Woman’s Temple, Women’s Fountains: The Erasure of Public Memory
Vol. 49, No. 3/4: Fall/Winter 2008

How to Cite

Mattingly, C. (1). Woman’s Temple, Women’s Fountains: The Erasure of Public Memory. American Studies, 49(3/4), 133-156. Retrieved from https://journals.ku.edu/amerstud/article/view/4009


By the turn of the twentieth century, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) had become the largest and most influential activist group of women the nation had ever seen. With that power, they laid claim to prized public spaces to launch numerous capital construction campaigns, building an early Chicago skyscraper, hospitals, industrial homes, homes for unwed mothers, summer homes at Chatauquas, and drinking water fountains. The monuments, intended to memorialize women and the WCTU, have largely been destroyed or have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer recognized for the significance their builders intended. This article examines the numerous capital projects of the WCTU and the difficulty members of this and similar organizations face when trying to create permanent memorials.

All items © Mid-America American Studies Association

Authors: If you prefer to remove your text(s) from this database please contact the editor.