied by the
Catholics as St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum.
With a portion of the fund thus obtained, a block of
ground, located on the lake shore, in South Evanston.
was purchased, and upon it a brick structure was
erected, which was opened as a Soldiers' Home Febru-
ary 22, 1871, the whole number of inmates then being
This Home was kept open, and thus used by the
corporation, until the fall of 1877, when, owing to finan-
cial reverses, it was deemed proper to permanently
close it, and the inmates, sixteen in number, were senf
to the National Homes at Milwaukee. Wis., and Dayton,
Ohio. The Home at Evanston was then rented to the
Illinois Industrial School for Girls, and is still (1885)
so rented â€” that institution having added a large wooden
structure to the original brick building used by the
soldiers, and holding the property with the pledge of
receiving and caring for such children and orphans
of soldiers as the corporation should desire to have
Cairo Soldiers' Home. â€” This valuable accessory
to the relief work was established and maintained by
Chicago people, Rev. E. Folsom, a missionary from the
Second Presbyterian Church of this city, being the first
agent there, in October, 1861. On March 23, 1882,
Thomas and Mrs. Maddy were sent to Cairo as super-
intendent and matron, respectively, of the Home. In
the winter of 1863-64, a new Home was erected, at a
cost to the Government of $10,000, the Chicago Com-
mission furnishing it, at an expense of $2,200. Mr. and
Mrs. Maddy were in charge of the old Home until
October, 1863, and were succeeded by Miss O. L.
Ostram as matron, and by C. N. Shipman as superin-
tendent. When the new Home was opened, Mrs. A. F.
Grant became matron â€” a lady whose tender care,
remarkable ability and unflinching faithfulness have
made her renowned in war annals.
The Home was closed on October 1, 1865 ; the sum
of $22,271.54 having been spent thereon by the Chicago
Branch, the name of which had been changed to the
Northwestern Commission. Of this amount, however,
$14,196.41 was saved by the sale of the rations of the
inmates of the Home. During the year 1864, there
were admitted to the Home 98,075 men; and from the
1st of February, 1865, when the Rest was established,
and, after which, only sick, wounded or discharged
soldiers were entertained at the Home, there were
48,356 of these before it was closed.
Myra Bradwell, editor of The Chicago Legal News, was
born February 12, 1831, in Manchester, Vt., the daughter of Eben
and Abigail (Willey) Colby, both natives of New Hampshire.
Mrs. Myra Bradwell taught her first school at Elk Grove, Cook
County, in a country district near her father's home, and continued
her teaching at Elgin and other places for a short time, when she
married Tames B. Bradwell. Thereafter, her life would become
incorporated with that of her husband's in the ordinary course of
events, but she had an ambition to open a new field of practical
employment for her sex, in contra-distinction to the women's rights
demanded from the platform; she therefore chose and thoroughly
prepared herself for her profession, before asking admission to its
practice. She commenced the study of law in her husband's office,
dividing her time between the office and her home and children,
until she believed herself competent to pass an examination for a
certificate to practice the legal profession. At this point she met
obstacles it took time to remove. After complying with all the
rules of the Supreme Court, she received from the Board of
Examiners the required certificate of qualification for admission to
the Bar, but the Supreme Court refused to grant her a license to
practice, first on the sole ground that she was a married woman;
and, after being driven from this position by an able argument pre-
sented by Mrs. Bradwell, they refused it on the ground that she was
a woman. She carried her case, by writ of error, to the Supreme
Court of the United States at Washington, where Hon. Matt. 11.
Carpenter made an able argument in favor of Mrs. Bradwell, but the
highest court of the Nation affirmed the judgment of the Supreme
Court of Illinois, Chief Justice (.'base, the ablest jurist on the Bench,
dissenting. She was the first woman in the United States to ask
permission to practice law. Alta M. Hulett, an unmarried lady of
HISTORY OF CHICAGO.
the City of Rockford was the next applicant for admission to the
Bar: her request was denied on the ground of her sex. Mrs. Brad-
well assisted in. and Miss Hulett secured, the passage of a law de-
claring that no person should be debarred from any occupation
(except military) on account of sex. Gradually, the professions
and fields of labor have opened and broadened to womanhood, in
a great measure under the efforts of Mrs Bradwell and her husband.
This is not the only field in which site has become celebrated. In
the establishment and success of The Chicago Legal News, she
has now an enviable reputation among the journalists of this
country and Europe. This weekly legal journal favorably com-
pares with any legal journal in the world, and has received the
highest praise from eminent lawyers and jurists. Its cases are se-
lected and reported with care, its information is varied and its news
is gathered from all quarters of the globe. Mrs. Bradwell was an
indefatigable worker in the interests of our soldiers during the war,
and of this part of her life's work she and her husband are justly
proud. She has twice visited England â€” first in 1S7S, and again in
1883, with the Apollo Commandery. She has had four children;
the oldest and youngest are deceased, while Thomas and Bessie
have grown to manhood and womanhood. Thomas is married, and
is devoting his time to the study of law. Bessie graduated from
the Chicago High School, was the valedictorian of her class, and
afterward took a four years' classical course and graduated from the
Northwestern University. After a two years' course she graduated
with the highest honors from the Union College of Law, being se-
lected by a class of fifty-four to be their valedictorian. She is now
a member of the Chicago Bar. Mrs. Myra Bradwell is one of those
true " Women's-rights women " who live their creed instead of
talking it, and the good she has done to woman in this manner is
yet unknown. Earnest, tender, homelike, and full of that poetic
inspiration which is so commonly but mistakenly considered the
exclusive prerogative of youth, she is a woman who lives beautifully,
will never grow old, and to whom death will be but "the grand final
development of life."
