Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA

Committee Chair

Kelland, Lara

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Massoth, Katherine

Committee Member

Massoth, Katherine

Committee Member

Theriot, Nancy

Author's Keywords

kindergarten; juvenile justice; pure milk; child labor; compulsory school


Louisville, Kentucky has a unique character, never more apparent than during the period between 1890 and 1920, as the city attempted to balance traditional southern cultural ideals with northern progress. During this period, social reformers attempted to alleviate social ills exacerbated by the industrial revolution and urban crowding by advocating for social reform. This study concentrates on specific social reforms – settlement houses and missions, free kindergartens, child labor, juvenile justice, and pure milk depots – benefiting children in Louisville, and explores how those endeavors differed from those of their counterparts in the north and south. Child welfare reformers in Louisville were mainly motivated by faith and long tradition as they negotiated the conflicting ideologies of race, religion and politics confronting them. As a southern city, Louisville surpassed its deep south cousins in Progressive Era reform, and other cities across the country benefited from the expertise of Louisville reformers and their efforts.

Included in

History Commons