Early Illinois Women

Eva G. Monroe (1868-?)

Eva G. Monroe was born in Kewanee, Illinois in 1868. At the age of twelve, following her mother's death, Eva took on the responsibilities of six younger siblings.

In 1898, she moved to the Illinois capital of Springfield. While walking in the city, she became familiar with the plight of poor black children with little clothing, food or housing. In response, she contracted to purchase a nine room house at 427 S. 12th Street. She traveled across Illinois seeking donations from fellow African Americans to pay for the home and for the care of the children. Four children and one infirm and aged mother were the first residents at Eva Monroe's Lincoln Colored Home.

In 1915, Mrs. Monroe secured a charter for the Mary A. Lawrence Industrial School for Colored Girls and the Lincoln Industrial School for Colored Boys. She was also instrumental in organization other facilities and schools for African American children in other parts of Illinois.

In addition, she was a member of the John Brown Relief Corps of Springfield, serving in several state offices of the group's parent organization, the Woman's Relief Corps of the Grand Army of the Republic. Mrs. Monroe was also a member of the Methodist Church, the Women Christian Temperance Union, and the Phyllis Wheatley Home Association of Chicago.



  1. Davis, Elizabeth Lindsay. 1922. The Story of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs.

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