Helen Beveridge (1829-1909) was an active force in the social and religious life of Evanston in its early years. The daughter of one of Evanston founders, Philo Judson, Helen Beveridge later married John Beveridge who served as a General in the Civil War and as Governor of Illinos from 1873-1876. During the Civil War she opened her home to students and later used her gifts as a hostess in multiple ways. As first lady of Illinois, she entertained visitors from all walks of life at the Governor’s mansion in Springfield. She was known as “a lady of remarkable conversation and executive power.”
Beveridge was also the first president of the Illinois Industrial School for Girls (which stood at the corner of Main Street and Sheridan Road in Evanston before moving to Park Ridge). She served as president for ten years. As president of the Illinois Women’s Centennial Committee for the U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, Beveridge helped form and prepare an exhibit of women’s handicraft. The committee used it’s excess funds to found the school.