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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Laura Almira Wood Catlin,   pp. 179-183 PDF (1003.5 KB)


Page 180


adding greatly to the interest of the meetings. This
work, started in a small way, developed into a regularly
constituted mission of St. Paul's church. After a few
years, the neighborhood changing materially thru the
large influx of foreign-born residents, there was a gen-
eral exodus of the parishioners to another section of the
city. An ample church edifice was erected where a large
congregation worships. The Catlin Memorial Parish
House of the new Mission, built by Mr. Catlin as a mem-
orial to his wife, is the social center of that community,
being equipped for all kinds of indoor social activities of
old and young.
    Mrs. Catlin's financial and personal participation in
most of the noteworthy charitable and other enterprises
of Milwaukee made her very name such a power, that
her indorsement and support of any new undertaking was
equivalent to a guarantee of success. Perhaps the most
outstanding instance is the Milwaukee Children's Free
Hospital. She, with six other inspired women founded
this wonderful institution many years ago, with seven
beds in a rented cottage. Today, the Hospital is installed
in a magnificient modern, fully equipped building of their
own with a capicity of 250 beds. The greater part of
this development was under Mrs. Catlin as President,
which office she held until the last years of her life.
    Vying with the Mission and the Hospital in Mrs. Cat-
lin's affections, was the Milwaukee Home of the Friend-
less; and those whom this institution helped on their
way. Being childless themselves, the combined fortunes
of Mr. and Mrs. Catlin were bequeathed to these three
splendid institutions, with the exceptions of a few minor
bequests.
    One outcome of the meeting of the Federation of
Women's Clubs in Milwaukee, 1900, was the Outdoor
Association, with Mrs. Catlin as president. The chil-
dren's garden work started by this society has become
a public activity. Her love for children was further
manifested in the establishment by this organization of
the first playground in Milwaukee, in the neighborhood
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