Encyclopedia o f Chicago

Historical Sources : Bound Volume
Historical Source
Frances Glessner Journal Entries, 1887-1888

Frances Glessner Journal Entries, 1887-1888
These entries in Frances Glessner's journal reveal much about both the residents of and the workers on Prairie Avenue. Clearly, good domestic help was hard to find, a situation that both frustrated Glessner and freed Mary to set limits on what she considered her employer's indignations. Secondly, even as the elites shared information on their servants with each other, those servants were able to observe their employers in all kinds of circumstances. Within the neighborhoods and ethnic communities from which these workers came, their impressions of the elite families tempered or reinforced the impressions that male workers had of elite employers through their job experiences. Finally, the notion of a house as a showpiece for visitors inside and out demonstrates just how important the servants were for sustaining late nineteenth-century elite social practices.