Lea Demarest Taylor papers




University of Illinois at Chicago, Special Collections and University Archives Department at the Richard J. Daley Library


9.5 Linear feet




Taylor, Lea Demarest, 1883-1975

Biographical note

Lea Demarest Taylor (1883-1975) was the daughter of Graham Taylor, founder of the Chicago Commons, a secular settlement house. She had a lifelong interest in local and neighborhood issues, which she effectively combined with her activities in national and international organizations to forge a career in social welfare that lasted even beyond her official retirement in 1954. During the 1940s, the neighborhood served by the Chicago Commons underwent racial change as African Americans moved into a previously all white neighborhood. The settlement's residents responded firmly to white resistance, insisting that neighborhood and settlement resources be shared.

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains correspondence, memos, articles, speeches, annual reports, minutes of meetings, and photographs. The materials pertain to operation and activities of Chicago Commons, the Chicago Federation of Settlements and the National Federation of Settlements. The collection also includes writing and publications by Graham Taylor.

Processing Information note

This collection was surveyed as part of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium's Survey Initiative on 2009 December 1 by Lisa Calahan, Andrew Steadham, and Bergis Jules.

Related Archival Materials note

Within this repository: Chicago Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers Collection, Hull House Association records.

Outside of this repository: Graham Taylor Papers - Newberry Library, Lea Taylor Papers - Chicago History Museum.