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Jean Gordon was a prominent social reformer and suffragist in the early twentieth century. Her primary focus was on conditions of child labor. Her activism led to the passage in 1906 of the Child Labor Act. She was the first woman appointed factory inspector, and served in that capacity from 1907-1911. She was also a pioneer in the area of mental disability. As president of the Milne Asylum for Destitute Orphan Girls, she created programs to provide care and vocational training to mentally handicapped girls. Her sister, Kate, was also an active reformer and suffragist who, in the end, turned against a Federal woman suffrage amendment in favor of strict state control of the franchise. She feared Federal intervention would interfere with the state’s near-total disenfranchisement of African-American men.

[Mayor Paul Capedeville. Records, 1900-1904]