Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Inventory of the Mary Julia Workman Research Materials Collection
CSLA-35  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (72.07 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mary Julia Workman Research Materials
    Dates: 1921/2004
    Collection number: CSLA-35
    Creator: Engh, Michael E., S.J., 1949-
    Collection Size: 7 archival document boxes
    Repository: Loyola Marymount University. William H. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection:English

    Access

    Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, Mary Julia Workman Research Materials, CSLA-35, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection consists of research notes and materials that Professor Michael Engh, S.J., then of the Department of History, Loyola Marymount University, compiled for a proposed biography of Mary Julia Workman (1871-1964), a Roman Catholic social activist and member of a prominent Los Angeles family.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Mary Julia Workman was born in 1871 as the daughter of William and Maria Workman. The Workman family are a prominent Los Angeles family. William was Protestant, but the Roman Catholic faith of her mother, Maria, predominated; consequently, Mary Workman received a Catholic education, graduating in 1890 from the Convent of the Sacred Heart of Mary and Jesus, in Oakland. In 1902 she completed studies in kindergarten teaching, at the State Normal School in Los Angeles; Workman would teach in the city's public schools until 1923.
    At some point during these years, because of her studies, Mary Workman became deeply influenced by the ideals of American Progressivism. The fruit of this influence was manifested in her leadership in the establishment of the Brownson House (1901), a landmark on the West Coast of the settlement house philosophy and one of its stronger Roman Catholic expressions.
    In politics she was likewise dedicated to reform and humanitarian causes. Her advocacy of the Progressive tenet of city government based on civil service led to her presidency of the Los Angeles City Civil Service Commission (1927-1928). Mary Workman also participated in other civic reform groups, such as the Municipal Light and Power Defense League, which watched over city services, and helped in the recall of corrupt Los Angeles mayor Frank Shaw, campaigning for reform candidates John Anson Ford and Fletcher Bowron through such means as radio speeches. Her work with the Democratic National Committee, Southern California Division, involved her in Democratic politics in the Los Angeles area.
    Mary Workman's political pursuits extended beyond parochial Los Angeles issues--vital as they may have been--to national and international issues. Part of the post-World War I movement for world peace, Workman vigorously labored for the participation of the United States in the League of Nations. To this end, she founded, and was an officer in, the Southern California chapter of the League of Nations Association. Of a similar nature was her participation in the Catholic Association for International Peace, Southern California Committee, of which she was secretary. The CAIP was intended to apply Christian ideals to the troubled world politics of the post-war era; this application of Christian principles to resolve international conflict clearly expresses Mary Workman's philosophy of social activism.
    Thus, underlying all her life's work was Mary Workman's Roman Catholic faith, a connection vividly demonstrated in Pope Pius XI's grant of the papal medal "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" to Mary Workman in 1926. The medal rewarded Roman Catholics for their humanitarian work and, in Mary Workman's case, especially recognized her contribution to the field of social work, but within the Roman Catholic tradition. This was a signal honor for Workman, for she was the first woman in the diocese of Los Angeles to receive this medal. Mary Workman's praiseworthy life ended in 1964, following complications from a broken hip.
    1871 Mary Julia Workman born to William and Maria
    1890 Graduates from the Convent of the Sacred Heart of Mary and Jesus, in Oakland
    1902 Completes studies in kindergarten teaching, at the State Normal School in Los Angeles
    1926 Granted the papal medal, "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" by Pope Pius XI
    1927-1928 Served as president of the Los Angeles Civil Service Comission
    1964 Mary Workman passes away due to complications from a broken hip

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection consists of research notes and materials that Professor Michael Engh, S.J., then of the Department of History, Loyola Marymount University, compiled for a proposed biography of Mary Julia Workman (1871-1964), a Roman Catholic social activist and member of a prominent Los Angeles family. The call to the presidency of Santa Clara University, and its incumbent responsibilities, on Michael Engh, S.J., halted this project, but the research materials gathered for this project provide a wealth of information on not only Mary Julia Workman and her important family, but also on Los Angeles history in the early 1900s, the history of settlement houses in Los Angeles, Roman Catholic social activism, and women’s history.
    The materials include notes on archival research; photocopied journal articles; genealogies; family memoirs; Mary Julia Workman’s incoming and outgoing correspondence regarding her activities, reports of various charitable organizations in Los Angeles, both Roman Catholic and secular; public and private reports on housing in Los Angeles; public and private reports on the status of Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles; and material on Brownson House, the settlement house that Mary Julia Workman established in Los Angeles. Much of the material has been photocopied from originals, including some archival originals. Most material in this category from other archives has been separated from this collection, since it was deemed unacceptable to offer as research sources other repositories’ documents, even if only copies.

    Arrangement

    This collection has been divided into two series. Series 1 consists of materials that Michael Engh, S.J., collected from the Workman family itself on the history of the family, including Mary Julia Workman; Series 2 consists of materials that he collected from other sources for his proposed biography of Mary Julia Workman.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California--Los Angeles--Boyle Heights
    Workman, Mary Julia, 1871-1964
    Women human rights workers--United States
    Brownson House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Women civic leaders--California--Los Angeles--History--20th century--Sources
    Church work with the poor -- Catholic Church -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
    Boyle Heights (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- History -- Sources
    Social service -- History -- California -- Los Angeles