Caroline Bartlett Crane

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Crane in 1912

Caroline Bartlett Crane (August 17, 1858 – March 24, 1935) was an American Unitarian minister, suffragist, civic reformer, educator and journalist. She was known as "America's housekeeper" for her efforts to improve urban sanitation.[1][2]

Life[edit]

Caroline Bartlett was born in Hudson, Wisconsin. She studied at Carthage College, graduating in 1879. After being a teacher for four years, she became a journalist in 1884. In 1889 she was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In summer 1891 she visited England, meeting James Martineau and investigating the slum work of the Salvation Army.[2]

Returning to Kalamazoo, she renamed her church the People's Church and moved it into a new building designed to offer a wide range of community amenities. In 1896 she married a local doctor and pioneer in X-ray research, Augustus Warren Crane. In 1898, after illness and differences with the board, she resigned her ministry.[2]

Turning to public health and sanitation reform, she successfully campaigned for meat inspection ordinances after discovering unsanitary conditions in local slaughterhouses. She founded the Women's Civic Improvement League in 1903-4, with a Charity Organizations Board as a referral agency for charity cases. She wrote sanitary surveys for other cities as a professional consultant, and by 1917 had inspected sixty-two cities in fourteen states.[2]

She died in Kalamazoo aged 76, and her ashes were buried in Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo.[2]

Works[edit]

  • General sanitary survey of Erie, Pennsylvania, 1910
  • Report on a campaign to awaken public interest in sanitary and sociologic problems in the State of Minnesota, 1911
  • A sanitary survey of Saginaw, Michigan, 1911
  • Business versus the home, 1913
  • Everyman's house, 1925

References[edit]

  1. ^ Renee Zimelis Ruchotzke, Caroline Bartlett Crane, Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, an on-line resource of the Unitarian Universalist History & Heritage Society.
  2. ^ a b c d e Charles R. Starring (1971). Edward T. James, ed. Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary. Janet Wilson James; Paul S. Boyer. Harvard University Press. pp. 401–2. ISBN 978-0-674-62734-5. Retrieved 21 September 2012.