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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Research Tips

Flickr Commons

Looking for images to add context to your genealogy research? Try Flickr Commons (http://www.flickr.com/commons). Each photo included in the Flickr Commons repository have no known copyright restrictions. Many individuals and organizations contribute their photos to The Commons, including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, and universities as well, such as the University of Virginia. The goal of the The Commons is two fold: 1) to increase awareness to publicly-held photography collections and 2) provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge. The second objective is fulfilled when YOU make comments on pictures posted.

A quick search for Evansville related information retrieves this picture of Albion Fellows Bacon, a social reformer of Evansville. The Albion Fellows Bacon center in Evansville (http://www.albionfellowsbacon.org/) is named after her and her work.

An article from the November 28, 1912 issue of the Charlotte Observer recounts the following story involving Albion - "Mrs. Albion Fellows Bacon, of Evansville, has written Indiana's first law for housing reform. She is small and sweet, that sort of woman you may think of as sitting at home and rocking her babies to sleep. And this she did. But in the intervals and after she had them to sleep, the twins and two more, she did this other service for her State. In her home town of Evansville, where her husband is a merchant, Mrs. Bacon began her interest in other people's houses as a Friendly Visitor and as the organizer of the Flower Mission. But she hadn't made many visits before she discovered it wasn't roses and mignone that were needed so much as sewers and sinks and a few other incidentals that are fundamental before one may begin to garnish life. One day she came back from the "Cotton Mill Block," where they had typhoid and tuberculosis always with them, to exclaim passionately, 'How can they wash without water or dry without drains?' To a prominent charity worker she went with the question, 'Why is it the landlord's don't put in hydrants down there?' And the charity worker answered wearily, 'Because they don't have to. There is no law to require it.' 'I knew then,' Mrs. Bacon says, 'that there would have to be a law. But I didn't dream that I would have to get it. I just thought somebody ought to do it. But after awhile it got so that a procession of white faced, wailing babies from the tenements began to appear in the dead of night waving their little arms and crying, 'Sleep no more' till we are cared for.' When you get to 'seein' things at night, you are ready for work.'"

Mrs. Bacon died December 10, 1933 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana.

- Submitted by Taneya Koonce

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