H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Although she lived with
all the privileges of wealth,
Louise DeKoven Bowen dedicated her life to social
reform in Chicago. Her tireless efforts for the rights
of women, children, and minorities made her one of
the leading activists of her day.
Bowen's career as a
civic leader began in 1893
when Jane Addams asked her to join the
Hull-House Woman's Club. In 1912, she established
the Joseph T. Bowen Country Club (named for her
late husband), a summer camp near Waukegan for underprivileged children
of the Hull-House neighborhood. After Addams died in 1935, Bowen became
the president of the Hull-House Association.
Bowen was one of a group
of women who convinced Cook County to establish a separate court system
for juveniles, and she served as president of the Juvenile Protective Association
for 35 years. During her tenure, the association lobbied the courts to eradicate
prostitution from the city and to clean up places where children gathered.
Bowen also advocated
suffrage for women, leading a march of five thousand women at the Republican
National Convention in Chicago in 1916. Her writings were instrumental in
helping women gain the vote. She lived at 1430 North Astor Street, and remained
active until her death at the age of 94.