RELIEF WORK IN CHICAGO.
The First Nurses. â€” On the evening of April 18,
1 86 1, the people of Chicago held an immense meeting
at Metropolitan Hall, to devise means whereby to meet
the appalling crisis in National affairs. The State had
been called upon for six regiments of volunteers, and
companies of citizen soldiery were already filling up
their ranks and drilling, in preparation for the field.
They must be armed and equipped; and one object
of the meeting was to make such arrangements as
might be necessary for effecting that result.* Even as
early as that evening, two ladies present at that meeting
publicly tendered their services to the war committee
as nurses, to be sent wherever their services might
be needed. These two â€” Miss Jane A. Babcock and
Miss Mary E. M. Foster â€” were the first women in Chi-
cago who volunteered to accompany the troops as
nurses; and one of them at least, Miss Babcock, was at
work in the hospitals at Cairo, almost as soon as the
first regiment reached there from Springfield, and, later,
rendered efficient service in the hospitals at Memphis.
On April 21, the Chicago companies, under General
Swift, left for Cairo. Dr. Sim, of Chicago, accompa-
nied them as a member of General Swift's staff, and at
Cairo, under his supervision, a small but well-arranged
hospital was immediately constructed. This was, in
a large measure, sustained through the efforts of the
women of Chicago, and was the main reliance of the
troops at Cairo during the following summer.
On April 20. Mrs. I). M. Brundage, whose four sons
had already enlisted, offered her services to General
Swift to ai company any volunteers as nurse; and, at
a public meeting held .1' the liriggs House on April 22,
Rev. Robert Collyer presiding, her application for such
position, and also those of Mrs. lames J. S. Kellogg,
Mary Evans, A. M Beaubien, E. S. Johnson, E. B.
â€¢ 1 >lilhe
ancc in the compilation oi
: indebted for much valuable assisi-
Graves and Miss Annette Sleightly were formally pre-
sented to the war committee.
In the meantime, the women of Chicago, with their
sisters all over the land, organized for home work;
church sewing-circles, ladies' benevolent societies, young
folks' and children's clubs, all laid aside their special
work and united in the labor of scraping old linen into
lint and tearing old cotton into bandages. It is almost
ludicrously pathetic to read in the city papers of the
early summer of 1 861, of the pathetic and enthusiastic
efforts of the women to do something for the soldiers,
and the equally patriotic endeavors of the men to en-
courage them to continue the work which both began
to see was not the best, while yet they could not clearly
see what the best was Through the liberality of J. H.
McVicker, they were furnished with a room in the South
Division of the city,' which they fitted up with thirty
sewing-machines, and occupied as a general workroom
for the manufacture of garments for the soldiers. The
" Ladies' Sewing Hall " did a large work in providing
for the regiments at Cairo and Bird's Point; and to the
untiring labors of the women of Chicago the hospitals,
both at these and other points, were indebted for many
of their comforts during the summer of 1861.
But this work was necessarily in the beginning more
or less spasmodic and of lessened value, because often
unsuited to existing necessities. There was need of a
medium between the worker and the soldier, to advise
what was most needed, enforce regular methods of col-
lection and transmission, and to put to the best use
possible the supplies gathered. This the Commission
undertook, and this it did throughout the war. It in-
vested great labor, good judgment and continued
patience. In the beginning, the supplies gathered in
each locality were, as a rule, intended for the volunteers
who had gone from it â€” if not for a particular person or
persons, at least for the company or regiment made up
from that neighborhood. It was not without oft re-
peated explanations of its necessity, that mothers and
sisters with sons and brothers in the field could be taught
to consent that their own handiwork should go into a
common stock, to be distributed as the Commission
Miss Dorothea L. Dix was appointed by Secretary
Cameron superintendent of female nurses and matron-
general of army hospitals, and she appointed Mrs. A.
H. Hoge and Mrs. D. P. Livermore her agents for the
West. Early in June, 1861, Mrs. P. E. Yates, of Chi-
cago, was appointed presiding matron of the military
hospitals at Cairo; and she selected Misses Jane A.
Babcock, L. B. Slaymaker, Mary E. Babcock, Adaline
Miller and Teresa Zimmer, of Chicago; Mrs. S. M.
Hamilton, of Monmouth; and Mrs. A. O. Millington,
of Springfield, her corps of assistants. The selections
were approved by Miss Dix â€” two of the ladies, Miss
J. A. Babcock and Miss Slaymaker, being already em-
ployed at Cairo; and, on June 6, Mrs. Yates left Chicago
for her post.
Inception of the Sanitary Commission. â€” At
an early stage of the war, the Medical Bureau was organ-
ized, but it soon became inadequate to the demands