Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cheney-Goode Memorial

Cheney-Goode Memorial, 1932
South Park Commission Architects
Center of Midway Plaisance
West of South Stony Island Avenue and east of railroad viaduct

            One of only a few early monuments in Chicago that acknowledge the role of women in the city’s history, this memorial limestone bench and sundial (now damaged) honor Flora Sylvester Cheney (1872-1929) and Katherine Hancock Goode (1872-1928).
            Cheney was a legislator and political activist involved in securing voting rights for women. She served as president of the Illinois League of Women Voters as well as the Cook County Council of Leagues of Women Voters. She managed the campaign of her longtime friend, Katherine Goode, when she made a successful run to represent the fifth senatorial district in the Illinois State Legislature. After Goode died in 1928, Cheney herself won the seat in November of that year. Unfortunately, she died in 1929 at age 57.
            Paid for by popular contribution, the memorial and sundial suffered vandalism not long after the dedication in June 1932. The original inscription described the women as “leaders who devoted their lives to the civic betterment of their neighborhood, city and state.”  Due to persistent problems with graffiti over the years, the entire structure has been painted a dark gray and the inscription is now nearly impossible to read. 

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