Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA

Committee Chair

Mackey, Thomas

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Keeley, Theresa

Committee Member

Keeley, Theresa

Committee Member

Bunck, Julie

Author's Keywords

Kentucky; settlement house; Louisville; women's history; Progressive Era; social reform


This thesis explores the workings of Neighborhood House, a social settlement in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1896 to 1939. It argues that Neighborhood House represented a typical settlement house that operated during the Progressive Era in the United States. From its beginnings under its founder, Archibald A. Hill, through the tenure of Frances Ingram, Neighborhood House served as an Americanizing institution for urban, European immigrants in Louisville by offering clubs and classes to both immigrant children and adults. Neighborhood House residents also mitigated between immigrant children and parents, pushed for child labor reform, and battled vice in the area. Furthermore, this thesis analyzes the shortcomings of both Neighborhood House and the social settlement movement at large. Settlement leaders, including Ingram, operated under the guise of class superiority, failed to incorporate African-Americans in their work, and created a new bureaucracy in which poor urban immigrants became entrenched.