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Rush Archives Blog

Jane Addams Day (Dec. 10) and Rush's Central Free Dispensary

by Nathalie Wheaton on 2020-12-10T09:00:00-06:00 in Archives, History | 0 Comments

December 10 is designated as Jane Addams Day, honoring the Chicago activist's contributions to social welfare.

In 1895, social worker and researcher, Gertrude Howe Britton (1868-1951) joined Jane Addams’s renowned Hull-House settlement located in Chicago’s Near West Side, residing and working there for many years. After Addams's death in 1935, Britton served as executive director of Hull-House until 1937, when she retired. Britton died in 1951.

Britton also served as superintendent of Rush's Central Free Dispensary, 1923-1930, a community clinic that served the West Side of Chicago for almost a hundred years until it became the outpatient service of Rush's historic Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital in 1961. 

If you missed the following blog post from September 2020, we invite you to learn more about this important era in the history of Chicago and Rush.

From the Rush Archives: Remembering “Our Mexican Patients,” 1925: In 1925, Gertrude Howe Britton and Kate Constable published a report entitled, “Our Mexican Patients at Central Free Dispensary, Rush Medical College.” The significance of this report is better understood within the context of Rush's historic Central Free Dispensary, the life and work of Britton and Constable, and the rise of the Mexican immigrant population in Chicago in the 1920s.


Want to learn more about the history of Rush or the Rush Archives collections? Explore the Rush Archives website, or contact the archivist, Nathalie Wheaton, MSLS.

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